Nick Cave Details Why He Doesn't Make Protest Songs

“Songs with political agendas inhabit a different space.”

By
Music
9,007 Hypes 10 Comments

Back in March, legendary Australian multi-hyphenate musician Nick Cave thoughtfully explained why he won’t change old “problematic lyrics” in an open discussion with his fans. “These days, some of my songs are feeling a little nervous. They are like children that have been playing cheerfully in the schoolyard, only to be told that all along they have had some hideous physical deformity,” he explained on his website The Red Hand Files. Now he’s tackling the topic of ‘The Protest Song’ and why his music doesn’t fall into that category.

The letter comes on the heels of a wave of protest songs aimed at police brutality and the widespread Black Lives Matter movement raising awareness of the systemic racism that plagues the United States of America. A fan reached out to Cave, saying, “I love your music and its ability to relate common suffering, as you have discussed in the past. Do you ever look back at your anthology and wish you had been more overtly politically outspoken – referring to activism rather than politics per se – in your art?”

Cave opens up the letter describing his music, saying, “Perhaps the thing you enjoy about my songs is that they are conflicted, and often deal in uncertainties and ambiguities.” Back in October 2019, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released Ghosteen to widespread acclaim from fans and critics alike. Read Cave’s response below:

Songs with political agendas inhabit a different space. They have little patience for nuance, neutrality or impartiality. Their aim is to get the message across in as clear and persuasive a manner as possible. There can be great value in these sorts of songs, but they are usually born from a particular combination of rigidity and zealousness, which I personally do not possess. My songs seem to be resistant to fixed, inflexible points of view. They have, as you say, a concern for common, non-hierarchical suffering. They are not in the business of saving the world; rather they are in the business of saving the soul of the world.

I guess I could write a protest song, but I think I would, in the end, feel compromised in doing so, not because there aren’t things I am fundamentally opposed to — there are — but because I would be using my particular talents to deal with something I consider to be morally obvious. Personally, I have little inclination to do that. It’s just not what I do.

Read the full letter via his The Red Hand Files website. In more music news, The Streets have shared another new single, “Falling Down”, from the upcoming mixtape None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

(multee)project Launches Self-Cleaning Face Masks in Two Sizes
Fashion

(multee)project Launches Self-Cleaning Face Masks in Two Sizes

A portion of the proceeds will go towards #GetUsPPE.

New Balance Celebrates Kawhi Leonard's California Homecoming with OMN1S "First Light"
Footwear

New Balance Celebrates Kawhi Leonard's California Homecoming with OMN1S "First Light"

The two-tone style is inspired by California’s sunny weather and summertime hoops culture.

Valentino Sues Landlord of Flagship Fifth Avenue Store
Fashion 

Valentino Sues Landlord of Flagship Fifth Avenue Store

The Italian brand wants out of its lease on the New York City shop.


Beastie Boys and Spike Jonze Revisit Their Early Years on Rick Rubin's Podcast
Music

Beastie Boys and Spike Jonze Revisit Their Early Years on Rick Rubin's Podcast

The frequent collaborators reminisce on their historic run.

Young Thug Joins Diplo for 'Fortnite's Next "Party Royale" Concert
Gaming

Young Thug Joins Diplo for 'Fortnite's Next "Party Royale" Concert

Officially titled “Diplo Presents: Thomas Wesley With Special Guests Noah Cyrus and Young Thug.”

Artists Launch Initiatives to Benefit Black Lives Matter and Justice Organizations
Arts 

Artists Launch Initiatives to Benefit Black Lives Matter and Justice Organizations

Including Alexis Eke’s ‘Waters’ print, a charitable print sale called See In Black and more.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Help us serve you better

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads, where we can share contents from the latest fashion, to those culturally relevant. In adding HYPEBEAST to your ad blocker's whitelist, ads on our sites will show while you continue to browse.

Help Support Us

We need ads to keep the lights on and to continue providing free news to our readers. We’d appreciate your support by whitelisting HYPEBEAST on your ad blocker. That way you can keep reading all the great stories for free.

If you have already whitelisted us, simply refresh this page. To find out how to whitelist us, click the button below.

Back

Add Us to Whitelist

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads. Most ad blockers have similar whitelisting steps and settings. If you need assistance, please contact us.

Adblock Plus

  1. Click on the red ABP icon in the upper right corner of your browser.
  2. Click “Enabled on this site” to disable ad blocking for the current site. In Firefox click “disable on HYPEBEAST”.
  3. Refresh the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.

Adblock

  1. Click the AdBlock hand icon.
  2. Click “Don’t run on pages on this domain”.
  3. A new “Don’t run AdBlock on…” dialog may be displayed in the middle of the screen.
  4. Move the “Site” slider to the right. After that, click “Exclude”.
  5. Refresh the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.

uBlock

  1. Click the uBlock icon.
  2. Click the large blue “power” button in the menu that appears to whitelist the current website.
  3. Reload the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.

Firefox Browser

Firefox Tracking Protection may activate our whitelist notice, which can be disabled temporarily for a browsing session by clicking the shield icon in the URL bar and following the instructions.

Disconnect

  1. Click the Disconnect icon.
  2. Click “Whitelist site”.
  3. Refresh the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.