Nick Cave Responds To Fan Who Misses His Anger


In a recent newsletter from his Red Hand Files, Nick Cave responded to online criticism from a fan.

The Red Hand Files allows Cave to interact with fans, who can ask him questions on the site.

On the site, the singer also shares stories behind his music, advice and more.

“Hallmark card hippie”

The singer was responding to online flack which was levelled at him from a fan called Ermine, who criticised the singer over losing his anger.

“When did you become a Hallmark card hippie? Joy, love, peace. Puke! Where’s the rage, anger, hatred?”, the fan asked Cave.

“Reading these lately is like listening to an old preacher drone on and on at Sunday mass”, he added.

In response to this online polemic, Cave pointed to the tragic death of his son Arthur as a key reason for his change in his approach.

“Things changed after my first son died,” Cave wrote. “I changed. For better or for worse, the rage you speak of lost its allure and, yes, perhaps I became a Hallmark card hippie. Hatred stopped being interesting. Those feelings were like old dead skins that I shed. They were their own kind of puke”.

He continued, “Sitting around in my own mess, pissed off at the world, disdainful of the people in it, and thinking my contempt for things somehow amounted to something, had some kind of nobility, hating this thing here, and that thing there, and that other thing over there, and making sure that everybody around me knew it, not just knew, but felt it too, contemptuous of beauty, contemptuous of joy, contemptuous of happiness in others, well, this whole attitude just felt, I don’t know, in the end, sort of dumb”. 

“extend a hand”

Nick Cave’s son Arthur died after falling from a cliff in Brighton. A tragedy which Cave described in his newsletter as “actual devastation”.

Cave said that he “felt a sudden, urgent need to, at the very least, extend a hand in some way to assist it – this terrible, beautiful world – instead of merely vilifying it, and sitting in judgement of it”.

In conclusion, Nick Cave still conceded that Ermine could still be right in his assessment of his energy shift.

“But, well, here we are, you and me, sending smoke signals to each other across a yawning ideological divide,” he conluded. “Hello Ermine, I drone, hello”.

Seven years after Arthur’s death, Nick Cave had the misfortune to experience the cruel tragedy all over again, when his other son Jethro died aged 31 last May.