Nick Cave & Co. open the debate on love, sex, sexism

Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:57pm EDT
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By Sarah Jaffe

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Australian post-punk hero Nick Cave has skipped from project to project during his 37-year career, but he's always maintained his pasty-faced, black-clad persona. An especially dark and sexual vibe runs through the latest album by his band Grinderman.

Cave and drummer Jim Sclavunos spoke to Billboard about "Grinderman 2," due September 14 on Mute.

Billboard: Does the release of the new album help establish Grinderman as more than a side project?

Jim Sclavunos: It never was a throwaway (or) a side project --it's been more of an offshoot than a side project.

Nick Cave: We made two albums, (which is) more than some fully fledged bands.

Sclavunos: It was pretty natural because we had been doing this Nick Cave solo thing, which was basically Nick and Warren (Ellis) going out and doing smaller arrangements of Bad Seeds songs, and from that it started taking on its own momentum. Marty (Casey) and I joined and gave the whole operation a bit of balls.

It got to a point where it started upsetting audiences in Germany. They had come for an intimate evening with Nick Cave and they got their heads ripped off.

These other elements started getting introduced into those songs that hadn't been there before, and there was kind of an aggressive edge to the whole thing. There were certain ideas that were floating around, especially with Warren, that weren't finding a place in the Bad Seeds, so it made sense to have an outlet for that. And Grinderman was eventually what that outlet became.   Continued...

<p>Australian singer Nick Cave performs during his "Solo show" in Malaga, southern Spain, April 22, 2007. REUTERS/ Jon Nazca</p>