WTF Podcast

Episode 403 - Nick Cave

Nick Cave grew up in Australia watching the same American TV sitcoms that Marc was watching halfway across the globe. But while Marc’s influences led him to comedy, Nick’s led him to writing music, lyrics, books, film scores and screenplays. He talks with Marc about his time as frontman of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds and all the opportunities that sprung from there. This episode is sponsored by Hulu Plus, Comedy Central and Audible.


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smitty July 04, 2013 at 12:36 pm

not a test msg.. yes indeed marc,there was a very organic Tea party, once upon a time at the founding moments of our history. today’s tea party is a genetically engineered travesty.

tift July 04, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Kind of wished you had Nick Cave the performance artist instead.  Oh well.

Elliot Fryer July 04, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Hey MM!
Try saying ‘rise up lights’ out loud.

Enjoying your podcasts, Attempting Normal, and the IFC show. I miss that you’ve stopped reading emails/sent letter in your podcasts. I’ve probably listened to 100+ episodes so far, which is a shit ton of hours. Its been a pleasure, and like many people, a voice in our heads to relate and laugh with.

I think you’ve mentioned before the lack of comments on your site. Looking at the positive, in my mind, this has a better possibility of reaching you.

Enjoy the fireworks on your roof

Thank you MM.


TheKid July 04, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Marc did a good job with it. Nick even said so. This is probably the most relax and talkative I have ever heard him on an interview.

Mark July 04, 2013 at 7:18 pm

I thought that this was a missed opportunity in all honesty, Marc. The lack of research, which usually leads to interesting conversations, felt like a hindrance this time out.
You should maybe pick up some Birthday Party on your next vinyl binge.

luke July 04, 2013 at 7:18 pm

The interview I think went well, but it certainly did have a more serious and reverend tone. More so than any other interview I have heard out of WTF. But that’s Nic Cave he is a serious and wary character.

I know he has not lived in Australia for a very long time but the influence is undeniable. Crude but understated and unsure about who they are and their place in the world together with a healthy dose of self consciousness. It’s something Australians have to battle with. listen to some of the birthday party records they are a good example of the origins of his frustration, anger and search for identity. I mean he moved from St Kilda to Berlin to Clapham that’s a guy who was searching for and running from something. The rest of his character is just pure talent.

Aida July 04, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Wasn’t a bad interview. The cowboy shit was the only awkward part.

My advice is to interview people you know well/ are familiar with/ have a strong interest in.

Cruise July 04, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I agree with Aida. The lack of preparation was a hindrance this time around.  It wouldn’t have taken a minute to look up Cave on Wikipedia to see how many kids he had, for instance, or where he was based now.  Marc’s saving grace was that he knew enough about the music.  Cave could have been a lot less patient, but he was very gracious, I thought, and fairly open about his life.

A pretty good interview that could have gone great if Marc had put some prep time in.  That was fairly unforgivable as Cave doesn’t do many of these.

nickster July 04, 2013 at 9:38 pm

For me, one of the best! I’ve listened to you for months. You sound like you’re in a weird head space, Mark, unable to appreciate this interview. Let some time pass and listen to it, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Great flow, he laughed with you about absurd things, he was very intimate, present and forth-coming, what ever forth-coming means. I’m going to listen to it again soon. Thanks.

Joe Tily July 05, 2013 at 2:28 am

I really enjoyed the tone of this interview. I thought it went fine, Marc . . . Nick Cave is just a serious kinda dude, thats all.  I dont think your lack of Birthday Party knowledge was a hindrance at all . . . you connected on loads of other stuff which more than made up for it.  I was fascinated to hear about the origination for the album cover of ‘Push The Sky Away’ and the ‘Gladiator 2’ story was hilarious. Thanks Marc!

Russ McClay July 05, 2013 at 3:15 am

I was prepared for a less-than-great interview because of Marc’s intro…but I found the interview very good.  I didn’t know a single thing about Nick Cave, but I’ve seen the name over the years. Now I know a lot about Cave.  Very interesting fellow. I think this was a different experience for Marc because of the difference in cultural backgrounds.

Guest July 05, 2013 at 6:12 am

That Gladiator 2 script sounds so completely horrible, I find myself surprised that it was not green lit.

Michael P. Gowdy July 05, 2013 at 6:52 am

Maron on the founding of the U.S.:
“There were red coats and guns firing and people died. Then states were formed, then those states spread like cancer.”

Maron on modern America:
“Now our government is basically a money-laundering operation for corporations.”

I wondered why these explanations seemed so funny to me. I guess it’s because the pathetic state of modern America almost renders its founding irrelevant, so the comedic ramblings about the founding is pardonable.
Where are we now? What is a government that doesn’t actually represent people?

Peter July 05, 2013 at 7:01 am

Hey Marc,
I enjoyed this interview very much too. Some good comments above & the “cowboy” thing was a bit awkward (maybe Cave is a dark, urban, gothic cowboy?). But overall it was a great listen. Liked when you touched upon the Iggy and Leonard Cohen influences.

Great string of interviews - keep it up.

Good seeing & meeting you at the Brattle. Come back to the Wilbur soon.

Cambridge, MA

Justin July 05, 2013 at 10:58 pm

A lot of musician interviews lately (sad face) but this turns out to be good timing since I’ve been visiting the TV show about the podcast more than the podcast itself.

Usually I will, at least, know the names out there. I mean, I dated an Australian while living in England but never head of Nick Cave.
Still have zero recollection of any band called the ‘Bad Seeds’.
Google results in zero recognition.
Enjoyed nothing I learned about Nick Cave and have zero interest in the music.

And that’s fine. But maybe Nick Cave could have bothered to learn Marc Maron is a legendary comedian, has the #1 podcast in the world (literally pioneered in what is the hottest new rising media) and a hit TV show?
I don’t imagine Nick Cave is interviewed that often. So maybe he could have asked one of his 300 American friends (while he’s spending much of his time in the USA) who Marc Maron was.

Okay, anyways, appreciated the WTF episode with whoever this was.

Aedouard July 06, 2013 at 3:57 pm


You know, a lot more people are aware of the existence of Nick Cave than are aware of the existence of Marc Maron, as much as I love the guy. That lack of research went both ways too.

And really, if you’re not able to find anything about The bad seeds on Google, you clearly don’t know how to use Google. You don’t have to be a d**k.

Justin July 06, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Yes, I found references to the ‘Bad Seeds’ on google. Don’t recognize anything. Not a sound, lyric or face or album cover.

And no, I don’t believe a lot more people recognize Nick Cave than Maron although Maron is the hot celebrity at the moment.
But I will agree that Nick Cave is guilty of a lack of research. Well.. lets hope it was a lack of research and not Nick Cave pretending he doesn’t know anything about America .
    Because that would make Nick Cave the worst kind of pretentious d**k on the planet.

So lets agree it was just a lack of research.

Andrew S July 06, 2013 at 6:20 pm

He’s not a fuckin cowboy, Mate.

Jon July 06, 2013 at 6:38 pm

@Justin, “And no, I don’t believe a lot more people recognize Nick Cave than Maron”  Are you fucking serious? Man, your comments keep getting more ridiculous each week.

Garod July 06, 2013 at 10:13 pm

As to who is more famous, technically Cave is since he tours around the world.  The truth is, 99% of our country wouldn’t recognize either of them.

I thought Marc did a great job.  Nick never opens up about anything so feel good about what you got.

doug July 07, 2013 at 8:11 am

I think you just got a bit nervous on this one.  You were giggling a lot, but perhaps that helped put Nick at ease a bit.  I’ve never heard him be more relaxed and forthright.

Hard to interview someone that’s shrouded in mystery, like Nick.

swac July 08, 2013 at 8:33 am

Just saw Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds for the third time last week, this time in Iceland, and it was an incredible show, even though he fell off the stage during the first song, it just made him more pissed off and angry in a way that he could channel it into his performance. Knowing Cave’s reticence about interviews in general, I’m looking forward to this and taking the comments with a grain of salt. Been listening to Nick since the Birthday Party, and I’ve been listening to WTF for 3/4 of its history, so clearly it is possible to be a fan of both.

Craig Courtney July 08, 2013 at 10:45 am

I thought the interview was fine, maybe not the best.

keep this in mind. I recently saw a clip on Youtube of MTV’s coverage of 1994’s Lollapalooza, whereby Billy Corgan interviewed Nick Cave. Billy asked him something along the lines of “you’re from England; why do English bands have such a hard time breaking into America?”

so…it wasn’t that bad.

Tommy July 14, 2013 at 12:44 am

This wasn’t nearly as awkward sounding, to me, as you were saying it would be in the intro. I’m glad the Johnny Cash stuff came up and I’m listening to Leonard Cohen’s “Song of Love and Hate” with a new ear. Only wish is that a bit more was spent on “The Death of Bunny Munro.” The audiobook for that was a masterpiece, pure and simple.

mat July 15, 2013 at 6:47 am

I’m not a big nick cave fan, but i am from melbourne, actually rural victoria like nick cave.
To my ear, the way nick cave is speaking perfectly natural, open, friendly and funny. I really like marc’s podcast, but it seems a little as if marc is having a hard time getting in a groove with Nick Cave, It often seems of if nick is slowly getting to point, and marc seems to be thinking that conversation is running out of steam and interjects.

karen July 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm

That’s amazing and wonderfully sad that people haven’t heard of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds,.  I am quite sure that most people have heard “Red Right Hand”. 

Nick Cave is the most powerful performer that I have ever seen…second to Warren Ellis.  Combine those too into one band and “boom!”  aMAZING

Justin Kuvich August 09, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I agree with at least one person on here: I wasn’t expecting the interview to be as good as it was because of how Marc talked about it. I enjoyed it. I’d like to check out Nick Cave’s stuff; I only know about four songs.

I wish Nick and Ian McCulloch would become friends.

leisha August 11, 2013 at 4:51 pm

hahaha he is sooooo vauge!  His answers SEEM like there MIGHT be a story behind every YES or NO question but he really is vauge!  How funny he gets upset when you compliment him w/saying is like a cowboy. hahahahah….WELL done Marc, ya did great with opening him up a lil bit smile

RALLEN August 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Really great interview, just found your show! Keep on rockin’!

Harold C Hanger October 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Echo and the Bunnymen were one of the better bands around at the time, so thats a funny one to diss but Birthday Party were full on everybody should check them out, I’m a bit old for it now though.
I also thought Marc’s anxiety about this was misplaced - he sounded too in a hurry and worried about the pace, comedians speak and think a lot faster, maybe it’s that.