Index for Nick Cave’s The Red Hand Files

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Hand Sketches by Dusty

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169   How do you keep managing to do The Red Hand Files on tour? I saw you at the Royal Albert Hall on the second night. The concert of my life. So intense. 

168   ‘Lavender Fields’, how did you compose such a beautifully deep, sad and uplifting song with this simple metaphor? What is ‘Lavender Fields’ about?

167   Quote recently from Susie. “To be honest, I find the word muse to be a little demeaning.”  What do you think about that?

166   Happy Red Hand File Anniversary! Three Years! why did you start The Red Hand Files?

165   The Flaming Lips made with a 13-year old fan of theirs on vocals. What do you think of the idea?

164   Do you work out before you go on tour? The news of Charlie Watt’s death is terribly sad. I was wondering if you felt any kinship to him.

163   What is your favourite bar and can we have a drink there?

162   Are you going to take the Covid vaccine? Can you tell us anything about the late, great Hal Willner? I know you have worked with him.

161   Do you and Susie ever just go on a holiday?

160   Nick. Am Scottish. Am no very well with the alcohol. Rehab soon. Please. Nick. Am so scared. I’m not well. Stagger Me!

159   Do you feel that you share more than your first name with Drake? I’ve always felt some sort of relation between you and Nick Drake.

158  Not a question but just thank you for actually loving my favourite female poet, Stevie Smith. ‘Oblivion’ has always been my story.

157  As a quite handsome man, how did you pull Mrs Cave? What is your favourite dinosaur? Can you recommend a female poet I should read?

156  Do you think it is more important to find inspiration or to get to work and write? What’s it like to write a song?

155  I heard your song, Carnage. Such a beautiful sad song. What is Carnage about?

154  I read you said “They should stop reading Bukowski.” We call upon the author to explain.

153  I’m struggling a bit with the fact I’m turning 40 in a week. What is your perspective on getting old?

152  Can you post a picture of Susie’s psychotic little dog, Nosferatu?

151  I’m writing to you on behalf of my Aunt Marnie as she can’t. She’s consumed by grief. She lost her only child, Tristan, to a stroke, aged 49. How can we start to bring our Aunt Marnie back?


150  How to find yourself again when you feel like you have strayed so far from who you used to be?

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Pompeii Red Hander Caught in the Act

149  Should we separate the artist from the art? What is your definition of hope?

148  Thank you for sending her to me! Thus far I don’t speak dragon – it seems like her needs, even her entire being, are directly on the surface!

147  What is the utility of suffering? Carrying suffering around, like some mind-numbing, soul crushing weight?

146  What can you tell us about Anita?

145  Have you been tempted to let your crowning glory grow silver? 

144  Is it you, that stepped into the vortex just 10 minutes ago?  Happy Birthday BAD SEED TEE VEE and thank you so much.

143 Do you ever suffer from self-doubt? A girl was falling in love with me, and while she courted me, she shared a part of herself which was you.

142 I am reading Camille Paglia’s ‘Break, Burn, Blow.’ Which poems are your favourites. Got any Warren stories?

141 You mentioned in Issue #140 that you have been writing poems. Can you send us one? Also: I am twenty-five and feel ancient. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you. What is it like?

140 Any plans for Carnage?  I saw Warren say the songs came together over two and a half days. How does that feel. To be working at that level of intensity with someone.

139 My dad passed away a couple of weeks ago and we gave him an Elvis themed funeral. My dad passed away a couple of weeks ago and we gave him an Elvis themed funeral.  What songs would you like played at your own funeral? What songs would you like played at your own funeral?

138 I read the Mark Mordue biography ‘Boy On Fire’ recently. I’m always interested in people’s stories and often ponder how and why some people’s voices get to be heard whereas others don’t. Do you reflect on this at all? How important is talent?

137 In lockdown, how did you find the impetus to start something as monumental as Carnage? Who is Thomas H? The song White Elephant is dedicated to?

136 I have been reading Tolstoy’s ‘The Gospel in Brief’ and wondered if you had read this short book. What does Christ mean to you? 

135 Dear Katrine and assorted Culties.

134 I am off the acid, not for any particular reason. So I hid them in a jar of Vegemite.

133 We need more info about CARNAGE!

132 I want to thank you for releasing Live at Alexandria Palace and especially for playing those Boatman’s Call songs. What were you disgusted by back then? 

131 This world is shit. What is your process?

130 How do you know when you have written something worthwhile? Is shitty art worth making?

129 How is your lockdown?

128 What the fuuuuuuuuuck????? Cancelled tour noooooo.

127 What is your view on the BBC decision on censorship of certain words in Fairytale of New York this Christmas?

126 Hey first I wanna say really like your music i have lost my beautiful wife in cancer and my dear brother in covid 19. My question to you is how keep you going on after lost your son its hard sometimes to keep going on with life.

125 Do you like haiku poetry? What are your thoughts about John Cooper Clarke?

124 So who are The Hyatt Girls?

123 How do I know I’m on the right path?

122 In this time of illness, cynicism and cruelty, do you receive many mean or vile messages? How do you cope with that kind of negative energy?

121 In an interview from 1997 in Los Angeles, you introduced us to your “pet theory”: your creativity could only flourish in a state of loss and longing, and that it needed catastrophes in your life. Do you still believe that?

120 What do you think about NA? As a recovering heroin addict, I am having difficulty getting into the Narcotics Anonymous scene. Do you have any more advice for a recovering heroin user?

119 I was thinking how much I wish I could write this story to you in Greek, my native language. In June one of my best friends suddenly died aged 46.

118 I’m thinking about having a child but everything looks so grim right now. It looks like your website is censoring people who ask about Israel.

117 Do you enjoy magic? Card tricks, stage illusions, that kind of thing.

116 Nina Simone once said: Freedom means having no fear. Sometimes on stage, she added, she would reach that kind of state. How do you free yourself from fear?

115 September 2020.

114 If, for decades, an anchor served a ship, which one day decided to cut its chains and sail away, can the drowning anchor grow wings? And if so, will the anchor always be burdened by the weight of having been used? 

113 On The Lyre of Orpheus, the track Breathless moves me beyond words. In the intro every time I hear it I’m taken to a 14th or 16th century style ensemble.  Is that the intention or can you explain where that comes from?

112 I spent the day watching Bad Seed TeeVee and the fan cover versions of your songs are amazing. How will you choose a winner?

111 I think you’ll be touched by this story, and the part you play in it. Please take a look. 

110 Is it true that Kanye’s new album is delayed because you both took the last minute decision to include a track you have been working on together?

109 What is mercy for you? What do you think of cancel culture?

108 What do you do when the lyrics just aren’t coming?

107 Part 3. Why don’t you just buy your own fucking piano, you cheap c**t.

107 Part 2. No more mails to Fazioli please.

107 The piano you played for Idiot Prayer was magnificent. Was it a personal instrument?

106 I lost someone in the last year. I thought it was fine. It was a gentle passing. Now shapes and echoes resound. I feel a presence that comes and goes. How to understand the experience of loss. It’s not something I could negotiate with.

105 Do you ever collaborate with Susie?

104 Is there a protest song out there that you greatly admire for the way it was written or arranged?

103 If you feel that he is beside you… and within you, why would you need to look for him? What is love for you?

102 Do you ever look back at your anthology and wish you had been more overtly politically outspoken in your art? I love your music and its ability to relate common suffering, as you have discussed in the past.

101 Would you consider compiling a list of 40 books you love?

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A Seat at the Table

100 If you would have a gold ring made that your son would inherit one day, what would you have engraved inside the ring? I am currently having a ring made that I want my son to have after my day.

099 I feel that our identity is a patchwrk of desires, choices, affiliation, eccentricity. What do you personally look for in an artist?

098 Sometimes in the morning in order to rouse my spirits, I plug into my amp and play very distorted guitar and drown my world in sound. However, the cat that sleeps in my room is very put out by this.

097 I recently stumbled across your interview in GQ “THE LOVE AND TERROR OF NICK CAVE” and was impressed by your brutal honesty. Are you that honest with yourself?

096 Last evening I spent some time watching the mesmerizing Bad Seed TeeVee and I learned that the Night raid line “I slid my little songs out from under you” was actually written years before. Could you write something more about its origin and how it found its way into this particular song?

095 After the sudden and tragic death of our beautiful son, brother recommended not to listen to ‘Ghosteen’.Found it comforting and consoling but am still struggling. I am 16 weeks and three days in at losing my child, how did Susie and yourself find peace with your agonising grief?

094 I recently read that the band Rising Signs believed ‘Palaces of Montezuma’ plagiarized their 2005 song, ‘Grey Man.’ I think one of many reasons I love ‘Palaces’ is that it reminds me, if anything, of the intro to ‘Theme From Mad Flies, Mad Flies’ by The Laughing Clowns from 1982.

093 What inspired the lyrics for Palaces of Montezuma?

092 A Prayer to who? Mystery that exists at the edge, Tears and Revelation.

091 I’ve been listening to Bob Dylan’s new song for most of the day. I can’t shake it. I think it might be a masterpiece. Do you like it?

090 What are your plans for the corona pandemic? What do you intend to do to fill the time?

089 What do we do now? Our new world ‘a ghost ship.’

088 Please give us a hint on the tour in regards of the Corona virus. What is the latest you know?

087 What is your favourite moment from the Bible?

086 Do you ever feel the need to change lyrics which may be problematic in 2020? For example “a fag in a whalebone corset dragging his dick across my cheek”?

085 Who is the ‘Girl in Amber’? What is the story behind this song?

084 Do you often think of the circumstances of your death? Tell us a joke.

083 Have you ever considered playing in far away countries in Middle East or somewhere? You have a fanbase here in Iran.

082 I just met a guy who has completely the opposite political beliefs to me but I really like him. Are we doomed? The Sensational Alex Harvey Band are the uncrowned kings of 70’s rock. Do you agree?

081 Do you need to be hurt or mentally ill to be a great artist? What makes a great song?

080 I’m currently emulating your rock n’ roll persona in a Nick Cave tribute band. I dress up like you and in a shamanistic way recreate your live performances…

078 Please tell us everything you can about the song ‘Hollywood’. Do you think that your songs tell the future?

077 What is your feeling about Christmas? We are photons released from a dying star.

076 Would you say humour is an important aspect of your writing? Who has inspired your humour? Who in your band is the funniest?

075 what is Ku Klux furniture? Have you ever reached the same highs when sober as when you were on some sort of lovely substance?

074 My mom was murdered with an AR-15 by a white supremacist in our synagogue, killed because this 19-year-old felt Jews were ‘destroying’ the white race. It has been almost 8 months.

073 Many people have remarked that Ghosteen is a sad album, but I don’t think it is at all. We both felt moved by its brightness and gentle optimism.

072 Is the screeching at the end of ‘Stagger Lee’ due to fact that when Stag filled Billy Dilly full of lead, he blew his own dick off in the process?

071 Don’t you get sick and tired of people asking dumb ass questions? I have come to believe that the right question is what we are really searching for.

070 Can you please pay for the Transcendental Meditation course for me? It’s really fucking expensive.

069 How do I stop fearing the end of the world? Do you practice meditation?

068 What is shyness? What was your first date with your wife like?

067 How much time do you spend answering these questions?

066 Why do you write?

065 I cannot see anything positive in my body. Feel like everyone is better than me, even though I did very important things for being just 16 years old. How should I behave?

064 Do you have any regrets as you get older? I even feel guilty for having regrets.

063 When can we expect a new album-2?

062 When can we expect a new album?

061 How long will I be alone?

060 Will you write us a poem about how much you love Susie?

059 My girlfriend refuses to read any of my writing. Because she always sees some hint of infidelity, resentment, or perhaps madness in it.

058 How do you forgive somebody whom you love very much but has done something truly terrible?

057 Why did you give up on your relationship with PJ Harvey in the 90s? I had a real hard time with your music until The Boatman’s Call.

056 What is the song ‘Rings of Saturn’ about? Is this song about evolving?

055 Do you believe in signs? My husband died some years ago but I feel him all around.

054 I recently received a pair of ‘Bad Seed’ tube socks as a birthday present. What are your thoughts on the merchandising of art?

053 Who are your favourite guitarists? When was the last time you felt a sense of pride (in yourself)?

052 Do you get any nasty or annoying comments and questions via The Red Hand Files?

051 Geppetto (Pinocchio’s father) is swallowed by a giant whale while searching for Pinocchio. What happens if the son dies? Do we lose the ability to be saved and evolve?


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Pattern in Repeat

050 Do you pray with you’r family and maybe friends?

049 I’m a young writer. Your music has inspired me deeply in terms of not being afraid of throwing my feelings into my texts.

048 What are your views on Morrissey. Both early days and his newer more ugly persona?

047 You are only musical artist comes readily to mind whose work has improved, by an order of magnitude, after having given up drugs and alcohol. Thoughts?

046 How do you forgive yourself for horrible things did to someone in throes of addiction? In Issue #43 you gave David a song lyric. Can I have one too?

045 My partner died in 2014: traffic. ‘Into My Arms’ became our song. At that moment I was actually pregnant by him. I lost his child. He was a huge fan of your music and I think I became a fan of your music because of him.

044 Androgyny and sort of cross-genderedness of your performance style. (My girlfriend agrees you often bring an amazing drag-queen energy.)

043 Do u have any spare lyrics I can have? I’m seriously blocked.

042 Sexual desire affect general desire for creation. If there is a whole lot of sex in your religion or a whole lot of religion in your sex.

041 In your mind, does God have a voice. And if so, is it a familiar one? There is a twistedness to my idea of God that makes me think of Tom Waits.

040 How can I reclaim songs of yours. Which have, until recently associated intensely with a really terrible relationship?

039 How do you deal with loneliness? What made you become a vegetarian?

038 Future fills with fear and hope. Is there anything that you think of as essentially beautiful, and that is sustained and forceful enough to save us.

037  How do you feel about God? Really. Do you smoke?

036 Stereotypical Nick Cave fan? What do you think about your fans?

035 Thoughts on state of modern rock music.

034 What does Elvis mean to you?

033 Did you ever want to give up and quit. Because of your inner voice?

032 What is Love. Why do love songs so frequently move us? List of your top 10 love songs?

031 Cover for Push the Sky Away. What was the thought process behind choosing the cover of Push the Sky Away?

030 How is Susie doing? I have just finished watching One More Time With Feeling.

029 What is your earliest memory. And has it in any way framed or spoken to any past or ongoing thematic concerns?

028 How do you deal with evil? The casual, everyday evil, like throwing tobacco in the eyes of a beautiful animal in a zoo?

027 Have your own songs ever made you cry. Whilst performing them on stage?

026 I am 10. How will having your music in my life so early on affect me?

025  Most loved poets? Mentioned that you look to some poets for inspiration in your songwriting. Which ones?

024 Thoughts on Dismissal of Legacy. I am bothered that you dismissed the idea of leaving a legacy – I’d like to challenge you on this.

023 Hard to Find Happiness. Three and a half years ago I lost my wife and I was left to take care of my (then 2 year old) daughter.

022 Considering Human Imagination. Considering human imagination the last piece of wilderness, do you think AI will ever be able to write a good song?

021 Spitting on Nocturama. Kindly note that you’re all in my burn-book now for spitting on Nocturama, which I love with a capital L.

020 Why Nocturama is so hated. Can you explain why Nocturama is so hated amongst your fans?

019 Why do you want to talk to your fans. Why do you want to talk to your fans and what do you hope to achieve by doing this?

018 Facing the mob in Wangaratta. How did it work out for you – facing the mob in Wangaratta when you did your “In Conversation” event.

017 Send Your Own Damn Emails. Hang on a minute. 72 hours to the end of the world, and you contact Rachel to send out an email?

016 10 Most Favorite Pieces Music. What would be a list of 10 of your most favorite pieces of music, by artists other than yourself? And number 11 must be a Gun Club song.

015 72 Hours Band Members.You say you would freak the fuck out when you heard that you have only 72 hours to live.

014 Mother Most Helpful Advice. May I ask what was the most helpful advice she gave you? What of her words do you hold dear?

013 Thoughts Brian Eno’s Stance on Israel. What are your thoughts on Brian Eno’s stance on Israel?

012 Freak Out the Whole 72 Hours. You said you’d “freak the fuck out” if the world were about to end in 72 hours. Would that be for the whole 72 hours?

011 Explain Your Faith. As an atheist I find other people’s belief in a god both incomprehensible and fascinating. Is there any way you can explain your faith?

010 Subconscious Dreams Imagery. In your ‘notebook full of words’ do you record pieces of your subconscious? And how much influence the imagery of your writing.

009 Creativity Disappears Coax It Back. Are there times your creativity disappears and if so how do you coax it back / jump start it?

008 World End 72 Hours. If somebody told you that the world was going to end in the next, let’s say, 72 hours, what would you do in those 72 hours?

007 Communication Dream Feeling. I have experienced the death of my father, my sister, and my first love in the past few years and feel that I have some communication with them.

006 I have experienced the death of my father, my sister, and my first love in the past few years and feel that I have some communication with them, mostly through dreams. Are you and Susie feeling that your son Arthur is with you and communicating in some way?

005 Grinderman Guitar Music World. Any plans to rock out again a la Grinderman.

004 A Bit About Warren. Do you hang out with Warren a lot, or just whilst recording? I’m hoping you say you do, as there are friendship goals.

003 Write Resonate. I feel the process is like trying to describe something which I can only see imperfectly, or out of the corner of my eye.

002 Animal Nature. It seems that in your last few albums you have been writing songs about animals and nature. Do you have any animals at home?

001 Writing Challenge after Skeleton Tree. I would love to know how you feel about your writing now. Did it get easier after what seemed to be quite a challenge around “Skeleton Tree”?

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