Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds Overview

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are an Australian alternative rock band with multinational personnel, fronted by Nick Cave.



Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds was originally formed in late 1983 by two former members of the Australian band The Birthday Party The Birthday Party (band) : Nick Cave (vocals, songwriter, keyboards, harmonica) and Mick Harvey (drums, guitar, bass, keyboards, occasional songwriter). The name of the new project indicated the shift in Cave's role from lead singer, as in The Birthday Party The Birthday Party (band) , to band leader, and coincided with his shift in songwriting style from expressionism to detailed lyrical narrative.

Cave and Harvey were joined by a semi-fluid group of bandmates, initially including Einstürzende Neubauten member Blixa Bargeld (guitar), Hugo Race (guitar), and former Magazine Magazine (band) member Barry Adamson (guitar, bass, piano). After some studio work, the band's premiere public performance was held on New Year's Eve, 1983, in Melbourne, under the name "Nick Cave - Man Or Myth?", followed by a tour. The band then briefly called themselves "Nick Cave and the Cavemen" before adopting the "Bad Seeds" moniker, in reference to the final Birthday Party release, The Bad Seed Mutiny/The Bad Seed E.P. The group soon recorded their debut album, From Her to Eternity, released in 1984, which was quickly followed by Race's departure.

Cave separated from long-time girlfriend and credited Bad Seed lyricist Anita Lane in the mid-1980s and began a relationship with Elisabeth Recker. While in Berlin, he released four albums with the Bad Seeds: The Firstborn Is Dead; Kicking Against the Pricks; Your Funeral, My Trial; and Tender Prey. Kicking Against the Pricks was the first album to feature the drumming of Swiss Thomas Wydler, which was shortly followed by Adamson's departure and the arrival of American guitarist Kid Congo Powers, along with short-tenured keyboardist Roland Wolf Roland Wolf (musician) . In 1987, the Bad Seeds made an appearance in the Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire.


In 1990, the band collectively eliminated hard drugs from its diet , relocated to Brazil, and released The Good Son The Good Son (album) , Powers' final collaboration with the band. Their next record, 1992's Henry's Dream, was the first to feature current members Martyn Casey and Conway Savage. Following it came 1994's Let Love In Let Love In (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album) .

In 1996, Cave and the Bad Seeds released Murder Ballads. It includes "Henry Lee," a duet with British rock singer PJ Harvey (with whom Cave had a brief relationship), and "Where the Wild Roses Grow," a duet with Australian pop idol Kylie Minogue. The latter was a mainstream hit in the UK and in Australia, winning three ARIA Awards including "Song of the Year." Australian violinist Warren Ellis Warren Ellis (musician) began working with the band at this time, and would play an increasingly significant creative role in the band's output in coming years. American drummer Jim Sclavunos also joined the group.

Their next album, The Boatman's Call (1997), is marked by a radical shift away from archetypal and violent narratives to biographical and confessional songs about his relationships with Carneiro and Harvey. Cave then took a short break to rehabilitate from his 20 years of heroin and alcohol abuse, during which time he got married.


Following Cave's rehab, the band resurfaced with No More Shall We Part in 2001. After the release of the 2003 album Nocturama, which failed to excite reviewers, Bargeld announced he was leaving the Bad Seeds after 20 years with the group to devote more time to Einstürzende Neubauten.

The next year the band released their first double record, the acclaimed two-disc set Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, with English guitarist and organist James Johnston James Johnston (English musician) (of the group Gallon Drunk) replacing Bargeld. In 2005, Cave and the Seeds released B-Sides & Rarities, a three-disc, 56-track collection of B-sides, rarities, and tracks that had appeared on film soundtracks.

In 2006 Cave, Ellis, Sclavunos and Casey started a new group called Grinderman. The band, essentially half of the Bad Seeds and featuring Cave on guitar for the first significant time, plays garage rock-influenced music that nonetheless retains much of the Bad Seeds' aura. Since this time, the two bands have operated simultaneously.

In October 2007 Cave was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, and expressed his intention to induct the Australian members of the Bad Seeds (excluding Hugo Race), plus the members of The Birthday Party The Birthday Party (band) (excluding Phill Calvert) in his acceptance speech.

In March 2008 the Bad Seeds released their 14th studio album, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, inspired by the Biblical story of the resurrection of Lazarus of Bethany by Jesus Christ .
Cave and the band curated an edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties All Tomorrow's Parties (music festival) music festival, the first in Australia, which took place in a number of locations in January 2009. On January 22, 2009, following a string of Bad Seeds concerts in Australia, Mute Records issued a statement from Mick Harvey announcing his departure from the band after 25 years citing professional and personal reasons.
Current lineup

* Nick Cave — vocals, piano, organ, harmonica, percussion, electric guitar, string arrangements (1983—present)
* Thomas Wydler — drums, percussion, vocals (1985—present)
* Martyn P. Casey — bass, vocals (1990—present)
* Conway Savage — piano, organ, vocals (1990—present)
* Jim Sclavunos — percussion, drums, organ, melodica, vocals (1994—present)
* Warren Ellis Warren Ellis (musician) — violin, fender mandocaster, loops, mandolin, tenor guitar, viola, bouzouki, accordion, flute, lute, piano, programming, percussion, string arrangements, vocals (1997—present; as guest, 1994—1997)
* Ed Kuepper — electric guitar, vocals (2009—present)

In addition to his performances with the Bad Seeds, Cave has, since the '90s, performed live 'solo' tours with Cave on piano, Ellis on violin and a fluctuating bass/drums line-up. The current trio is Bad Seeds' Martyn P. Casey, Jim Sclavunos and Warren Ellis Warren Ellis (musician) (nicknamed the Mini-Seeds, later known as a separate band, Grinderman).>

Former members

* Barry Adamson — bass, electric guitar, drums, organ, piano, percussion, vocals (1983—1986)
* Blixa Bargeld — electric guitar, slide guitar, pedal steel guitar, keyboards, vocals (1983—2003)
* Mick Harvey — electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, drums, organ, percussion, piano, loops, string arrangements, vocals (1983—2009)
* James Johnston James Johnston (English musician) — organ, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals (2003—2008; as guest, 1994)
* Anita Lane — lyrics (1984)
* Kid Congo Powers — electric guitar, slide guitar (1986—1990)
* Hugo Race — electric guitar, vocals (1983—1984)
* Roland Wolf Roland Wolf (musician) (deceased) — piano, organ, electric guitar, vocals (1986—1989)

Guest and touring musicians

* Edward Clayton-Jones — guitar (1984)
* Christoph Dreher — bass (1985)
* Rowland S. Howard (deceased) — electric guitar, organ, vocals (1985)
* Tracy Pew (deceased) — bass (1984)
* James G. Thirlwell J. G. Thirlwell — uncredited studio session (1983)


Band leader Cave moved from Melbourne to London in 1980. Since forming The Bad Seeds in 1984 he has lived in Berlin, São Paulo, London, and Brighton (UK United Kingdom ). The various international members of the band meet to record and tour. Nationalities of the current and ex-members are:
* Australian: Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Hugo Race, Conway Savage, Warren Ellis, Martyn P. Casey and Ed Kuepper
* British United Kingdom : Barry Adamson and James Johnston
* German Germany : Blixa Bargeld and Roland Wolf
* Swiss: Thomas Wydler
* American United States : Kid Congo Powers and Jim Sclavunos#From Her to Eternity (1984) UK #40
#The Firstborn Is Dead (1985) UK #53
#Kicking Against the Pricks (1986) UK #89
#Your Funeral… My Trial (1986)
#Tender Prey (1988) UK #67
#The Good Son The Good Son (album) (1990) UK #47, Australia #93, Norway #19
#Henry's Dream (1992) UK #29, Australia #41, Germany #59
#Let Love In Let Love In (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album) (1994) UK #12, Australia #8, Germany #34, Norway #18
#Murder Ballads (1996) UK #8, Australia #3, Germany #5, Norway #1
#The Boatman's Call (1997) UK #22, Australia #5, U.S #155, Germany #19, Norway #2
#No More Shall We Part (2001) UK #15 U.S #180, Australia #4, Germany #8, Norway #1
#Nocturama (2003) UK #20 US #182, Australia #8, Germany #11, Norway #2
#Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus (2CD) (2004) UK #11 US #126, Australia #5, Germany #7, Norway #1
#Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (2008) UK #4, Sweden #3, Australia #2, US #64, Norway #2*2007 ARIA Hall of Fame: inductee (Cave); honorary inductees (Harvey, Ellis, Savage, Casey)
*2001 ARIA Awards ARIA Music Awards of 2001 : 'Best Male Artist' for No More Shall We Part (although the album is credited to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds)
*2001 Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) Australasian Performing Right Association 75th Anniversary: "The Ship Song" voted in the 'APRA Top 30 Australian songs'
*1996 ARIA Awards ARIA Music Awards : 'Song of the Year', 'Single of the Year and 'Best Pop Release' for "Where the Wild Roses Grow"


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Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds


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