Australian punk Rock icon and doom rocker Nick Cave said the only rebellious way to “f***” with people in 2023 is “go to church and be a conservative.”
The iconic singer, best known for his band “Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds,” opened up about his journey back to faith and how following Jesus has become an act of rebellion.
Speaking with UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers, Cave said he wasn’t anti-establishment early in his career but instead at “odds” with his peers and audience.
“I came from Australia … I didn’t have that political furry, but I was much more concerned with f***ing with people on a different kind of a level,” Cave said. “And I was always sort of at odds with my peers, I would say.”
“So, what’s the equivalent today,” Sayers asked Cave. “How do you f*** with people, today?”
“You be a conservative, you go to church and be a conservative,” the punk rock singer quiped.
“There may now be a conservative edge to things, but that word I would use cautiously,” Cave said about his more recent creativity.
“Certainly these days I still get similar delight, which I got in the early days, in sort of f***ing with people to some degree. There is something about living outside the expectations of other people that is energizing.”
Cave also discussed woke culture and censorship, saying he feels “a kind of wet blanket has been thrown over art in general, and this is just not good.”
“What is the wet blanket?” the 65-year-old continued.
“Well, a squeamish, censorious, merciless idea that there are certain things that you can get away with saying and certain things that you can’t get away with saying.”
“But I get tired of hearing people say: ‘Well, you can’t say this; I think this, but you can’t say this,'” Cave explained.
“That’s reflective of a mood, but I don’t think it’s true. I don’t think there are things that you can’t say. You just need to take the consequences of saying certain sorts of things.”
“Now these consequences are brutal, and merciless, and unjust sometimes, and it’s distressing to see these things happen,” he added.
Cave’s return to God came after his 15-year-old son, Arthur, died after falling off a cliff near the family’s home.
Unsurprisingly, the tragedy changed the singer’s life.
“Now I see the world in a completely different way, and see human beings in a completely different way,” Cave told UnHerd.
“I see the brokenness of human beings, but also the unbelievable value of human beings. This is something that, back then, I could never have imagined I would have felt. I think it has something to do with becoming a more complete person, through a series of things that have happened to me through my life — things that have happened to us all, probably.”