Photo: Gosha Rubchinskiy

Nick Cave Shares Songwriting Advice & Gives Away Lyrics Via Online Forum

Nick Cave has recently been answering questions from fans through online forum The Red Hand Files, addressing topics such as his favourite poets, writing a beautifully honest, open letter about grieving the death of his son, and giving his thoughts on the “current state of modern rock music”.

Now, he’s answered a query regarding the songwriting process, and shared some lyrics with a fan.

“I’m a songwriter. I’m seriously blocked”, wrote David from Baltimore, asking if Cave had any “spare lyrics” he could have.

Cave obliged, sharing with David (and the rest of the internet) lyrics that he described as “a little on the dark side”, drawing influence from American poet Frederick Seidel. “The moon holds itself in the dark with its glow / The monster moves through the garden / And waits beneath the window /  I take the monster for a walk and plough on into town” reads part of the lyrics, entitled ‘Incinerator Man’.

Cave had some sage advice regarding the fan’s creative block too.

“My advice to you is to change your basic relationship to songwriting. You are not the ‘Great Creator’ of your songs, you are simply their servant, and the songs will come to you when you have adequately prepared yourself to receive them. They are not inside you, unable to get out; rather, they are outside of you, unable to get in.

“Songs, in my experience, are attracted to an open, playful and motivated mind. Throw my song away – it isn’t that good anyway – sit down, prepare yourself and write your own damn song. You are a songwriter. You have the entire world to save and very little time to do it. The song will find its way to you. If you don’t write it, someone else will. Is that what you want? If not, get to it.”

This August, Nick Cave and collaborator Warren Ellis are joining forces once again for some very special Melbourne performances of their various film scores, accompanied by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Read the full post here.

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