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Nick Cave Biography

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Birth Name: Nicholas Edward Cave
Born: 1957/09/22
Birth Place: Warracknabeal, Victoria, Australia
Years Active: 1973–present
Genres: Post-punk, Alternative Rock, Garage Rock

Nicholas Edward “Nick” Cave (born September 22, 1957) is an Australian musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter and occasional film actor. He is best known for his work as a frontman of the critically acclaimed rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, established in 1984, a group known for its eclectic influences and musical styles. Before that, he had fronted the group The Birthday Party in the early 1980s, a band renowned for its highly dark, challenging lyrics and violent sound influenced by free jazz, blues, and post-punk. In 2006, he formed the garage rock band Grinderman that released its debut the following year. Cave's music is generally characterized by emotional intensity, a wide variety of influences, and lyrical obsessions with religion, death, love, America, and violence.

In 1973, Cave met Mick Harvey (guitar), Phill Calvert (drums), John Cochivera (guitar), Brett Purcell (bass), and Chris Coyne (saxophone) all fellow students at Caulfield Grammar. They founded a band with Cave as singer. Their repertoire consisted of proto-punk cover versions of songs by Lou Reed, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Roxy Music and Alex Harvey, among others. Later, the line-up slimmed down to four members including Cave's friend Tracy Pew on bass. In 1977, after leaving school, they adopted the name The Boys Next Door and began playing predominantly original material. Guitarist and songwriter Rowland S. Howard joined the band in 1978, expanding to five members.

From 1977 until their dissolution in 1983 (by which time they were known as The Birthday Party) the band explored various styles. They were a part of Melbourne's post-punk music scene in the late 1970s, playing hundreds of live shows in Australia before changing their name to the Birthday Party in 1980 and moving to London, then West Berlin. The band were notorious for their provocative live performances which featured Cave shrieking, bellowing and throwing himself about the stage, backed up by harsh pounding rock music laced with guitar feedback. After establishing a cult following in Europe and Australia, The Birthday Party disbanded in 1984. Howard and Cave found it difficult to continue working together and both were rather worn down from alcohol and drug use.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds was originally formed in late 1983 with Cave as their leader and frontman went on to release 14 studio albums. Their most recent album, “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!” was released in April 2008. Though their sound tends to change considerably from one album to another, the one constant of the band is an unpolished blending of disparate genres, and song structures which provide a vehicle for Cave's virtuosic, frequently histrionic theatrics.

In addition to his performances with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Cave has, since the 1990s, performed live solo tours with himself on piano/vocals, Warren Ellis on violin/accordion and various others on bass and drums. An self-titled album of new material by Cave's solo quartet, now named Grinderman, was released in March 2007. The band's name was inspired by a Memphis Slim song, “Grinder Man Blues,” which Cave is noted to have started singing during one of the band's early rehearsal sessions. Upon its release, “Grinderman” received unanimous critical acclaim and charted internationally, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart in the United States. The band's second studio album, “Grinderman 2,” was released in 2010. It reached the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 Albums chart and featured the singles, “Heathen Child” and “Worm Tamer.”