Nick Cave discusses the value of comedy in music

Australia’s beloved Prince of Darkness has recently come out again on his well-loved personal blog, The Red Right Hand Files, in response to multiple questions regarding his sometimes comedic tone.

“Humour is the Trojan horse that crosses the moat and infiltrates the castle, bringing with it the unsayable,” said the Prince of Darkness, of the role that humour plays in construing more confronting truths about reality.

For Cave, “There is nothing on this earth that is so serious that it cannot be elevated by humour.” He also cites some of his favourite humourists, going on to say that “Anarchic and troublesome, comedians are the canaries in the coal mine of ideas, often saying things that cannot safely be said elsewhere and taking significant personal risk to speak truth, not just to power, but to stupidity too, to outrage and self-righteousness”. 

In regards to his own songwriting process, Cave notes that “Humour is a device that allows us to push against the constraints of decorum and say the uncomfortable things that challenge our presumptions; it allows us room to breathe”.

In direct response to a fan question asking who was the funniest in the band, Cave gives deserved props to the late Conway Savage, the band’s keyboardist whose “Depression-era, Dust Bowl wit, [was] so dry and parched you couldn’t help but feel his perfectly timed, apocalyptic one-liners were the true cause of the world’s environmental chaos”.

Read the full response on The Red Right Hand Files website.