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Read Nick Cave’s description of his own fans

Nick Cave has described how he perceives his fans. Cave was responding to queries on his fan website The Red Hand Files where the musician regularly fields questions from the general public.

One question came from Florencia from Stavanger, Norway, who asked: “How would you describe a stereotypical Nick Cave fan? We all have a perception of you, how do you perceive us?” The other was from a user named Me, from Xx who asked “I am kinda involved with my third Nick Cave fan. They are all just, er, impossible to resist. Also, my friends who are from the same universe say, ‘Nick Cave fans are just too kind and special’. What do you think about your fans?”

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“I feel a tremendous need emanating from the audience,” Nick Cave said. “I recognise this need because it exists within myself. I think we all see the opportunity for rapture and recognise its importance.”

Nick Cave’s response to his fans was nothing short of poetry, as he went on to describe the intimacy he feels in his relationship with them.

I say this because the performative act, for me, is a process of peeling away ones ego and self-importance, of letting go and laying oneself open to the audience, in a mutual acknowledgement of each others humanity. In doing so, a simple but profound connection is made.

“This connection is the responsibility of both the audience and the performer – we take each others hands and move beyond ourselves to a higher place of spiritual reciprocity in order to restore each other. If we can do this together, we have achieved something sublime.

“Perhaps there are some performers who see the performative process as a one-way street,”

Personally, I do not see it in this way, at all,” he said as he described the relationship he’s forged with his audience compared to that of other live performers.

“As the writer, Greil Marcus says, the performer needs ‘an aggressive, critical audience, with a conscious sense of itself as an audience,  one whose complexity and diverse needs can push an artist beyond comfortable limits.’ This is how I experience it. I feel, on stage, that the audience is making me, just as I am making them, in an act of shared, primordial creation.”

Then, personalised the message to Florencia.

“As a consequence of this, Florencia, our fans have grown to be uniquely devotional, that is to say, devotional to the transcendent experience itself, just as the Bad Seeds and I are more devotional to the audience and their needs. We are all just completely needed and in need.”

He personalised an answer for Me too.

“And, You, from Xx, whoever you are and wherever you may be, be careful with that third Nick Cave fan you’re kinda involved with. Be nice. Treasure her or him. They are indeed kind and special people, full of a formidable beauty and may just end up being the very best part of you.

“Love to you all, Nick.” 

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May 4, 2019