Bad Seeds frontman Nick Cave said that he lost his "anger, rage, hate" following the tragic loss of his two sons, who died in 2015 and 2022.
The singer opened up about how grief altered the way he viewed the world, and how it impacted the raw emotions he would channel into his music while responding to a fan's note in his Red Hand Files newsletter.
The fan's message read: "When did you become a Hallmark card hippie? Joy, love, peace. Puke! Where's the rage, anger, hatred? Reading these lately is like listening to an old preacher drone on and on at Sunday mass."
Cave's response was candid and honest.
"I changed," he wrote. "For better or for worse, the rage you speak of lost its allure, and, yes, perhaps I became a Hallmark card hippie. Hatred stopped being interesting. Those feelings were like old dead skins that I shed. They were their own kind of puke."
He described "sitting in my own mess" feeling anger towards the world "and thinking my contempt for things somehow amounted to something," while making sure "everybody around me" was aware of that contempt. But it reached a point where feeling too "contemptuous of beauty, contemptuous of joy, contemptuous of happiness in others" began to feel "sort of dumb."
The death of his son made him experience "actual devastation."
"I started to understand the precarious and vulnerable position of the world," Cave explained. "I started to fret for it. Worry about it. I felt a sudden, urgent need to, at the very least, extend a hand in some way to assist it — this terrible, beautiful world — instead of merely vilifying it, and sitting in judgement of it."
Cave's son Arthur died in 2015 after falling from a cliff in Brighton, England, at age 15, according to the New York Post. At the time, the coroner ruled his death as accidental, saying that he had taken LSD shortly before his death. Then, in May, 2022, Cave's elder son, Jethro Lazenby, died at age 31. No cause of death has been revealed.
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