Nick Cave: Sinner Saint – The True Confessions (Thirty Years of Essential Interviews)

Nick Cave: Sinner Saint was published months ago and i devoured it in not time at all, being a huge fan of the mans work. so this post is rather overdue. interestingly, the editor, Matt Snow, is actually the subject of one of Caves songs, Scum, which appeared on the 1986 Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds album, Your Funeral . . . My Trial. this is what Matt Snow had to say on how, 25 years ago, he came to be called, “miserable shitwringing turdfuckin’ traitor, chronic masturbator, shitlicker, user, self-abuser…” by one of todays most respected songwriters . . .

I’d got to know Nick Cave when he fronted the Birthday Party and I was just starting to write for a living. He made great music, I wrote gushing reviews. In 1983 he and his then-girlfriend Anita stayed in my flat in Brixton when they needed a room and I needed rent money. When they moved out, we lost touch, until in 1986 I came to interview him for NME. Frosty in the extreme, he explained why.

The previous year I’d mentioned in print that I found his forthcoming album “disappointing”. I was, he told me, “an arsehole”. And he’d written a song that developed this theme. Weeks later, I bought for £1 a green seven-inch flexidisc called Scum off his merchandise stall at a Bad Seeds show at Camden’s Electric Ballroom. “Miserable shitwringing turd,” he snarled to a grindcore accompaniment, “fuckin’ traitor, chronic masturbator, shitlicker, user, self-abuser,” adding, almost superfluously, “my un-friend, I’m the type that holds a grudge.”

It’s a brilliant record, and if I have any complaints it is that Nick has squirreled Scum away as a bonus CD track on his album Your Funeral, My Trial. Like Dylan’s Mr Jones or Pope’s Colley Cibber, I’d rather be memorialised as the spotlit object of a genius’ scorn than a dusty discographical footnote. Still, my Cave-fan wife-to-be was mightily impressed when, on our first date, I unrolled the story (not for the first time). Seven years later Scum is “our song”.

and so, here is Scum by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

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