Nick Cave says woke culture has a “lack of mercy, a lack of forgiveness”

Nick Cave has criticised woke culture for its “lack of mercy” and “a lack of forgiveness”.

In a new interview with The Guardian, the artist discussed the public’s misunderstanding of his politics after he called himself “temperamentally conversative” in his memoir Faith, Hope and Carnage.

Cave went on to deny he was a Tory, saying he had never voted for the party – however, he identified with the phrase at large. “Conservatism is a difficult word to talk about in Britain, because people immediately think of the Tories,” he began. “But I do think small-C conservatism is someone who has a fundamental understanding of loss, an understanding that to pull something down is easy, to build it back up again is extremely difficult.”

He also addressed accusations that he was “anti-woke”; in 2019, the singer said he was “repelled” by wokeness and its “lack of humility”. In his Guardian interview, Cave clarified that “the concept that there are problems with the world we need to address, such as social justice; I’m totally down with that.”

However, he specified that he didn’t “agree with the methods that are used in order to reach this goal – shutting down people, cancelling people.”

“There’s a lack of mercy, a lack of forgiveness,” he said. “These go against what I fundamentally believe on a spiritual level, as much as anything. So it’s a tricky one. The problem with the right taking hold of this word is that it’s made the discussion impossible to have without having to join a whole load of nutjobs who have their problem with it.”

Nick Cave
COLOGNE, GERMANY – JUNE 05: Musician and author Nick Cave gestures during lit.COLOGNE Spezial: Nick Cave & Seán O’Hagan: Faith, Hope and Carnage” at Theater am Tanzbrunnen on June 05, 2023 in Cologne, Germany. Faith, Hope and Carnage is a book about Nick Cave’s inner life. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

NME spoke to Cave in May last year, where he opened up about the complicated relationship between virtuousness and “good” art: “I don’t think that it’s an accident, or it seems to me that there is some correlation between transgressive and bad behaviour and good art. It’s no accident that the really great stuff is often made by the most problematic people.

“I don’t quite understand it, but there’s certainly no metric that says that virtuousness makes good art. If you start looking around for the good people who make good art, the conversation shuts down very quickly. All the great stuff seems to be made by people who are in some way, out of order in some way or another.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are gearing up to release their new album ‘Wild God’, which is set for August 30. Cave has called it “a complicated record, but it’s also deeply and joyously infectious.”

The band will be touring the album throughout the UK and Europe beginning in September this year. Dry CleaningThe Murder Capital and Black Country, New Road will all be supporting Cave & The Bad Seeds. Find all dates below and get remaining tickets here:

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ 2024 tour dates are:

SEPTEMBER
24 – Oberhausen, Germany – Rudolf Weber ARENA
26 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Ziggo Dome
29 – Berlin, Germany – Uber Arena

OCTOBER
2 – Oslo, Norway – Oslo Spektrum
3 – Stockholm, Sweden – Hovet
5 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Royal Arena
8 – Hamburg, Germany – Barclays Arena
10 – Lodz, Poland – Atlas Arena
11 – Krakow, Poland – TAURON Arena
13 – Budapest, Hungary – Papp László Sportaréna
15 – Zagreb, Croatia – Arena Zagreb
17 – Prague, Czechia – O2 arena
18 – Munich, Germany – Olympiahalle
20 – Milan, Italy – Milan Forum
22 – Zurich, Switzerland – Hallenstadion
24 – Barcelona, Spain – Palau Sant Jordi
25 – Madrid, Spain – WiZink Center
27 – Lisbon, Portugal – MEO Arena
30 – Antwerp, Belgium Sportpaleis

NOVEMBER
2 – Leeds, UK – first direct arena
3 – Glasgow, UK – OVO Hydro
5 – Manchester, UK – AO Arena
6 – Cardiff, UK – Utilita Arena
8 – London, UK – The O2
12 – Dublin, Ireland – 3Arena
15 – Birmingham, UK – Resorts World Arena
17 – Paris, France – Accor Arena  


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