YMMV: Nick Cave

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: "The Mercy Seat" from "Tender Prey", a song considered by many to be Nick Cave’s Magnum Opus, is narrated by a convicted killer, a man who shares his last ruminations on God, life in death row, and his own fate with us before being sent to the electric chair. Throughout the song, the narrator insists both that he is innocent and that he is “not afraid to die”, but drops several hints (making references to his “kill hand” and his “devil blood”, for instance) that he might not be as blameless as he claims, and his lurid obsession with the chair also seems to hint that he is truly horrified by the thought of his execution. But what truly ratchets the ambiguity of the song up to new levels is the song’s final line, which sees the chorus’s original ending—“And I’m not afraid to die”—replaced with something else: "But I’m afraid I told a lie." Which of the narrator's claims is the lie—his profession of innocence, or his insistence that he isn't scared of death? Is the narrator breaking down and confessing his guilt, or is he simply admitting that, for all his apparent bravado, he really is afraid of the chair? Is he a hard-bitten murderer grudgingly acknowledging his sins in the last moments of his life—or an innocent brought nearly to the point of madness by the thought of what is about to happen to him?
  • Awesome Music: "The Mercy Seat", a very popular work by the The Bad Seeds, and with Nick Cave himself.
  • Complete Monster: Lottie, the 14-year-old title character and narrator of "The Curse of Milhaven" from Murder Ballads is such a sadistic, prolific, and senseless killer that her actions are mistaken for some sort of curse upon her hometown. First, she murders a young boy by bashing in his head, and hides his body in a creek. She then decapitates a handyman and leaves his head in a fountain, and stabs her neighbor to death. After getting caught, she happily describes the rest of her crimes in detail: on top of the murders, she had taken down warning signs around a lake in late Winter, resulting in the deaths of 20 children, and committed arson around a slum, burning it and its inhabitants to the ground. She ends the song by explicitly stating that she feels no remorse, and makes it clear that she only committed these crimes for fun.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: "Stagger Lee", "The Curse of Millhaven" and "O'Malley's Bar" from Murder Ballads are so blatant about their respective narrator's enjoyment of murder that they cross over into Black Comedy.
  • Face of the Band: Doesn't help that they're called "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds" and that Cave is so charismatic that he steals all the attention anyway. Only music nerds tend to recognize that Rowland S. Howard, Warren Ellis, Blixa Bargeld, Mick Harvey, Conway Savage, J.G. Thirlwell and other utterly brilliant musicians have been involved with Cave's projects over the years.
    • Averted during The Birthday Party years when Cave was just the lead singer, although they never experienced anything remotely close to the fame the Bad Seeds have.
  • Ho Yay with Blixa Bargeld: their duets of Where the Wild Roses Grow from Murder Ballads and The Weeping Song. Oh, and that time they made out on stage...
    • Nick. Mick. Banana.
    • The music video of "Stagger Lee" from Murder Ballads is just as badass cool as it has homosexual undertones. We see Cave and his band members dancing and prancing around to the beat. The lyrics themselves also fall into this trope as Stagger commits adultery with a woman called Nellie Brown and boasts that if her husband, Billy Dilly, would enter: "I'll fuck Billy in his motherfucking ass!" When her man does indeed walk in on them Stagger tells him to get down on his knees and suck his dick, "because if you don't you're gonna be dead." After Billy does so, Stagger murders him anyway.
  • Ho Yay Shipping: The pairing of Cave and Blixa Bargeld has been named Nixa by fans. RPF exists.
  • Tear Jerker: Some folks find Cave's work really pulls on their heartstrings.