Nick Cave has been answering fan questions about all manner of subjects at his Red Hand Files website, and his most recent entry combines two questions -- "Who are your favourite guitarists?" and "When was the last time you felt a sense of pride (in yourself)?" -- into one answer. Nick admits to being a massive prog rock fan growing up and cites King Crimson's Robert Fripp and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour as his two favorites, with a hat tip to Funkadelic's Eddie Hazel, too. "Fripp and Gilmour are very different players but there is something about the tone of their instruments that touches me in a very deep place," he writes. "The same goes for Funkadelic’s Eddie Hazel (check out Maggot Brain!). These guitarists play as if they are singing, I think. Tonally and emotionally, David Gilmour’s guitar is simply a supercharged version of his voice – satiny, stirring and epic. Robert Fripp’s guitar sound is more radical, dangerous and unpredictable, but even at his most confrontational that lyrical and songlike quality is never far away."
He gets to the second question in reference to Fripp, saying that when watching the 2018 Nicholas Cage horror-thriller Mandy, his sons remarked on King Crimson's "Starless," which is used in the opening credits, and how good it was. Nick then played for them Grinderman's "Super Heathen Child," which is an extended version of Grinderman 2's "Heathen Child" featuring Fripp. "They seemed to really like it; and I was proud."
Nick also dropped a big nugget of news here, saying Grinderman 2 is "part of a yet to be completed trilogy, you might be happy to know." Let's hope we hear more about Grinderman 3 sooner than later.
Here's a little more on "Super Heathen Child" from Nick: "This version, called ‘Super Heathen Child’, is Grinderman at their very best," Nick writes. "I felt as though Grinderman was laying claim to their roots. Many music critics thought that Grinderman was a return to the sound of The Birthday Party, but I never understood that. From my own perspective within the band, Grinderman was much more influenced by the British progressive rock of my youth than anything else (except Miles Davis’ late electronic period, perhaps). ‘Super Heathen Child’ continues to have an extraordinary hold over me, and contains within it a deep emotional pull because it is attached directly to my adolescence. Listening to it, I have that strange dizzying feeling a dream has when it suddenly becomes a reality; all that deep concentrated listening I did when I was a teenager manifesting itself over forty years later in a Fripp solo that just blows the mind. Recording with Robert Fripp remains one of the seismic events of my life."
You can read the whole Red Hand Files entry here and listen to "Super Heathen Child" below.
Nick is answering fan questions in person, too, on his “Conversations With” tour dates, which head to North America in the fall.