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Nick Cave reassures fans: “Suffering affords us to become better human beings”


How exactly do you cover Nick Cave without descending into hero-worshipping when he continually defies the role of a rock star in the most transcendently brilliant sense? It’s a task beyond humble powers, as once again his Red Hand Files has elucidated an irrefutable piece of experiential wisdom in the finest prose that any artist can muster. 

When asked by a fan how we deal with suffering on the individual level, Nick Cave once more answered with sober sincerity and wholehearted candour.

“What do we do with suffering?” Cave earnestly pondered. “As far as I can see, we have two choices—we either transform our suffering into something else, or we hold on to it, and eventually pass it on.”

The musician who was sadly bereaved of his old Bad Seeds collaborator and one-time romantic partner Anita Lane recently then went on to say, “In order to transform our pain, we must acknowledge that all people suffer. By understanding that suffering is the universal unifying force, we can see people more compassionately, and this goes some way toward helping us forgive the world and ourselves.”

In this way, Cave suggests we can rehabilitate the world and transfigure suffering “into beauty. This is good. This is beautiful.”

The Bad Seeds bandleader then concluded, “To not transform our suffering and instead transmit our pain to others, in the form of abuse, torture, hatred, misanthropy, cynicism, blaming and victimhood, compounds the world’s suffering. Most sin is simply one person’s suffering passed on to another. This is not good. This is not beautiful.”

“The utility of suffering, then, is the opportunity it affords us to become better human beings. It is the engine of our redemption.”

Recently he also transposed one of his Red Hand Files responses into a single created with Warren Ellis entitled ‘Grief’ and produced one of the albums of the year with CARNAGE release back in February.