Many musicians see social networking sites as an ideal way to get closer to fans and drum up publicity for albums and concerts. Nick Cave is not one of those musicians.
The 55-year old, described as having “one of the most extraordinary careers in the annals of pop music,” was dragged onto Twitter to publicise the release of his latest album yesterday.
The gloriously cranky results ranged from telling one fan to eat his wife for dinner, to revealing his “complete aversion to all perfume” and telling young fans who wanted to be like him to “lower your expectations”.
While professing his love for some fans – including one who asked if he would rather be a dog with a man’s head or a man with a dog’s head – he was curt with others, replying “f*** off” to someone who asked if he would answer real questions and “yawn” to another.
The range of responses, from humorous to downright angry, came through a mixture of tweets and posts on Vine, Twitter’s video site.
The Q&A did not start well. His disdain for the process was quite clear as he said wearily on one six-second clip: “Whatever it is I’ve been roped into doing, I’m starting now.”
The first response, to whether he hated the event, also proved particularly apt: “I am hating this… beyond measure and I haven’t even started yet.” He later said the whole process was “bullshit”.
The event was designed to publicise Push the Sky Away, the 15th studio album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Cave did give some genuine answers.
It emerged he was most proud of writing the song "Jack the Ripper" and his favourite album is Nocturama “mostly because everybody hates it, someone’s gotta look out for it”.
The best artist he had seen perform was Nina Simone and it was “a beautiful thing” when Johnny Cash covered his song "The Mercy Seat".
Yet when asked if he was as morose as he seemed, Cave replied: “You have no f***ing idea. Morose? I’m just getting started.”
Twitter user Joe Gamble asked: “What should I have for dinner?” At which stage the musician was clearly losing patience, replying: “Your wife.”
The Australian, who lives in Brighton, has made a total of 19 albums as well as written two novels and the screenplay for two films. He was honoured by the Australian Recording Industry Association in 2007, when chairman Ed St John hailed his career as one of the most extraordinary in pop history.
During the Twitter Q&A, he gave an insight into his working patterns, and possibly his use of social media sites. In response to the question: “Do you think an adversarial relationship with your co-workers is unavoidable?” he said: “At times it’s essential.”