This year marks the release of Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth's highly anticipated pseudo-documentary on Nick Cave, entitled 20,000 Days On Earth, which premiered at Sundance in January and formed part of the programme at this year's Berlinale. The premise is a day-in-the-life insight into Cave's existence (he was 20,000 days old when the film began shooting and the film is set on that day), underscored by a broader exploration of the creative process in general and the transformative power of art and self expression. Although the scenes were dramatised and the day in question fictional – the footage was shot over a much longer period – the film was unscripted and all narration was written and delivered by Cave, making for intimate and arresting viewing.
Here in celebration of the film, we revisit James Anderson's brilliant interview with fashion’s punk priestess Pam Hogg on the enduring allure of the baddest seed, first featured in Another Man S/S13.
Glaswegian fashion designer and fellow rock’n’roll spirit Pam Hogg first heard Nick Cave on John Peel’s radio show in the late 70s: “It was like a lightning bolt. I had no idea what the singer looked like but knew he’d be vital.” By the mid-90s the two had become friends, with Hogg using Cave’s music to soundtrack a number of her shows and, in 2010, enlisting his son Jethro as a model.
Here, she celebrates the rockstar’s unique sartorial stance…
“The first time I saw Nick Cave perform was with The Birthday Party at the Electric Ballroom in 1981 or 82. I was totally blown away. It was love. The energy was unreal. You could feel it, he howled to the core of you. He was such a presence: untamed, wild, free, crazy, enigmatic, charismatic, mesmerising, menacing... an incredible ball of fire! It was total: the big hair, those eyes – the don’t-give-a-damn clothes. He owned the room!
"It was total: the big hair, those eyes – the don’t-give-a-damn clothes. He owned the room!"
I saw him hundreds of times with The Bad Seeds. He was everything you’d want on stage with this jerky swagger and assured, strutting sexy sway. You couldn’t take your eyes off him. He’d taken to wearing suits and shirts and waistcoats, and his hair wasn’t quite so unruly then, but it made his movements all the more unsettling.
The suits were perfect, it’s still the best look he has today – it just works for him. I also loved him in the ‘Nick the Stripper’ video where he’s just written HELL across his chest, and that tall wild hair. I’m not into facial hair as a rule but I loved his Grinderman look with the handlebar moustache. It gave him that bad dude look and worked well with his suit – like an old time outlaw.
When we first got to know each other in 1995 he asked me to go to his tailor with him and give my advice on the fabric for a new suit. We have similar tastes, so I think we connect in that way. We also both have a strong work ethic and respect for each other. He’s since mentioned that when I get round to tailoring he’d like me to make him a suit... so perhaps he’ll be my first client?
Great style isn’t just about the clothes – it’s all encompassing. Nick doesn’t hide behind anyone or anything. He finds meaning in every word and means every word he says. He’s a driven individual and whatever fires him up he goes for it and gives his all. He’s never lost that force.”
Watch an excerpt from 200,000 Days on Earth here.
Interview with James Anderson
Intro by Daisy Woodward