Nick Cave reveals what advice he’d give his 16-year-old self

"I am, in fact, my sixteen-year-old self, just half a century older"

Nick Cave has revealed what advice he’d give his 16-year-old self in his latest entry on his website, The Red Hand Files.

Answering the question from Taya, who is currently 16 and has “recently gotten really into” his back catalogue, Cave wrote: “I am often asked it, but I find it a very difficult question to answer.”

He went on to explain that he finds it a toughie because, “I am, in fact, my sixteen-year-old self, just half a century older. Not only that but, sitting here at the kitchen table, with the sun streaming through the window, answering your excellent question, my older self, the current destination of my younger self, is mostly happy.”


He goes on to say that yes, he “instinctively wants to warn my sixteen-year-old self not to make the mistakes that I know from experience are going to cause him pain. But, you see, this older and more experienced self also knows that the painful things are often the things that ultimately give substance and meaning to life.”

Cave continued: “My older self knows that life’s mistakes are destiny’s way of laying the tracks that will bring my younger self to the place where I am at this very moment – the mostly happy place, where I sit, with the sun coming through the window, writing an answer to your excellent question,” he continues before signing off with the message: “Have a great life, Taya, it’s all ahead of you.”

In another post on the site, Cave opened up about moving to Los Angeles because Brighton became “too sad” following his son’s death. Arthur Cave died aged 15 after he fell from a cliff in Ovingdean, East Sussex in 2015.

The musician spoke of revisiting the Bad Seeds track ‘Heart That Kills You’, which he said was “clearly written after Arthur’s death”.


“The words of the song go someway toward articulating why Susie [his wife] and I moved from Brighton to L.A.,” Cave explained. “We did, however, return once we realised that, regardless of where we lived, we just took our sadness with us. These days, though, we spend much of our time in London, in a tiny, secret, pink house, where we are mostly happy.”