Nick Cave said he was “extremely bored and completely awestruck” when he attended the coronation at Westminster Abbey.
The Australian singer-songwriter, known as the vocalist for the rock band Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, was chosen as part of a group of 14 “outstanding Australians” to attend the event earlier this month.
He was among the delegation, which included comedian and Channel 4’s The Last Leg host Adam Hills, to represent the country at the coronation alongside Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
"They were conflicted feelings. Extremely bored… complete awestruck… amused… angered." Nick Cave reflects on attending the coronation, and speaks to @krishgm about political correctness and living with grief. https://t.co/xXxWJo8Vts pic.twitter.com/eD2HXp4s6Z
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) May 26, 2023
Cave spoke to a Friday episode of Channel 4 News YouTube show and podcast Ways To Change The World With Krishnan Guru-Murthy about seeing the King being crowned in May.
He said: “I went along to the coronation entirely out of curiosity and (I) found the whole thing to be acutely interesting, to say the least, I would say… because I thought I would feel things when I went to the coronation.
“But I didn’t know that I would feel them in such an extreme way and they were conflicted feelings, and sometimes I felt extremely bored, other times completely awestruck by the event, extremely moved by the music.
“(George Frideric Handel’s) Zadok The Priest was something from outer space, kind of amused by what was going on, angered by what was going on so… it brought up a lot of different sort of things.”
The 65-year-old had previously defended his attendance saying he had an “inexplicable emotional attachment” to the royals and would not be so “damn grouchy” to refuse an invitation to attend such an “important historical event”.
He also denied being a “monarchist or a royalist”.
Cave also spoke about how he “revered” and was “influenced” by Australian “chao makers” such as feminist writer Germaine Greer, 84, and Barry Humphries – who died aged 89 last month – and said things that “got them into trouble”.
He added: “The sacred duty to offend… and that for me is kind of bred in the bone.
“So, issues around free speech, for example, are sacred issues to me and self-evidently good for the world and sometimes these ideas rub up the wrong way… in the current climate.”
The musician also said he has been working on a new record since January 1.
The last studio album from Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Ghosteen, reached number four in the UK charts when it was released in 2019.
Cave, known for hits such as Into My Arms and One More Time With Feeling, was named an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2017 for his “distinguished service to the performing arts” and a “major contributor to Australian music, culture and heritage”.