Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds are set to headline the closing night at next month’s Latitude festival, and they will be aiming to win over new fans as well as please the faithful with their set list, says Bad Seed Jim Sclavunos; the drummer returns to Suffolk for a second year after performing with Nick Cave and Warren Ellis and Martyn Casey as Grinderman last year.
UNCUT: So your headline slot at Latitude comes at the end of a lengthy European festival circuit, won’t you all be knackered?
JIM SCLAVUNOS: Of course not, we’ll be all warmed up. Grinderman did a similar festival run last year and the set at Latitude was one of our best that summer. I think we might have won over a few new fans at that performance.
U: So you’re returning to the main stage this year, after playing with Grinderman last year, how does that feel?
JS: We played the so-called Obelisk stage in 2008. Undoubtedly Grinderman were assigned that stage due to an obelisk’s implicit phallic symbolism. In any case, with regard to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, I’m hoping that for whomever has come to see us, any stage we mount is not only going to be the main stage in their minds, it will be the only stage.
U: Are you planning any live surprises – you’ve been working on reissuing your entire back catalogue – how far back have you delved into the Bad Seeds past for your Latitude live set?
JS: Usually when putting a set together for any show, we try to slip in at least one song from each album. With 14 amazing studio albums to choose from, I don’t want to boast, but we’re spoiled for choice.
Our 2009 summer festival repertoire consists largely of songs that I think will be immediately very familiar to our fans. I think the biggest surprise will be the presence of Australian guitarist Ed Kuepper (ex-Saints). He’s new blood in the line-up and is helping us give all the classic Bad Seeds material a fresh take. Ed’s a pleasure to work with.
U: You’re coming straight into Latitude from St. Petersberg for your slot, do you wish you could spend more time at the festival?
JS: I don’t consider myself much of a festival goer generally speaking, but I personally have been to Latitude more than any other UK festival and have always enjoyed it.
Latitude has a great atmosphere: it’s very laid back, very compact in the layout, it’s a very pretty setting and they take pains to give it a lot of diversity in the programming. To be really honest, I’d much rather be spending more time in St. Petersberg than at a festival; but that’s what holidays are for, I suppose.
U: What is your top festival survival tip!?
JS: Don’t want to come across like a nagging mom or something, but please try to keep your hands clean, especially before you eat. I don’t know what specifically to recommend: a rucksack full of anti-bacterial wipes, perhaps? All I know is, you won’t be rocking out too convincingly if you’ve got a bad stomach ache or diarrhea.
Don’t forget: you can still get tickets for the four-day event; with music headliners including Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones in addition to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds here at www.latitudefestival.co.uk
With less than a month to go until Uncut’s favourite event of the summer, we’ll be bringing you daily artist previews, news updates and prize giveaways as we count down to Suffolk…so check back here tomorrow for more exclusive content!