Born in Warracknabeal, Australia, the son of Dawn and Colin Cave, brother of Tim (b. 1952), Peter (b. 1954) and Julie (b. 1959). Raised Anglican, which would later prove to be a large influence on his work.
In highschool, Cave met Mick Harvey, with whom he founded his first band, The Boys Next Door. This band became The Birthday Party as they moved to London, picked up guitarist Blixa Bargeld, from Einstürzende Neubauten. 1983, the band moved to West Berlin, and disbanded soon after. Cave, Harvey, and Bargeld went on to form The Bad Seeds with Barry Adamson, which lasted for two decades and released a slew of commercially successful albums.
Nick Cave's music is featured in several of Wim Wenders' movies, including Wings of Desire (where Cave also appears, doing a live performance), Until the End of the World, and Faraway... So Close. Cave also co-wrote and acted in Ghosts... of the Civil Dead, a 1989 independent movie.
Also in 1989, Cave published his novel And the Ass Saw the Angel, to critical acclaim.
In 1996, Cave and The Bad Seeds released an album, Murder Ballads, as the title suggests an album full of songs about murder. A duet with Kylie Minogue, "Where The Wild Roses Grow", was a mainstream hit.
His albums produced with the Bad Seeds include: