Nick was born in London in the 60's to a wafer thin Fashion Model mum and a rather amusing awfully successful author dad. At age 8 His adventurous parents decided to Leave civilized England and move to a primitive village half way up a mountain in the south of Spain called Frigiliana (during Franco Dictatorship, pre ugly tourism) Nick and his 6 year old brother Matthew decide to go too.
Despite the lack of electricity, and in house running water which later became available, growing up amongst the Mules, Goats, Fields of sugar cane, tomatoes etc. made a huge impression on what nick now perceives as NORMAL living. He went to the local school, (the only one in the village) His entire education was done in Spanish. Don't Panic He does Speak English. His parents became some what err, Hippyish. Most of their English-speaking friends were Americans who had moved to the south of Spain due to its proximity to Morocco and the availability of something called Hashish. If you've spent any time in a Hispanic country you will know how people generally stay up very late. Dinner is usually served at 11pm. So most nights at the Launays were spent absorbing the latest imported Music brought round by English speaking Friends. "Trampled under foot" could often be heard blaring out of the Launay residance.
In 1976 The Spanish government tightened up the law on foreigners owning businesses and made it very hard for nicks mum: Eve to run her Art Gallery/ Book Shop, eventually they moved back to London, Just in time for , Punk Rock! If you look very carefully in some of those "Punks in the UK" type books you can see Nick and his brother; Razor Blades n all! Nick went to see almost every punk band you can mention The only one He didn't see, despite buying tickets 3 times were the Sex Pistols, basically because they cancelled EVERY show at short notice. (By the way, Nick did get his ticket money back from John Lydon in Years to come)
In 78 nick got a job at Tape One studios in Tottenham crt rd. Tape one was a mastering room with "advanced editing facilities", Nicks main job was to re-arrange (Read: chop up) Hit songs for K-Tel Top 20 compilation LP's, Yes its true! An 18-year-old was given the task of taking well-known 4-minute songs and editing them down to two and a half minutes, so they could fit 20 songs per one Vinyl LP. The trick was to keep all the good bits that people would want to recognize. One late night in the "Tape one" Editing room, Denis Blackham, a famous UK mastering engineer (also known as "Bilbo Boppa") caught Nick frantically editing and re constructing an experimental version of Pop Music by UK pop band "M', for his own amusement. Denis was so impressed, he played it the next day to "M"s Robin Scotts. To cut a long story short. It was released as the First ever Commercial 12"single, and went to No 1 in the UK and other parts of the world. Robin kindly gave nick a Revox for his efforts.
In 1980 Nick moved to the then Very New Vigin recording studios: The Townhouse where he soon became an assistant enginner on LP such as The Jam's Sound Effects. XTC's Black Sea, Peter Gabriel's #3rd, As an assistant he often worked with John Lekie, Tony Visconti, Steve Liilywhite and Hugh Padgham, Oh, and by the way, nick was also in the room to witnessed Phil Collins play that huge fill on "In the air tonight", He actually fell off his seat. Steve and Hugh had a huge influence on nick's methods of record making. Hugh Padgham was impressed enough with nicks ability to get those big sounds, that In the years to come he kindly recommended Nick to Kate Bush to engineer her Dreaming LP and later Eric Claptons Behind the Sun LP. In 81 nick got what he describes as his lucky break. Being the newest kid at the town house, He was forced to assist on certain sessions deemed from hell...
The PIL sessions With John (AKA Rotten Sex Pistols) Lydon, Mr. lydon had a reputation for pissing all over the console, throwing chairs, instruments, tapes, and indulging in extreme verbal abuse. Being a Pistols/PIL fan nick jumped at the chance. The first session went very slowly due to the Engineer/co-producers inability to work the then new experimental "B" series SSL console. This resulted in Nick constant to-ing and frow-ing from His Tape operator position at the back of the mix room, to actually getting the sounds at the console. This eventually got john so pissed off he said: "Nick! For f**k sake stop acting like a fu**ing Yo-yo, you"re making me dissy. Move your chair to the console and show this pafeick wanker which knob to turn". Later that day the engineer left to go and have a pee. Lydon promptly got up and locked the door. The engineer thumped on the door then called on the intercom John told him: "Your posicion has been taken.. Kindly fuck off" The recording was successfully finished at 7am the next morning. Nick relationship with PIL blossomed to the point where he was asked to Co-produce their next Record : "The Flowers of romance". The LP was written almost entirely in the studio. And got a lot of praise in the UK press for it's sonic oddities. This attention was enough to entice many other bands such as Killing Joke, The Slits, The Birthday Party and the Gang of Four to want to work with him.
In the early 80's amongst others nick made an outstanding Album with Midnight OIL called, "10 9 8", This LP stayed in the Australian top 30 for a year and a Half, and got some serious ROCK attention in USA the enthusiasm for Nick's production techniques from down under became hard to resist, Sydney soon became his second home. Trans-world Flights were interrupted by many LPs by Midnight Oil and INXS's very popular Swing Album, not to mention radical Remixes of "What you need", "New Sensation" and "Suiside Blonde"
The Late 80's hit and Stock, Atkin and Watermen unfortunately took over the UK charts much to the detriment of all "real bands". The 90's seem to be time for re-invention or re-assessing what you do best. Nick was getting tired of the over elaborate ways records were being made. It started off as fun but. But studio technology became so good at manipulating it seemed hard for some people to know when to stop. So it was time to get back to the basics of Loud Guitar Rock.
In 1994 the gloomy London weather finally got to the Launays So they decided to make the big move to Live in ever Happy Sydney Australia, And focus on working more in America. This transition happened surprisingly smoothly.
Nick was soon zooming to and from USA to work with such bands as The Posies, For Squirrels, Girls Against Boys, Semisonic, Scottish band Deckard, and most recently: Earth to Andy, and Blue October. "The local Sydney Rock scene was also hard to ignore. Nick found himself in the Studio enjoying the company of You Am I, Snout, Magic Dirt, Automatic, The Mark of Cane, Primary Sidewinder, and Even to mention a few.
The nicest recent surprise was when Nick's best friend Film Director Robert Hambling Played him a very young band he'd discovered called Innocent Criminals. They later changed their name to Silverchair (SEE "the Tomorrow Story" on Silverchairs Home page). The band and Nick had so much fun with their Freakshow LP that a second encounter was irresistible. With the luxury of being allowed to experiment a bit, or quite a lot. They spend a day with Eccentric Pianist David Helfgot and the Sydney philharmonic orchestra. The Album became: Electric Ballroom.
Here's a quote from a recent Interview with Nick: "Helfgot is absolutely unique. He has no inner dialogue, so anything he says to you is absolutely honest. The other thing is that he never stops talking unless you put your hand over his mouth (pretty funny huh) so you would expect him to say the occasional nasty, or derogatory thing. But strangely, everything he says is totally positive and uplifting. This, combined with him constantly wanting to hug you, results in everyone present feeling very enlightened.
More recently Nick went back to his root, and made a rebellious album with The Living End. And American HiFi and just finished Nick Caves new album due out Feb. 2003.
That pretty well brings us up to date for the moment.
Nick promises loud Guitars, Loud Drums, Maximum Bass, In your face Vocals, Glued together with as much colour as the ears can see!
"Science has at last proven that humans
can not survive without music.
It's comforting to know that God and
99.5 % of atheists agree on this point."