Nick Cave has said “there can’t help but be feelings of culpability” over the deaths of his sons as it is “against nature” to bury a child.

The Bad Seeds musician, 66, known for hits such as Into My Arms and The Mercy Seat, lost two children in the space of seven years.

In 2015, his son Arthur, 15, died after taking LSD for the first time and falling from a cliff near his home in Brighton.

The Argus:

The 15-year-old was found on Undercliff Walk by passersby before being rushed to hospital by paramedics from Ovingdean Gap on July 14.

In 2022 his son Jethro, 31, who had schizophrenia, died in Melbourne.

Asked if he feels culpable for the death of his sons, he told the Guardian: “I think it’s something that people who lose children feel regardless of the situation, simply because the one thing you’re supposed to do is not let your children die.

“Forget that. The one thing you’re supposed to do is protect your children.”

Addressing if he feels culpable because drugs were involved in Arthur’s death, he said: “There could be some element of that, yep.

“Look, these things are in our DNA, they’re inherited. I don’t want to make any assumptions about Arthur, who was just a young boy. It’s not like he was into drugs.

“On a fundamental level, it’s against nature to be burying your children. And there can’t help but be feelings of culpability.”

Cave and his family, including fashion designer wife Susie and Arthur’s twin brother, moved to Los Angeles soon after Arthur died because they were “triggered too much” by living just down the road from where it happened.

The tragedy was widely reported and Cave said this resulted in him being “forced to grieve publicly”.

He added: “That was helpful, weirdly enough. It stopped me completely shutting the windows and bolting the doors and just living in this dark world.”

Asked if his experience of bereavement helped after Jethro died, he said: “Yes. It really helped, because I knew I could get through. I’d been through it.”

He said does not “feel cursed” but added it would be wrong to talk publicly about Jethro because he did not meet him until he was seven and it would be disrespectful to his mother, who brought him up.

Cave also addressed his feelings about conservatism and woke culture, after he was accused of taking the side of the alt-right.

Asked if he is a Conservative, he said: “I’m not a Tory, no. I’ve never voted Tory.”

Asked if he is “anti-woke,” he said: “The concept that there are problems with the world we need to address, such as social justice; I’m totally down with that.

“However, I don’t agree with the methods that are used in order to reach this goal – shutting down people, cancelling people.

“There’s a lack of mercy, a lack of forgiveness. These go against what I fundamentally believe on a spiritual level, as much as anything. So it’s a tricky one.

“The problem with the right taking hold of this word is that it’s made the discussion impossible to have without having to join a whole load of nutjobs who have their problem with it.”