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This Album Changed My Life: Nick Carver on Neil Young’s ‘MTV Unplugged’

14 July 2022 | 12:35 pm | Mallory Arbour

'Animals' is out now!

Nick Carver & the Mean St Butchers

Nick Carver & the Mean St Butchers (Image: Supplied)

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Combining rough-edged rock and soulful blues with walloping Americana folk roots, Nick Carver & the Mean Street Butchers unleashed the beast with their eagerly anticipated sophomore album Animals

With outlandish singer-songwriter Nick Carver leading the charge, the Melbourne-based rock/roots outfit showcased their class in the lead-up to the 8-track collection, serving up singles Two-Legged Dog and The Way That You Walk earlier in the year.

The album, which follows their 2018 debut The River, artistically crafts tunes that reflect the band’s camaraderie, Nick’s home life and the long country drives where his inspiration is uninhibited, and his imagination is free to roam wild.

The Inverloch band have performed at NYE on the Hill, Inverloch Sounds of Summer Festival and Folk Rhythm and Life Festival and supported artists like Ash Grunwald, Custard, The Fauves and The Tea Party.

To get to know frontman, Nick Carver a little better, we asked him to tell us about an album that has changed his life.


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Nick Carver on ‘MTV Unplugged’ by Neil Young:

“When I was 16, I was up very late watching Henry Rollins host Rage. He played Needle and the Damage Done by Neil Young, from the MTV unplugged concert. Here was a musician singing about real life experiences.

As a kid growing up in the 90’s, I was bombarded with grunge and the obvious bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. As well as heavier bands like Slayer and weirder stuff like Faith No More and Mr Bungle. There was heaps of that at my school. But what these bands were also about was being different and unique. So, at the time, Young’s music was totally unique to me. My dad didn’t listen to him, or any of my friends, so it was just this chance meeting and something I could call mine.

A few months later, I found the CD MTV Unplugged at a second-hand market stall and loved it. I ordered the guitar TAB book from my local music shop and learned all of the songs. His guitar playing has had a long-lasting effect on me.

I think because of this album, and all of the MTV unplugged series, I’ve always had a love of listening to music created in a live setting. I always set out to play a song live in the studio, and not rely on drop ins and edits. 

Neil just gets it y’know. It’s not technical music, but he could jump up there on any night and just blow you away with the stuff he’s written. He does this amazing version of Like A Hurricane on an old pump organ and just absolutely floors you. And Pocahontas was like a history lesson and musical experience in one. I think I even asked my parents who Marlon Brando was after that song, which led me to Apocalypse Now. Talk about life changing…" 


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For more of our This Album Changed My Life series, go here.
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