AFTER more than 20 years behind the drums with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Jim Sclavunos is in a unique position to assess what it is that is just so special about the band.

The dark, brooding songs and the powerful, threatening musical accompaniments have seen Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds achieve iconic status and the music they make attracts increasing numbers of fans. The band’s most recent album Skeleton Tree was lauded by critics and fans alike.

“The Bad Seeds is something special and has been special for us for a long time,” said Jim.

“It’s a special thing to have played with a certain group of people for a long time; there’s the special thing of what a unique talent Mr Cave is, there’s not many like him out there, he’s quite an individual and then there’s the special thing of the chemistry on stage. There is something in particular about the Bad Seeds that’s just powerful to be part of.

“You get a sense of belonging in the band.

“Nobody told me how to be a Bad Seed. There was no instruction manual, I wasn’t presented with a suit I had to wear or a rule book. It just came instinctively and I think we all have that.”

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds will play Manchester Arena on Monday as part of their first UK tour in over three years.

“That’s a long time for us,” said Jim, “and particularly for me as I live in the UK. I think we’re all getting itchy to get out there again.”

As well as his work with the Bad Seeds, Jim has also played with the Bad Seeds offshoot band Grinderman and The Cramps and Sonic Youth.

“If you spend any time with us you’ll know that everybody in the band is individualistic and idiosyncratic and maybe some of us wouldn’t fit into most bands,” he said.

“In my own case I know that’s true. I play with a lot of bands but they have always been very particular things, bands I felt like I could make a contribution too. “

“They haven’t always been popular bands to be fair,” he laughed, “although some have gone on to be legendary.

“But what I feel I’m really destined to be is part of the Bad Seeds.”

Skeleton Tree and the documentary One More Time With Feeling, filmed after Nick Cave’s teenage son died after a cliff fall, have seen the band gaining ever more fans.

“I think our audience grows more and more every year and it’s not like we’ve tailored the music to make us seem more popular,” said Jim. “It’s quite the opposite in fact.

“It seems like the music is just as weird as it ever was yet people are coming with us and some are joining anew.

“We have never really been predictable even to ourselves. With each album, we strive to make it different in some respect - either in the way we record it, how the songs are written or how it sounds. We are always looking to do something different.

“Maybe you can see a thread from the earliest stuff to the present time and you can see an evolution. But every time we go into the studio we are striving not to repeat ourselves.”

Considering the members of the band are so very different, it is remarkable that the Bad Seeds have been together for over 35 years., producing 16 albums in that time.

“We all have very different tastes in music,” said Jim. “There is some overlap but there are probably more differences than things we have in common as far as music goes. But somehow it all gels together and it feels like an integrated whole.

“We all have things we do away from the band, but it’s a funny thing - ultimately it merges into this beast called Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.”

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Manchester Arena, Monday, September 25. Details from 0844 847 8000 or