David Nichols began publishing his own fanzine, Distant Violins, in 1980, before working as a freelance writer and subsequently as features editor of the Australian edition of Smash Hits. His music writing has appeared in a wide range of periodicals in the USA, Great Britain, and Australia. His drawings and comic strips have also graced the pages of many obscure publications, as well as record sleeves, t-shirts, and Converse sneakers.

Parallel to his journalistic work, Nichols has pursued what has been described as a “unique musical vision” as the drummer in several bands, beginning with the Cannanes, of which he was a founding member in 1984 and left in 1996, through Crabstick, Blairmailer, Huon, Driving Past, and the Grey Tapes.

Nichols is Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of The Go-Betweens (1997, revised edition 2003) and The Bogan Delusion (2011), co-author of Pop Life: Inside Smash Hits Australia (2011) and Trendyville: The Battle for Australia's Inner Cities (2014), and co-editor of Deeper Leads (2007) and Community: Building Modern Australia (2010).

His latest book, Dig: Australian Rock and Pop Music 1960-85, was published by Verse Chorus Press in November 2016.