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Nada Surf

Matthew Caws from Nada Surf
Background information
Origin New York, United States
Genres Alternative rock
Indie rock
Years active 1992–present
Labels Barsuk
Heavenly (UK)
City Slang (UK)
Website Official website
Matthew Caws
Daniel Lorca
Ira Elliot
Former members
Aaron Conte

Nada Surf is an American alternative rock band. Formed in 1992, the New York band consists of Matthew Caws (guitar, vocals), Ira Elliot (drums, backup vocals) and Daniel Lorca (bass, backup vocals).




Early years

Nada Surf was formed in the early nineties by Matthew Caws and Daniel Lorca. They met in Le Lycée Français de New York (USA) and spent some of their childhood in Vietnam and India. They played in many bands, including The Cost of Living and Because Because Because. Their first drummer was called Dan, later alluded to in the song "The Plan" (High/Low). Dan was then replaced by Aaron Conte, with whom the band recorded its first 7", The Plan/Telescope (1994/Stickboy), as well as the demo tape Tafkans, the raw version of High/Low. Those raw versions were later released on their second 7", Deeper Well/Pressure Free (1995/Deep Elm Records), on the Karmic EP and on North 6th Street.

Conte left the band in January 1995 and was replaced by Ira Elliot, former drummer of the Fuzztones (1984–1985), a very active band of the eighties NYC scene, of whom both Caws and Lorca were fans. Caws and Lorca had always intended to invite him to join, but wanted to wait until they improved as musicians. Elliot's arrival infused a new energy into the band; Caws and Lorca's ambitions greatly increased, partly to ensure Ira stayed with the band.

After a show at the Knitting Factory, Nada Surf met former Cars frontman and Weezer producer Ric Ocasek. With little hope, they presented him with a copy of Tafkans. Three weeks later, Ocasek called back with news of his intention to produce the band's album. At the same time, the band was finalizing a contract with Elektra Records, through an executive, Terry Tolkin, who was working for its indie branch, No.6 Records, on which their release, the Karmic EP had been released in 1995.

Negotiations with Elektra did not pan out, so Ocasek connected the band with Maverick Records. The band flew to Los Angeles for a hectic audition; Caws had the flu, and they had to rent gear.[1]

High/Low was recorded and mastered in January 1996 within a 19-day period. The recording was paid for by Elektra before the band signed its contract on January 18, 1996.

Major period

During the summer of 1996, as Nada Surf toured the United States with Superdrag, their song "Popular" became a summer anthem, and the band toured overseas.

In Europe, The Proximity Effect was released in September 1998, produced by Fred Maher. However, the album did not gain commercial success in the United States. On their official website, the band says:

[The Proximity Effect] was a mighty fine record. Elektra, claiming they "didn't hear a single," asked the band to go back in the studio to hunt for one. As this was months after they'd handed the record in, the band refused and were dropped. It's pretty safe to say, though, that Elektra didn't appear to be "listening" very hard. The Proximity Effect was released as scheduled in Europe. Critics loved it and fans bought it. Elektra still didn’t care, but the band did. So after wrestling the rights back, Nada Surf released The Proximity Effect stateside in 2000 on their own label, had their record release party at Luna Lounge in New York City, MarDev Records, and toured accordingly...[citation needed]

Their record label, thinking the album lacked a hit like "Popular", had the band record many covers, including "Black & White" (The dBs) and "Why Are You So Mean To Me?" (Vitreous Humor), to use them as singles.

Tired of the requirements of the art director, the band judged the album was complete and perfect as-is (even though Elektra even suggested the inclusion of an acoustic version of "Popular"), and broke its contract. As a consequence, Elektra did not release the album in the US and dropped the band while they were on a promotional tour in Europe. Despite these events, this album was critically acclaimed in France, where the band made a 30-show tour in March 1999.

Independent period and resurgence

After being dropped by Elektra, the band waged a legal battle to get the rights to The Proximity Effect; the litigation ending in the year 2000, and the band released the album in August 2000 on their own label, MarDev (named after Caws' maternal grandmother, Margaret Devereux Lippitt, daughter of the painter Margaret Walthour Lippitt). Following the album's release, Nada Surf performed at their record release party at Luna Lounge in New York City and toured intensively for several months to rebuild their North American fan base.

During this three-year forced break (1999–2002), the band members took regular day jobs, Caws working at a nearby record store, Lorca working on some computer projects, and Elliot doing drums and guitar sessions for other artists. Caws would later refer to these times as a period of luxury.

In 2001, they recorded most of the songs for Let Go, produced by their friends Louie Lino and Chris Fudurich, who had engineered The Proximity Effect. The band paid them with $1 and $5 bills, the money earned from tour merchandise sales. Let Go was critically acclaimed, with the "Inside of Love" single receiving decent airplay. The release was followed by many months of touring, including many European festivals in the summer 2003.

Nada Surf followed Let Go with The Weight Is a Gift (produced by Chris Walla, among others) in 2005. The band finished touring for The Weight Is a Gift in October 2006.

In March and August 2007, the band recorded their fifth album, Lucky, with producer John Goodmanson in the Robert Lang Studios in Seattle. The album was released on February 4, 2008 in Europe and on February 5, 2008 in the US.

Nada Surf was featured on the cover of Beyond Race magazine for the publication's winter 2008 issue.

Nada Surf's song "No Quick Fix" was featured as the Spinner Mp3 of the Day in 2008.

The band is currently preparing the release of their sixth album, "If I Had A Hi-Fi", which features their take on 12 of the bands favorite songs from other bands and artists.


Studio albums



  • The Hyperspace-Perspective in the Lyrics of Nada Surf[1], by Christian Auinger. Doctorate in anglo-American language study, University of Vienna - 2005

External links

Simple English

Nada Surf is an American alternative rock band from New York. They formed their band in 1992. There are 3 members in the band. They are also known as "North Sixth Street".



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