About Nada Surf
Nada Surf is a New York City-based American alternative rock band formed in the 1990s, consisting of Matthew Caws , Ira Elliot , Doug Gillard , and Daniel Lorca .
Nada Surf was formed in 1992 by Matthew Caws and Daniel Lorca. They originally went by the name Helicopter but later changed it to Nada Surf, which Caws said is "actually referring to something much more existential, it's just surfing on nothing. Being lost in your head or in your imagination but you know, whenever I listen to music I always find myself off somewhere. Somewhere in space. You know, in mental space and it's a reference to that." The members met in the Lycée Français de New York; both spent some of their childhood in France and Belgium, and played in many bands, including The Cost of Living and Because Because Because. Their first drummer, Dan , was replaced by Aaron Conte, with whom the band recorded their first 7", The Plan/Telescope , 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 , on the EP Karmic, and on North 6th Street.
In 1995, Conte left the band and was replaced by Ira Elliot, former drummer of the Fuzztones, a band from the 1980s New York scene, and of whom both Caws and Lorca were fans. After a Blonde Redhead 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 album. Soon after, the band was finalizing a contract with Elektra Records through an executive, Josh Deutsch.
On June 18, 1996, they released their debut album, High/Low, which was recorded and mastered within a nineteen-day period. Prior to this, the band released Karmic on No. 6 Records, a label run by Elektra A&R head Terry Tolkin. That summer, as Nada Surf toured the United States with Superdrag, their song "Popular" became a summer anthem, and the band toured overseas.
In 1998, they released The Proximity Effect, their follow-up album, in Europe. Produced by Fred Maher, the album gained little commercial success in the US. Their record label, thinking the album lacked a hit like "Popular", had the band record several covers, including "Black & White" and "Why Are You So Mean to Me?" , to use as singles. Tired of the requirements of the A&R director, the band judged the album was perfect as-is , and broke their 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 did a 30-show tour the following year.
In 2000, Nada Surf released The Proximity Effect in the United States on their own label, MarDev , after being dropped by Elektra. Subsequently, the band performed at their record release party at Luna Lounge in New York City and toured extensively for several months to rebuild their North-American fan base.
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