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- Posted on May 17th 2010 3:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
Now, having released three discs on Seattle imprint Barsuk, Caws is something an indie-rock sage, the type of dude that gets questions like, "So, what advice do you have for young bands?"
"I always say, 'Do something else, and do this for fun," Caws tells Spinner. "It was a lot worse when I wanted it super bad."
He speaks from experience. Around the time Nada Surf went to war with its former label, Elektra, to get the rights to its shelved second album, 'The Proximity Effect,' all three members of the New York City power-pop band found themselves working day jobs. Caws went from hanging at the MTV Beach House to hawking records in a Brooklyn shop, and to hear him tell it, he couldn't have been happier.
"[Once] the pressure was off music, all of a sudden it was like it went back to a more innocent place, more being in junior high school, being enchanted by it," he says.
Although he's glad to give advice, Caws is still taken aback when people treat him like some rock 'n' roll Confucius.
"I am surprised," he says. "It's such a funny occupation/existence, because it's timeless in one's own life. For me, obsessing about records and trying to make one once in a while then playing some shows, I've been doing it for so long. Even when I was 13 and listening to records, I was hording away information. I love everything about this deal: playing the songs, listening to them, arranging them in my mind, taking them apart, reading who mastered it. I was always obsessed with it. It feels like I've been doing the same thing forever."
"The fact that the numbers start to add up and it's been enough years you would ask [whether I feel like a wise old man] seems funny," Caws adds. "But [time] does march on, no matter what."
Nada Surf's covers record, 'If I Had a Hi-fi,' is available now.