Mon 1 Oct 2012

Interview with… Nada Surf



We spoke to Ira Elliot of the American rock band ahead of their shows at Manchester Academy 3 on Sun 14th Oct and London Scala on Mon 15 Oct..

What are you up to at this very moment?

Oh, I dunno, checkin’ the old email… thinking about cymbals. You know, the usual.

What can fans expect to experience at one of your shows?

Rapturous unbridled joy, breathtaking volume, and knee-weakening beauty. You know, the usual.

What is your favourite song to perform live?

Hmmm…. as the drummer I generally prefer the fast ones- The Way You Wear Your Head, Looking Through, Hyperspace, like that. Then again I have a soft spot for Inside of Love which is the closest thing we have to a Motown number. I’ll go with that one.

When you’re not performing what do you do to keep yourself busy when you’re on tour / on the road? 

Besides the habitual masturbating? Well let’s see, there’s the backstage wi-fi signal and password hunt- that always takes up an hour or so. Followed quickly by the obsessive email/facebook/twitter account/ and news check. Then it’s time for dinner and then show time and boom, day’s done. Occasionally I take a break to shop for shoes. That’s about as good as it gets.

You’ve played a lot of great festivals year, which was the best so far?

I have to pick the one in Switzerland where one of the sponsors gave us all expensive watches. This rock star thing is finally starting to pay off. No wait, the one in Germany where the rental drums looked like a Spiderman suit- black with big red and yellow webbing all over them. Memorable.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

That was Robert Gordon in 1979 (you’re likely too young to remember him but he was a really cool rockabilly guy in NY in the late seventies.) He was opening for a Jersey band called Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (who were only cool because they were friends with Springsteen). I didn’t care for them but the rockabilly band was excellent. The second gig I ever saw was better, though- Rush. Permanent Waves tour. So awesome.

Will you be playing any new material or a mixture of your back catalogue?

We’ll be mixing it up. We’ve been featuring the new record all year so there’ll be a lot of that but we’ll get in a song or two from most of the other records as well. And maybe our infamous cover of Don’t Fear the Reaper. Ya never know.


Which other artists are you listening to at the moment?

I never listen to music. It’s offensive to me. Unless I’m making it. Suzi Quatro, old Jesus and Mary Chain, Green Day, very early Beatles, Everly Brothers, Louis Jordan, Rockpile. You know, the usual.

Which song do you wish you had written?

The theme song to “Friends”. That guy must still be taking a wheel barrow down to the bank at least once a week.

Plans for the rest of the year?

More rocking- European tour, American tour and then it’s Christmas time so I’ll be heading down to Florida to begin my retirement. See you in London, suckers!