Foto-© Hella Wittenberg
Nada Surf bringen gerade ihr neuntes Album Never Not Together heraus. Grund genug, um einmal etwas länger mit Sänger Matthew Caws zu sprechen. Wohl einem der am extremsten reflektierten und belesenen Menschen in der Musik. Wenn er sich zu Wort meldet, dann immer in alle Richtungen denkend, nie übereilt, dafür aber komplett uneitel. Im Interview in Berlin erzählt er über seinen persönlichen Wandel, über die Ehe und über das Problem mit unbeantworteten E-Mails.
What changed over the years with Nada Surf?
I feel more acceptance. If nobody likes the record, I think I will be okay. When I was younger it was my whole identity. But now it’s cool. I’m also enjoying home life more. My wife and I have a toddler, a two-and-a-half-year-old. So, I spend so much time at home as possible.I sung so many love songs – looking for love, love gone wrong, angst, restlessness and confusion around love. But now I found it. I become more at peace the older I get, which is this incredibly thing that happens.
Is this just an age thing?
Your body is in defense mode a lot of the time of your life – especially when you’re tiny, when you’re a baby. You have this ego that is there to protect you. It tells your parents when you’re hungry, cold, thirsty, sleepy. When you get older you can take care of yourself and you don’t need your ego anymore. I remember a therapist told me to say thank you to my ego. Thank you for protecting me, you don’t need to do it anymore. I’m going to be okay. You can live here, but you can retire. I’m happier than ever in my life. I’m happily married. It’s what I always wanted. My parents did not have a particularly good marriage. So, I grew up terrified of that.
This is not a good starting point for your own marriage.
Yeah, I always wanted to be with somebody, but I was scared of getting it wrong. I saw how that looks like. It can mess people up for a long time. But now I’m on the other side of that I feel like I chose the right place. I’m more reflective of what I write about. I know this feels good, so how can I give it to somebody else? I want to be helpful and comforting.
What is your How-To for a good marriage?
I think in a relationship each situation is like a classroom. We can sometimes choose to study and do our work or not. In the classroom of a relationship it makes you want to do the work, because it matters to you. There is a lot of motivation and paying attention in the classroom. Life is like endless learning and relearning. But yeah, relationships are terrifying. But faking being brave is just as good as being brave.
What is the next thing you want to learn from life?
I want to answer e-mails as they come in, but it’s bigger than just that. I don’t have social anxiety in person, I’m very comfortable at any party with anybody, but I do have a kind of projective social anxiety in my correspondence with people. I avoid a lot of long-distance correspondence interaction.
What does that mean?
I put off letters, I put off saying no to people, because I feel bad saying no. I’m pretty empathetic as a person and I’m very grateful for it, I acknowledge it as a quality in general. I also have an exaggerated sense of worry about people’s emotions and reactions, but to a detrimental effect. While it makes me sensitive and I pretty rarely offend somebody, I very often offend them by accident – because I’m intimidated by the conversation and then I don’t answer a letter or an e-mail. I end up disappointing people out of love. It’s perverse. I want to be such a good friend that I worry about how I interact with people and then I don’t get around to it and let them down.
Nada Surf Tour:
27.02. Köln, Live Music Hall
03.04. Hannover, Swiss Life Hall*
04.04. Leipzig, Haus Auensee*
06.04. Stuttgart, Im Wizemann
09.04. München, Muffathalle
10.04. Berlin, Columbiahalle*
11.04. Berlin, Metropol
12.04. Hamburg, Fabrik
17.04. Bremen, Pier 2*
18.04. Dortmund, Warsteiner Music Hall*
* (mit Madsen)