August 5, 1967 |
New York City, USA
|Years active||1985 - present|
|Labels||Barsuk, Elektra, Heavenly (UK), City Slang (UK)|
Matthew Caws (born August 5, 1967, in New York City) is American singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the pop rock band Nada Surf. Caws is also a member of the indie rock duo Minor Alps, alongside Juliana Hatfield.
Caws' mother, a Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature, English, and French at the Graduate Center at CUNY, lives in New York City. In 2007, his mother married Dr. Boyce Bennett. She was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina. Caws' maternal grandfather was Harmon Chadbourn Rorison and was of Scottish heritage (he was of McDonald family from the Isle of Skye). Caws' maternal grandmother, Margaret Devereux Lippitt, was the only daughter of the painter Margaret Walthour Lippitt.
Caws' father, University Professor of Philosophy at George Washington University, lives in Washington, D.C.. His father married Nancy Breslin, M.D., M.F.A., a psychiatrist turned fine art photographer. He was born in Southall, Middlesex, now part of West London, England. Caws has a half sister from his father's second marriage named Elisabeth Breslin Caws.
Caws has an older sister, Hilary Caws-Elwitt. She is married to humorist and playwright, Jonathan Caws-Elwitt, who also writes erotica under the nom de plume, Jeremy Edwards. They formed the band The Silly Pillows together and live in Northampton, Massachusetts.
When the family returned to New York, his parents sent him to le Lycée Français de New York. There he joined The Cost of Living in 1982 or 1983, a band formed by a teacher, Patrick Thouron, and a few students, including Daniel Lorca, Stéphane Dehais, and Fabrice Griffoulière-Frère, initiating a long friendship and a promising collaboration.
The Cost of Living split up in 1990, after having released two records, played in venues such as the CBGB, and even having a video played on MTV, but Matthew and Daniel joined another band, Because Because Because, with two other musicians. This enterprise was short-lived and they soon split up, despite the recording of a demo, unreleased to this day, for the label Stickboy, which would later release Nada Surf's first single (7"), "The Plan/Telescope", in 1994.
Hilary, Matthew's elder sister, was a DJ for a campus radio. She helped develop and influence her younger brother's musical tastes, lending him records from her impressive collection and cassette tapes of her show. Matthew joined the project initiated by Hilary and her partner, Jonathan, The Silly Pillows, for a few collaborations.
In 2008 comedy writer Julie Klausner wrote a blind piece in the Modern Love column of the Sunday New York Times Style section called "Meeting a Musician by Text Leads to Heartbreak." The Gawker website claimed it was Caws.
- "Mary Ann Caws". MaryAnnCaws.com. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- "Mary Ann Caws Biographical Information". MaryAnnCaws.com. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- "Peter Caws (faculty page)". Peter Caws, George Washington University. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- "Peter Caws (bio)". PeterCaws.com. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- "Bio". JonathanCaws-Elwitt.com. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- Levith, Will. "Minor Alps, Major Chops: Juliana Hatfield and Matthew Caws of Nada Surf Discuss Their New ‘Soft Goth’ Band". Diffuser.fm. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- Farber, Jim (July 22, 1996). "Nada Surf Is In 'Popular' Demand New York Pop-punk Band's Novelty Ditty Moves Up On Mtv". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on June 27, 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- Chakrabarti, Meghna (August 26, 2013). "Juliana Hatfield And Matthew Caws Unite As ‘Minor Alps’" (Audio interview). WBUR / NPR (Here and Now). Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- "Julie Gayet music video brings French fame to obscure US band". The Telegraph.
- "Minor Alps". Big Hassle. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- McClear, Sheila (April 28, 2008). "Who Is the Clumsy "Indie Rock Dreamboat" Heartbreaker From This Week's Modern Love?". Gawker. Gawker Media. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- Klausner, Julie (April 27, 2008). "Was I on a Date or Baby-Sitting?". The New York Times (Modern Love). Retrieved 31 October 2013.