"The fans, the fans, the fans," says singer/guitar player Mike Butterworth, from Okoboji, when asked what has kept his band going for almost a dozen years.
"The fans... and a lot of coffee," adds Jason Walsmith, also a vocalist and guitarist.
The Nadas, a talented four-piece rock band with a touch of soulful folk influence, has turned the college pastime explored while in school at Iowa State into a thriving career.
They are touring across the country, playing events like the Iowa State Fair last summer, filling the most popular clubs and selling more than 85,000 CDs through their own emerging label, Authentic Records.
Twelve years? Time flies when you're having fun.
"A lot of bands don't stay together for more than twelve weeks," jokes Butterworth, co-founder of the band, which now calls the Des Moines area home, but returns to the Lakes area regularly for gigs like a well-received free August tilt before a large crowd on the greenspace near the amusement park in Mike's home stomping grounds.
When asked why The Nadas have persevered, co-founder Walsmith says, "We love it. And we're pretty pig headed." The Nadas are rounded out by Ian Shepherd on drums and Jon Locker on bass.
This band isn't content to just make the club rounds, however.
So, just in time for the holidays, The Nadas are releasing a new Christmas tune as an mp3 file online to tide fans over, in anticipation of a major March '08 album release.
They recorded their heartfelt original, "Here Comes Christmas" in a Chicago studio recently, telling the tale of a boy who wonders whether Christmas means anything at all...but stops wondering once his father returns home from the Army overseas.
The Nadas' upcoming CD, "The Ghosts Inside These Halls," drops March 4th, catching the band in the midst of the "overnight success" that was a dozen years coming.
Crowned "The Best College Band You've Never Heard Of" by Playboy Magazine and recently featured by Paste Magazine, The Nadas have become Iowa's favorite roots rockers. Their tunes are beginning to climb the charts, they are in hot demand and playing over 200 shows per year, and CD sales have been gaining speed steadily over the past two years.
Their appeal is getting noticed far beyond northwest and central Iowa these days. Bon Jovi booked the band for his "Have A Nice Day" Tour, and TV is mining their signature sound.
"Walk Away" is the closing song for every episode of Speed Channel's #1 show PINKS, and "Carve Your Name" is the theme song of arts-and-crafts television show Courage to Create. Even the Man of Steel has found The Nadas' tunes irresistible: Superman's Brandon Routh featured their music on his Celebrity iTunes Playlist.
* Editor's Choice: The Nadas early hit "Dancing Lucinda" showcases their dreamy, emotional style. Sample it free at myspace.com/thenadas. To purchase "Here Comes Christmas" (99 cents download) see authenticrecordsonline.com