llow us to re-introduce you to your favourite music journalist personality’s favourite music journalist personality: Nardwuar the Human Serviette. We had our first encounter with him at the beginning of last year during the TEDx conference here in Vancouver, Canada. Since then, we have been fortunate enough to live as flies on the wall in the universe known as Nardwuar. He’s let us into to his buzzing Friday afternoon gig at CITR’s University of BC radio station and welcomed us to partake in live performances with his band, The Evaporators, who he’s been rocking with since 1986. In those few precious moments we sat with him, chatted with him, danced with him, sweat with him, listened to him deliver gems of information a mile a minute and stood quite simply in utter amazement of this great Canadian icon.
The high pitched voice, the large nerdy glasses and the copious amounts of plaid are not props in an act. Nardwuar is the same Nardwuar on camera and on stage as he is off it. What you see, is 100% what you get. Dude is the real mccoy, the bee’s knees and as passionate in his mid 40′s as all of us youngsters aiming out into the wide world with high ambition. Oftentimes, we set out on our interviews hoping to dig deep and learn something profound about our subjects. Nardwuar is a tome of musical history, an open book and eager to inform those curious enough to ask a question. He’ll spit out factoids whether you find interest in them or not. You can’t help but stare in awe as he fires off random anecdotes about his first time hearing NWA’s “Fuck The Police” on cassette, inhaling second-hand smoke with Snoop Doggy Dogg or professing his appreciation for the mavens of the industry like New York DJ, Peter Rosenberg.
The Evaporators | A Brief History On Nardwuar & His Band
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In this next clip Nardwuar delves into a brief history of his many bands, a near and dear musical venture that he’s held onto for over 35 years. The first being pop-punk-rock band, The Evaporators, who exist as the cornerstone to its many other transformations including The Goblins, Thee Dublins or Thee Skablins, all of whom may show up on any given night. If ever you get a chance, I urge you to attend an Evaporators show. The livest, wildest, most interactive rock show you will ever watch. Venue-encompassing mosh pits, impromptu fan karaoke and a drenched, lead-singing Nardwuar crowd surfing while banging on his keyboard.
Nardwuar’s obsessive-compulsive fervor for attaining quirky personal minutiae about his subjects’ has been regarded as invasive at times, but to most of his interviewees it’s his perky sincerity that makes him endearing. He’s enjoyed a career interviewing the gamut of rock stars, punk bands and just about any celebrity he could place his microphone in front of. In the past, he’s even partaken in a little guerilla journalism, ambushing certain Canadian politicians with odd requests and controversial questions. His acclaim had landed him on Toronto’s MuchMusic channel for a respectable tenure in the mid to late 90′s and today he has become a prized gem in the community of hip hop nerd-dom, especially with the artists themselves. The genre breeds a type of fan, much like Nardwuar, with obsessive interests about the artists they revere; the crate diggers and the liner note lovers. There’s a natural respect for his craft and his thorough approach to the lost art of the Q&A. What makes him special is the degree to which he researches such unlikely bonds between his subject and other musicians or pop culture references. He drools over the Canadian connections in music; he can’t help but be drowned in amusement at someone like KRS-One or Public Enemy shouting out Canadian rap counterparts, Michie Mee or Maestro Fresh Wes.
If I Interviewed The Weeknd
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This following segment began with as direct a question as anyone can conjure. Hoping to get an inclination as to whether he’d thought of interviewing R&B enigma, The Weeknd, I simply asked, “Have you heard of The Weeknd?” As you’ll see, that question sparked a full on, behind the scenes look at his thought process. His means of preparation in ascertaining trivial information about any one artist is unmatched. Hit play on the following video and get a glimpse of how quickly the mind of Nardwuar operates.
“Keep on rockin’ in the free world and Doot Doola Doot Doo!”
film and design by Mario Soriano