Sat, 26 September 2009
On this show I interview Nardwuar the Human Serviette. Nardwuar hosts a radio show on CITR radio in Vancouver, Canada and is a great interviewer and rock historian.
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About Nardwuar The Human Serviette:
Nardwuar the Human Serviette (born John Ruskin, July 5, 1968) is a Canadian celebrity interviewer and musician from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is the lead singer and keyboardist for The Evaporators and plays in Thee Goblins. He is an indie-rock expert. 
He legally changed his name in 1986, and argues that "no one refers to Iggy Pop as 'James Osterberg'". When asked to explain his name, Nardwuar once quipped "Nardwuar equals dumb silly name, like Sting; Human means human, as in Human Fly; and Serviette is something you can't get in the U.S. because down there they're called napkins."
Nardwuar's interviews are frequently shown on MuchMusic's Going Coastal, or printed in Chart. Nardwuar's favourite targets appear to be musical celebrities, but he'll interview almost anyone famous.
His interview style can be quite grating and confusing to those who have had no prior experience with him. A typical interview will begin with "Who are you?", followed by "From?" if the subject doesn't volunteer his affiliations. The interview will always end with "Keep on rockin' in the free world", and the "doot doola doot doo..." of "Shave and a Haircut", to which the interviewee must respond with the final "doot doo!" before Nardwuar will let them go. A somewhat common reply by edgy rock stars such as Courtney Love has been "Fuck you!"
Due to his upfront and esoteric style he has been attacked verbally, physically threatened, and intimidated by people such as Sebastian Bach of Skid Row (who stole Nardwuar's tuque); the band Quiet Riot (who chased Nardwuar and crew down the street); and Dave Rowntree of Blur. Alice Cooper, Harlan Ellison, Beck and others have hung up on him.Snoop Dogg has repeatedly stolen various items from Nardwuar, including a Redd Foxx doll and Richard Pryor and Blowfly records , although Snoop claims to be 'taking' the objects in question rather than stealing them. Chris Fehn of Slipknot wouldn't talk during an interview and left during the interview after having enough of Nardwuar.
Nardwuar's unorthodox approach often ends up in bizarre scenarios. He once received Lemmy's answering machine message when Lemmy was not made aware of the interview time by his publicist. Guerrilla journalism or not, Nardwuar's style is very much based on taking the piss out of his subject. Some of his subjects recognise it and successfully manage to reverse the scenario on him, especially Iggy Pop, David Cross and "Weird Al" Yankovic. Some misinterpret his hijinks as intentionally disrespectful, particularly Henry Rollins and pornographer Al Goldstein.
More often the experience confuses the celebrities. Members of GWAR tried not to laugh while in character. Jello Biafra was impressed with his guerrilla interview style, but became noticeably angered in a 2000 interview when Nardwuar began to cajole Biafra about Biafra's lawsuit against former Dead Kennedys band mates . Others who have appreciated Nardwuar's interview include Nirvana, Kelly Rowland, Marilyn Manson, Franz Ferdinand, Ron Jeremy, N.E.R.D. and Michael Moore.
Nardwuar does extensive research on the interviewee to confuse, scare or impress them; often bringing up minutia about band members' pasts that they have a hard time recalling, until he coaches them along. Frequently, he will also attempt to make connections, no matter how obscure, between the person or subject at question and Canada. A tribute to his research skills, while interviewing Josh Homme, he produced a grade school class photo of Homme mid-interview, who remained blasé yet clearly impressed.
Direct download: rockandrollgeek-183290-09-26-2009_pshow_320779.mp3
Category: Podcast -- posted at: 5:53am EDT