Thursday, March 31, 2016

NARDWUAR — Odd Interviewer May Actually Be The Greatest Interviewer In Music History

Who the Hell Is Nardwuar?
You've seen him interviewing your favorite pop stars and rappers on YouTube. But where did Nardwuar come from?

Imagine you are a famous rapper. Now picture a bespectacled man bearing a rictus grin in a tartan pom-pom hat charging toward you while holding a camera, microphone, and bag of indeterminate contents. Do not run. Nardwuar is upon you. And he wants to talk. Loudly.

Nardwuar the Human Serviette, born John Ruskin, is a wide-eyed, over-enunciating Vancouver native. For years, the Canadian punk musician and longtime public access fixture has interviewed—in a tweaking, impossibly exuberant tone—pop, rock, and metal musicians (He’s also chatted with Mikhail Gorbachev and Crispin Glover). But it wasn’t until he discovered rap that Nardwuar became an Internet phenomenon. Nardwuar’s strategy is a clever one—he comes bearing gifts, typically items that somehow relate to the life and art of his interviewees. Pharrell, after being presented with a rare copy of his first recording, called the interview "one of the most impressive I’ve ever experienced."
Reactions have not always been so warm. Nardwuar, if he can keep a person from wandering away baffled, ends every interview with a call-and-response: "Keep on rawkin’ in the free world! Doot doola doot doo..." to which his subjects are meant to respond "Doot doo!" Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Ghostface Killah all obliged. Jay-Z did not. Odd Future’s Hodgy Beats snarled, "Bukkake." Nas interrupted him with "You are a fuckin’ psycho."
"The way I approach interviews, basically, is inspired by Arsenio Hall," Nardwuar says. "I did not realize how cool Arsenio Hall was. Now when I do an interview, [I know] there are questions that need to be asked."

Two weeks ago, Nardwuar was truly in his element at the South by Southwest Music Festival. In the span of a week he recorded four interviews, all with rising rap stars: Action BronsonDanny BrownA$AP Rocky (and the A$AP Mob), and Kendrick Lamar. What’s glaring about all four of those interviews is how at peace all each of the artists appear to be with the very strange man asking questions while handing them unlikely gifts that somehow relate to their childhood. Which, clearly, means that the world in on to Nardwuar’s shtick. And they like it.

Nardwuar, whose interviews average hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, is also a musician in the band the Evaporators. Their new compilation album, Busy Doing Nothing, features legitimate acts like Andrew W.K., Franz Ferdinand, and Kate Nash covering songs by classic Canadian punk bands. "I have been trying to get on the David Letterman show," says Nardwuar. "I have rejections letters dating back to the early ’90s." America, let’s change this. Doot doo. — Sean Fennessey | GQ

Celebrity Interviewer Nardwuar the Human Serviette Discharged From Hospital Following Stroke — Billboard

Letter of Recommendation: Nardwuar the Human Serviette New York Times

TEDxVancouver - Nardwuar - Do It Yourself!

Punk Rock Journalist Nardwuar the Human Serviette wants to take you on a journey into his do-it-yourself world of investigation and adventure. Through hard work, meticulous preparation and a tremendous passion for finding out interesting facts and tidbits, he sets the stage for unexpected situations and spontaneous reactions. It is an upfront and unconventional style that has resulted in verbal attack, physical threats, desertions, and some the most insightful and genuinely engaging conversations with the biggest names in music and popular culture you might ever witness.

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