Say His Name, Say His Name

Turning the tables on the Evaporators Nardwuar the Human Serviette.

IF YOU'VE NEVER visited www.nardwuar.com and listened to audio clips of Canada's most inexplicably ingenious interviewer, Nardwuar the Human Serviette, then you have not yet properly utilized this thing we call the Internet. And if you haven't heard Nardwuar interview such luminaries as Dan Quayle, Geddy Lee, Jack White, and Busta Rhymes, it's possible that you'll find the following interview a little strange, as it was done, via e-mail, much in the style of Sir Serviette. And, oh, does he have style. But if you've never seen his purposefully silly punk band the Evaporators, you don't know that, either. You have a lot to learn.

Seattle Weekly: Who are you?

Nardwuar: Nardwuar the Human Serviette of the Evaporators, from Vancouver, B.C., Canada!

You always start off with the question, "Who are you?" even though your subject is almost always enormously famous. Is that just an ice-breaking tactic or something you started doing and couldn't stop?

There was a TV show years ago called Puttin' on the Hits, and they always used to do that. I really don't have any original ideas! Everything is ripped off! But I do try to give credit.

What's the deal with your name, anyway? Are you always explaining it to people? What does your mom call you?

It's pretty simple, so I have no problem explaining it. "Nardwuar" = a dumb stoopid name, like Sting or Sebadoh or Sinbad. "Human" in honor of the Cramps song, "Human Fly," "Serviette" = they don't have serviettes in the U.S.A.only napkins! My mom calls me "Nardo Puddin' Pants."

Who has been your favorite interview subject, Nardwuar?

Slayer, because after years of worshipping at their altar, I could finally ask them questions like, "Do you like yogurt?"

Who are some of your favorite Canadian bands, Nardwuar?

I personally am totally in awe of the Vancouver punk scene of the late '70sbands like the Shades, the Dishrags, the Pointed Sticks, Private School, the Modernettes, and the Subhumans. In fact, I have to say that the Pointed Sticks are my all-time favorite band. We even covered one of their songs on the new Evaporators LP [Ripple Rock, on Nardwuar/Mint/Alternative Tentacles].

So what is your goal, Nardwuar the Human Serviette of the Evaporators? You're a freelance interviewer for Much Music [the Canadian version of MTV], you have an excellent Web site, and you're very committed to your bandthis is your third album. Are you more interested in interviewing people or would you rather see your band become really big stars like your fellow Canadians in Rush?

I love to smile and have fun. To me, there is no difference doing an interview or singing onstage. It's all the same thing. I actually get a "rush" when I see other people get big! Like, I was so stoked to see my fellow bandmate, John Collins, appear on David Letterman this year, with his other band, the New Pornographers. Like, an indie band from Vancouver, B.C., made it to Letterman!

Nardwuar, have you received any sort of formal training in either of the above artspunk rock playing or incessant questioning?

Every time you do an interview, you learn something, so I am always in training. I want to take it to the next level and party poolside with Heather Locklear. Can you tell I grew up in the '80s?

Finally, Nardwuar, when you interview people, you tend to use their names over and over, as I have done here. Is there a reason you do this, Nardwuar?

I am programmed to repeat people's names due to years of [working in] radio. You've got to tell the listeners who you are talking to! I also repeat people's names in the hope that if the interview turns out, I might be able to use it for a record. For instance, on the new Evaporators LP, there is an interview with Snoop Doggy Dogg! How do you know it is Snoop? Because I say his name!

lcassidy@seattleweekly.com

 
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