Someone recently introduced me to the existence of ‘kooky Canadian interviewer’ Nardwuar The Human Serviette and I wanted to share him with you.
His access to bands is great – check out his lengthy backstage chatter in 1994 with a relaxed, pizza-eating Kurt Cobain. It’s a remarkably intimate record of Nirvana trying to maintain normality at the peak of their fame, just months before Kurt killed himself.
Nardwuar’s research is impressive too. When he presents Pharrell Williams with a series of gifts and hard-to-find vinyl during one interview, the N.E.R.D front man is visibly overwhelmed. It’s like watching a magician freak someone out with impossible tricks.
He’s also completely insane. Plenty of musicians take offence at his interview style which can seem to be intentionally disrespectful. As a viewer you end up cringing as he spirals deeper into dark territory. Violence or a celebrity storm-off never seem far away – check out the clash with Blur’s Dave Rowntree below.
If there’s one thing that Nardwuar’s not it’s boring. Or predictable. Plus, somehow, somewhere in amongst all the poking and provoking, you can tell that Nardwuar LOVES music. And he clearly doesn’t give a fuck what anyone else thinks.
You can watch some of Nardwuar’s finer moments from two decades of stalking stars below. If you’re interested further, search his name on YouTube for clips of him with Sonic Youth, Franz Ferdinand, Slipknot, The Melvins, Lily Allen, Marilyn Manson, The Misfits, Arctic Monkeys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and loads more.
Enjoy the selection of videos below. And to end with Nardwuar’s own sign-off catchphrase – “Keep on rocking in the free world. Doo doot, do doo doo… doo doo!”
Nardwuar blows Pharrell’s mind:
Nardwuar and Nirvana:
Blur’s Dave Rowntree shoves The Human Serviette around, gets in his face and chucks his hat and glasses on the floor. “Alright, dozy bollocks?”:
Snoop Dogg helps himself to Nardwuar’s vinyl and a black panther:
Henry Rollins fails to see the joke:
The Strokes deny the importance of great cheek-bones in rock music:
Busta Rhymes gets agitated: