Nardwuar Interview

Nardwuar has long since made a name for himself through his unique, high pitched interviews in which he is known to delve into areas of pop culture history generally unknown to the masses. His band, the Evaporators, follow suit, living in obscurity while playing music reminiscent of a parade of caffeine induced indie-geeks (the good kind). Signing to Alternative Tentacles seemed like a reasonable move as Nardwuar’s classic interviews with Jello Biafra have proven that underneath the political guise, we’re all music just music nerds. Here, Nardwuar addresses the Evaporators early beginnings, ultimate stage-mates, and Thee Goblins.

One of my favorite quotes about the band’s music has been Nardwuar’s “We like simple songs like that where we tell people the title before we play so they can sing along.” Some look at the Evaporators as “a too-silly-to-even-be-funny Canadian quasi pop-punk band” (Jeb Branin from In Music We Trust). I’d like to think that the Evaporators are more of a “smart-in-life-so-we-can-play-fun-music” band. Who are the Evaporators?

Narwuar: The Evaporators, in my opinion, strive to make people smile, think, and inspire. We love doing songs with history related themes, which covers the thinking part, and the smiling part is hopefully covered by the live show. As for inspiring people, I think that happens because people that see/hear us say to themselves, “I can do that!”

From what I’ve read, the Evaporators have played with amazing bands like Pavement, Sleater-Kinney, and the Melvins in the past. If the band could play one last gig, who would the ultimate stage-mates be?

We would open for the the Pointed Sticks from Vancouver, BC, Canada! The Sticks formed in 1978, and broke up in 1980, but along the way produced the catchiest toons ever to come out of the Northwest. They even appeared in the movie Out of the Blue (1980) with Dennis Hopper!

Did the band really start up in 1986, and if so, what’s the 20th anniversary line up?!

Yes! The Evaporators were born on February 20, 1986. However, our first official CD Ripple Rock did not come out till 2004, so I would say we are only two years old!

Where did Thee Goblins (and their many incarnations) come from?

Thee Goblins formed in the women’s costume section of the Value Village in Bellingham, Washington, USA. After a few years, of playing the same nine songs over and over again, they decided to “spice” things up a bit and morph into other bands! Hence Thee Skablins (Ska), Thee Technoblins (Techno), Thee Disgoblins (Disco), Thee Dublins (Dub), Gob Bizkit (Asshole Rock), Thee Gothblins (Goth), well, um, you get the idea…

With so many side projects like John’s work with those Pornographer guys, [your] ongoing work in Vancouver, and David’s continued efforts with the Smugglers to name a few, will there be another Evaporators album?

Actually there kinda is a new album out now! My new interview DVD, Doot Doola Doot Doo… Doot doo! contains over an hour of Evaporators and Goblins Videos including quite a few unreleased toons. No joke! Check it out!

Leftöver Crack Interview

From the ruins of the self proclaimed squat-core band Choking Victim emerged the ska & punk influenced Leftöver Crack, and the band continues to persevere through political persecution, corporate neglect and personal tragedy. I had the opportunity to ask a few questions of lead singer, Stza, and he was gracious enough to take some time and work through some thoughts on corporate punk, the Zapatista tribe, and maintaining the band’s integrity.

I believe that bands like Leftöver Crack have a connection with bands like Anti-Flag & other borderline corporate bands like Against Me! While I think that one cannot exist without the other, can politically fueled music truly exist at a corporate level?

Stza: Well, the issue of hypocrisy is definitely raised and I feel it is a very important issue, but I also understand how manipulative the media in this country is, and while I don’t believe I would ever be interested in signing to a corporate label. I know that having a band like Anti-Flag in the spotlight will only help a band like ours prosper. Plus they are friends of ours, so I support their decisions.

I’ve read that the band has played with the Dead Kennedys in the past. Recently, has the band been approached by any other notable acts concerning playing with them during the upcoming spring tour or thereafter?

Stza: Well, I must say that when we played with the “NEW” DKs, we had already turned them down in the states as we wanted nothing to do with their cashing in on important political issues and tarnishing the group’s good name. The fact is we weren’t told till the day before and we didn’t want to let down our own fans in England. And no, we don’t get too many offers to play with popular punk bands that we respect and when we do, we usually have already booked a tour for those dates and have to turn the band down… but we will be playing a couple of shows in the Midwest with the Subhumans this April.

Touting that Leftöver Crack is “anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-cop, and anti-breeding, but pro-choice” — does the band still feel that they can be successful in America given that it is such an uphill battle?

Stza: Well, I think that we have already achieved a fair amount of success. When I talk to the fans that we do have, they are usually extremely enthusiastic about our music and political messages, the latter being the more important. I think if it wasn’t for our politics, we might sell a few more records, but people wouldn’t be steadily gravitating towards our back catalog over the years as they have. And as Immortal Technique says, if you go platinum, it just means a million people are as stupid as fuck.

While reading, I came across some information noting that you’ve spent some time in Mexico with the Zapatistas. How has that changed, influenced or confirmed the band’s music?

Stza: It’s hard to find popular revolutionary movements that have actually had some success, especially so close to the United States, where our government feels the need to crush all revolutionary activity. So, it’s definitely inspirational and reaffirming that we are not completely crazy and there are popular movements that thrive on many of the same principals that we hold dear.

I am a graduating business major and find myself constantly battling between the rules that govern our society and my personal ethics. I’m not trying to find a balance between my personal ethics and the political & business-based environment, because in doing so I have to greatly compromise my personal beliefs and integrity. I’ve heard that Leftöver Crack have been banned from certain clubs. Has this compromised the band’s beliefs at all, and how can I continue without giving up my beliefs?

Stza: No, when we are banned from clubs because of our political beliefs, it just reaffirms our righteousness. It’s easy to continue without compromising your beliefs — it simply involves shunning a lot of the best opportunities and settling for less money and less recognition.

Thank you very much for your time, and I hope that the band has a very successful tour this spring!

Stza: Gracias y viva la lucha.