I don’t know if anyone else in the world is fit to interview another human except for Nardwuar the Human Serviette. He’s generous, hilarious, and with a few pinpointed questions, will reveal some sort of truth about an artist, good or bad. Needless to say, the pairing of Nardwuar and Willis Earl Beal is a match made in weirdo music heaven, with appreciation on both ends that makes for an unendingly fun interview.
Though his gruff exterior and domineering stage presence might illustrate otherwise, Beal is an appreciative and positive dude. He’s left pretty stunned by the gifts he’s given, as Nardwuar offers him a reel to reel (in case his ever breaks), plus a whole slew of other goodies. And as I do with most Nardwuar interviews, I ask the question, “What did I learn about Willis Earl Beal?” Well, probably the most startling (and great) admission is Beal used to listen to Nickelback and Smash Mouth before getting into the musical titans of Waits and Dylan. Most artists want to say that they were listening to Jandek since they were in the womb, but as Beal openly proclaims, it’s okay if you haven’t, people! It made me feel genuinely okay about my musical past as an avid Limp Bizkit and Korn fan. Just be honest, y’all.
Acousmatic Sorcery is out now via XL Recordings’ Hot Charity.