NEW YORK CITY — There are more than a few things that are surprising about “party professor” and rock-and-roller Andrew Wilkes-Krier — better known by his stage name Andrew W.K.
The 35-year-old who was raised in Michigan and has been a New York City resident for the last 17 years doesn’t live in a dingy East Village pad — he prefers his glassy Midtown apartment in the clouds.
He once worked on interior decorating for the Bergdorf Goodman department store.
“What made those places so great is that there was always a sense that they were only temporary, like they weren’t meant to be there in the first place,” W.K. said.
“You basically have a choice. You can be so angry about it that you give up or you get so angry it motivates you and you build your own place.”
While W.K. did open his own place in 2006, Santos Party House in Chinatown, the multi-instrumentalist first came to fame through his first album “I Get Wet,” released in 2001. He has stayed in the public eye with a long list of odd jobs, from hosting a show on the Cartoon Network to a weekly advice column in the Village Voice and motivational speaking gigs.
His most recent gig is stumping for Stolichnaya Vodka’s ScenebyStoli project on a national tour that celebrates those who pioneered nightlife culture in cities like New York, Chicago and Detroit. He’s also playing a solo show this Saturday at The Knitting Factory.
How did you end up living in a Midtown high-rise?
Most of my New York experiences were initially seeing it in movies and reading about it. When I visited, that was my vision of New York — tall buildings — and a place that looked as different as possible from where I was from [Michigan]. It wasn’t a tree-lined street, it was a concrete jungle that I wanted. I never really worked in a regular office job, so it never felt the same to me as people who wanted to avoid Midtown because they worked there.