Beyond the Pit Chicago’s crack staff reporter -Cooper- was granted the honor of getting to meet and spend some time with “The King of Partying”, Mr. Andrew W.K. Andrew was making his inaugural visit to South Bend, IN. @ Cheers Pub. His current string of dates is billed as “The Party Messiah Tour”. This endeavor features Andrew W.K., his tour manager Blake and a keyboard. This is an extension of the tour he did earlier this year also as a solo project. I showed up fashionably late only to find that the energy in the room was exceptionally high and the crowd was all a buzz. C’mon now, this is South Bend were talking about, it’s not too often that this area gets a big time act like Andrew W.K. rolling through these parts. That being said, the only unfortunate thing was that this was on a Monday night!
BTPC – It has been some time since you have released any “NEW” material in the U.S. Where are you in the process with that now?
Andrew W.K. – there have been some very frustrating and exhilarating times in the process. I do have many things in the works, whether it be a lyrical idea and some songs that are almost finished. I’ve just needed that two or three months to complete it all. Like I said “there have been times that have been very frustrating. To be honest, looking at the big picture I am doing things that I’d have to cancel or just say “NO” so I could sit down, finish and record it. There might be a time that it might come down to that but really I don’t want to force it and just let the album happen on its own. I just spent a month on the road opening for Black Sabbath. I felt like that was a really good reason to not record it. I very excited about the material that we have so, hopefully early next year.
BTPC – You referenced that you opened for Black Sabbath. Arguably a pioneer in heavy metal and now you are getting ready to go out and do vocals for Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg. Again, an icon and pioneer in Punk Rock. How has that made you feel?
Andrew W.K. – I don’t know! I’m singing for the greatest punk band and the greatest punk songs too. I’m really blown away that these things are happening. I literally wake up and try to process it and wait for someone to tell me that it’s a dream. I’m a combination of being very humbled, very lucky, excited and also just amazed. I’m not the best singer or performer but for some reason these opportunities were offered. I can tell you this “ there wasn’t a minute that I didn’t think about not doing it”. I suppose that there’s someone, some force or something that’s allowed me to be in this situation. So, I’ll just show up and give it all I’ve got.
BTPC – Its been documented that there has been about three years of trials and tribulations and for lack of a better term, “Bullshit” going on. How did you stay positive? And how did Cherie help you through this.
Andrew W.K. – Well to answer the first part… I didn’t always stay positive. There were many times of frustration, confusion, depression and anger. In a way, all those bad feelings were as motivating as good feelings. I needed to show that I had something to prove and that I wasn’t satisfied and that I wasn’t finished. When I met Cherie, all of this was just starting out and I didn’t know legally if I could even do anything musically. So, not only was it great to have something to make you feel good in the midst of all these bad things but meeting your soul mate (at any time) was really great. Cherie gave me a lot of energy, comfort and joy. I am very lucky to have anyone in my life like that especially at a time when I needed that the most!
BTPC – So, you’ve in a sense, pushed through those walls or at least getting there where are you right now in all of this now? Andrew W.K. – I am trying to do everything that I can. Nothing has been completely resolved, there’s still some issues but I’ve always thought that I can’t give up myself and through everything you just don’t quit. That has never been an option. I am just thankful that I can come to places like South Bend and play for everyone here. That’s what keeps me going!
BTPC – Congratulations to you for becoming the face of Playtex Sexy Wipes. I’m sure that its just as big of an honor as playing with Black Sabbath etc.
Andrew W.K. – (finally Andrew smiles) In its own way it is. I’m proud to represent with the product. It’s a new product and it is a sexual product so it is exciting. Honestly, I was just amazed that Playtex wanted to have anything to do with someone who looks like and has a reputation like me. I can relate to the product (I’m not proud but…) when I’m on tour I sweat a lot and get pretty grubby so yeah I was amazed and excited.
BTPC – The tag line for it is “If you’re going to party hard, you should be clean where it counts” BTPC – You just broke a record for drumming. What was going through your head about hour fourteen?
Andrew W.K. – Well, you know when you’re on a long drive and you have to go to the bathroom really bad but you just push through it and its OK but then as you’re putting the key in the front door, you just know that you’re going to pee in your pants? You think about it and say “I just held it for the last three hours”. That’s what it was like. The most difficult time were those last five minutes.
BTPC – You have made comments about seeing Raffi live as a young boy. Would you do a 7” split with him?
Andrew W.K. – HMMM, I look at myself and wonder why some of the performers even want to be associated with me. I look at it like this. When I’m working with other people, it makes me look really cool and it must make them look really UN-cool. If he wanted to do something I’d be all for it.
BTPC – I was lucky enough for Andrew to sing a few bars of a few Raffi Christmas songs BTPC – Are you going to continue the solo tour?
Andrew W.K. – It is really apples and oranges. I love playing with my band very much but there’s something very special that happens on a solo tour. The energy and the intimacy in a venues like this just drives me in a different way, its something very special that we are experiencing together.
BTPC – would you ever consider doing a spoken word tour with Henry Rollins?
Andrew W.K. – Henry is an amazing guy and for him to even consider me for something like that would be amazing. So, if hes up for it I am.
BTPC – Whats one tip you could give me for Partying?
Andrew W.K. – DONT DIE!
Well folks, straight from “The King of Partying” Don’t Die!