Andrew W.K. On His Enduring Love of Death Metal | AllMusic | By Chris Steffen
Who needs a new album when your ethos does the heavy lifting? Andrew W.K. doesn’t feel rushed to put out new music, and he’s still having a blast. He’s hitting the road for a quick run of solo shows in the Midwest and east coast, beginning tonight with a sold out show in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We caught up with the eternal party animal and talked about his continued appreciation for death metal, the album he’s listened to almost daily for two decades, and learning to be OK with the rate of his musical output.
AllMusic: Fourteen years later, your set is still primarily songs from I Get Wet and you haven’t been teasing new music. How does that sit with you?
Andrew W.K.: I just do what I’m told to do, basically, so there’s almost no pressure. It’s like if you had to walk to a friend’s house and you were given directions, you’d just go. You could try to take a shortcut, but then you’re going against when they said, “Please, please go down this road and take it this way,” and you wouldn’t necessarily feel pressure, there’s no rush. I just do what I’m told to do, and it took me a long time to feel OK about that, to not feel frustrated, or to feel out of control in a bad way. Now I realize that being out of control is probably the best thing that’s ever happened to be and allowed me to put all my energy into doing what I’m meant to do, what I’m asked to do, what I’m supposed to do, rather than thinking I’m the one having to control everything. Talk about pressure, that’s very stressful, so that was never the case, and now I realize that, and now I don’t have to feel that way and just do stuff.
AllMusic: You’ve managed to stay in the public eye in many other ways, though, so it’s not like you’ve been gone.
W.K.: I’m a person, a partier, that was always what I hoped. I want to be a person that someone can go to for a certain feeling, and whether they get it through music or us talking right now or a kids’ show, anything, I want them to be able to come to me for a good, cheered up, joyful feeling. I’m a joy boy. Anything else, it’s just a way to further that sensation. I love music and I am working on new songs, and when it’s meant to come out, I’ll put it out, I guess.
AllMusic: I chose going to one of your shows in 2002 instead of going to my senior prom. What in your life have you missed out on because of music?
W.K.: Just huge portions of life in general, I can’t think of a specific instance, but many times I’ve sacrificed spending time with people doing anything, going out into the world at all, in order to record and work on songs and albums, thousands of hours spent doing that, so in that way you’re passing up every single thing you could possibly be doing, but it’s also life in general, you have an infinite number of things you could do at any one moment and you choose one thing in the midst of all those, it’s very odd in that regard to think about the millions of things that one could do, and somehow we wind up choosing whichever one we do for that moment, however long that moment lasts, and it’s really a thing to marvel at, I’d never thought about it that way.
Photo by Jon Premosch