Andrew W.K. Partying In Montana! Bring Candy! | Noise & Color | By Lauren Asmus
“Andrew, is there anything that nobody really asks you that you’d like to talk about?”
My assumption was that he would dish out something amazing.
“Yes… that is perhaps the best question of all…I would like you to ask me about –fruit flavored candies.”
Even if you’re not enthused by head banging pop-rock, Andrew Wilkes-Krier (A.W.K.) is someone you need to know. Aside from a successful career as a singer/songwriter, A.W.K. has held a menagerie of side jobs, including but not limited to: show host, Lil’ Bub enthusiast, 24 hour drum playing world record holder, motivational speaker, and advice columnist. His Twitter is also unbelievably chipper, frequently using the word ‘party’ in place of just about any positive verb or adjective.
You should also know about the A.W.K. rabbit-hole– a place that will develop some serious vision damage if stared at too long. Hours of blog and website content are dedicated to whether Mr. A.W.K. and his career are a giant hoax, created by an elusive puppet master named Steev Mike and his team of cronies. He is also a suspected member of the Illuminati. Throughout the enigma, one very clear trend emerges: if you ask about whether or not he’s a real person… good luck getting him to talk.
So the question for the elusive artist must be, “what would you like to talk about?”
And the response from A.W.K is “that [fruit flavored candies] is the first thing that pops into my mind when you opened the territory to any topic.”
This should not have been shocking. A.W.K.’s list of accomplishments does include an aptitude for making random responses and faces on national TV. So, like trying to enjoy the well-known sour treats we all had as children, some conversations just require trying not to panic until the initial shock dissolves.
After more than five sugary, albeit poetic and articulate, minutes of conversation about ‘suddenly waking up with an intense new craving for fruity candies,’ A.W.K. spills out a sentence that unveils an unusually humble core for a famous person. In response to a casual mention that tastes buds typically change several times over a person’s life, he says “that actually gives me a sense of relief, that your tastes buds can change preferences… because you normally think that you can have control over what you like or don’t like when it comes to taste, and not just in foods but in the world in general… what your taste is, what you prefer, what you like about life… but maybe it’s not always in your control, maybe your brain, just like your tastes buds, does that too. Maybe you all of a sudden like music and locations that you didn’t like before.”
He certainly has a flavor all his own.
Speaking of musical tastes and evolving… When asked about the myriad of things he’s accomplished in his career, A.W.K. doesn’t think of himself as a diverse musician, he just likes music. He attributes his changing musical style to a core understanding of the fundamentals he learned in his traditional piano training as a kid. The underlying theme across all the different things he’s done is that desire “to create that rush of joy, or good feelings, and be able to create that for others.”
What’s more interesting is the parallel he seems to draw between music and all other things. “I’d rather like music than not like it” he says, “it can be very exciting to be all riled up about what you don’t like… but usually for me it feels better to like a song, or anything in the world, whether it be a chord change or a melody, or a person.” The result of seeking out this silver lining is that he gets “go outside of that initial comfort zone and make a new friend.”
In reference to his career in motivational speaking and advice giving… A.W.K. credits his open-mindedness and even keel attitude not to having all the answers, but to asking a lot of questions. “Really the only thing I’m an expert on is being Andrew W.K., but I just think, what would the person I would most admire say, and then try to pretend to be that person.” His latest column in the Village Voice, ‘Ask Andrew W.K.: My Dad Is a Right-Wing Asshole’ has garnered quite a bit of positive feedback. Even uber-conservative Glenn Beck recently hosted Andrew on his show for his poignant idea that everyone should be treated like a human being, despite political status or wrong-doing.
So what can you expect from this Skittles-loving-sensitive-sensation in his upcoming Billings appearance? AWK “really wants it to feel like a party.” This solo show comes complete with loud, high energy music, electronic keyboard, and drum machine. “It’ll be a very intimate, up-close and personal event, and I think if all of us, if we gather together in that room with that mindset of celebrating each other’s presence, at that moment we can really stir up a joyful event. It feels in a way like you’re hanging out in your living room, singing the songs that you like, and you’re just belting them out. We’re just playing. It’s a play-date basically, we are playing together, and everyone should feel like they’re part of the play-date.”
Serendipity… The day of this interview NPR released a story on why adults need play too. Research shows play is associated with basic biological functions, such as sleeping, eating, and sex. It is theorized as highly necessary to our ability to socialize and maintain healthy relationships.
So what does that mean for the A.W.K. experience? Well, for starters, this purported Illuminati-phony doesn’t have to be a real person for you to enjoy him. As a matter of your well-being, you might be better off not thinking about that at all, and instead, taking this moment to exercise your ‘social skills’ through play. If that doesn’t convince you to take a minute and let go, perhaps take the term ‘Party’ literally. The etymology of Party- French Partir- to divide, originates as a side gathering of peoples. So put on your white jeans, remember your sing in the living room attitude, and separate yourself from a world that questions everything.
Tuesday, August 19: The Railyard – Andrew W.K. and Idaho Green
What to bring: $20, your white jeans, and a ‘singing in your living room’ attitude
What not to bring: serious questions
* The artist highly advises stretching your calves, throat, mind, and soul for this event
P.S. If you’re looking to enlighten yourself with the Zen of ‘AWK party,’ keep your eyes open for his upcoming book, The Party Bible. Teaser, you will not only learn to live your life as “party as possible,” but also about ‘Positive Partying,’ which AWK defines as “having fun and doing things that continue that.”