INTERVIEW: Andrew Talks Government, God, and Pee-Wee Herman

Party Guru Andrew W.K. on Government, God and Pee-wee Herman | Westword | By Katie Moulton

Andrew W.K. wants you to ask yourself: What would a wizard do?

“Try to imagine that you’re the strongest, most noble, most thoughtful, most compassionate, intelligent person in the world,” he says, “and pretend to be that. Speak from that place. It’s more than self-awareness; it’s the ability to access this super-intelligence.”

The prolific entertainer, who popularized the ethos of “Party Hard,” used to write a popular advice column for the Village Voice, and this is his advice for those who want to give advice. W.K. says it works for giving yourself advice, too: “I have my first thought, usually a pretty shallow, petty thought. Then I can say, what if I were a really great person — what would I think? Imagine you’re a wizard, basically.”

The rocker is an offbeat wizard himself: In the past couple of weeks, W.K. released his first collaboration on an electronic-music record (“Party ’Til We Die”), started a weekly column at Vice, launched an app, and is in the midst of the “Power of Partying” — his first fifty-state speaking tour. For W.K., the form itself is merely a means to an end.

“Ultimately, it doesn’t matter so much to me if it’s as a musician or as a writer. I would most like to be seen as a symbol of that feeling,” he says. “Someone who you can turn to, as you would turn to a certain song.”

But to what feeling is he referring? Well, that gets more difficult to put into words. Even the term “party” is essentially meaningless — a stand-in for essential meaning.

“I never really defined [‘party’] to begin with,” he says. “It’s a feeling that I got from music, a feeling that I got from the best moments of my life, the most intense moments, and it’s essentially impossible to sum those feelings up. I chose the word for its clarity and its reach in that it could be understood by a three-year-old or a 33-year-old or a 93-year-old.”

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