METRO NEW YORK: Andrew Talks about the Healing Joy of Partying

Andrew W.K. Preaches the ‘Healing Joy’ of Partying | Metro New York | By Eva Kis

Stop trying to fit partying into your schedule. Stop dividing your life into categories. The party is already happening, all around you.

Known for songs that overwhelmingly feature the word “party,” Andrew W.K. gets philosophical when asked to define it.

“The pressure is that there is no pressure, and once you start introducing too many rules like that, I find that suddenly it’s not a party anymore,” he tells Metro at the Lower East Side’s Pyramid Club during a recent gig. “I always liked the idea that [a party] was a place where you could do what made you truly happy, and allow everyone else to do the same.”

The Michigan native has lived in New York City for 17 years, taking in the entertainment and nightlife and arriving at the conclusion that there’s no wrong way to have a good time (as long as you’re not hurting yourself or others, he’s quick to qualify). He describes himself as “someone who’s very focused on the feeling of joy and uses partying as the most direct means to bring that feeling about.”

He describes the process of achieving a state of party as overcoming the obstacles people put in front of themselves, the arbitrary goals and requirements to be able to feel like the party can commence, because “it’s already there – that’s the hardest thing to figure out, that it’s already been there the whole time.”

Watching Netflix on your sofa counts; so does climbing Mt. Everest. “It can be a relaxing experience, it can be a very energetic, physical or athletic experience — but it’s more that you can tell it when you feel it,” he says. “All partying counts as long as it’s bringing you that sense of, ‘I’m glad to not be dead.’”

But most people don’t party by watching Netflix. Dancing, drinking or however you go out and have fun can be physically exhausting. But maybe that’s because you’re doing that wrong, too. “The healthiest thing you can do is party, and if you start to feel unhealthy it means you’re not partying enough,” he says.

“There are times I’ve gone out and continued my partying adventures and physically didn’t feel well, and I’m glad that I’m going out because I know by the end of that night I’m gonna be completely healed.”

If that’s how he lives his life, does he even have a bucket list, or is it just one long to-do list?

“There are things that I would like to do before I die, but I just assume if they’re meant to happen, they’ll happen,” he says. “I don’t like the pressure that you have to get these things done.”

His advice to get on the party circuit: Stop thinking you’re in control of everything — or anything. “It’s kind of humbling but it’s a lot more fun. I just go along where I’m taken and things have been much more interesting since I decided to do that.”

How music fits in

Andrew W.K. wears so many hats – columnist, a lecturer at universities from Harvard to Oxford, TV personality – that the music he first became known for seems like it was just a way to get his foot into the party. But he calls it the first, and purest, instrument of partying.

“Music is a very effective, very powerful means to that end of party joy,” he says. “It’s perhaps for many people the most effective way to get in that feeling. It’s extremely reliable; it’s completely mystical the way it works: It elevates you to this state of mind, state of body, state of spirit, really, more quickly and effortlessly than most other things in life, besides maybe laughing and smiling. It is direct party energy distilled into sound.”

Andrew W.K.
Nov. 22, 11 p.m.
Knitting Factory
361 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn