Andrew W.K. Isn’t Partying Hard Anymore | By Jesse Richman | Myspace
Over the course of a decade, Andrew W.K. has carved out a place in pop culture for headbanging, piano-heavy maximalist rock and seized on the word “party” as his own, morphing it into both a personal brand and a life philosophy—one that runs far deeper that it might appear on the surface.
But while music is where Andrew W.K. made his first impact, over the past few years he’s broadened his reach, dabbling in everything from writing (the “Ask Andrew W.K” advice column for the Village Voice) to talk radio (the weekly America W.K. program on Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze network). He’s even become a motivational speaker (check out his keynote speech from a 2012 My Little Pony convention. No, really).
Myspace tracked down Andrew W.K. during a break in his ongoing solo tour to find out just how he juggles it all and, more importantly, why.
Myspace: Your tour schedule has had you jumping directly from full-band festival sets into solo shows in small rooms. Does it take a different mindset to make the show work in such different circumstances?
Andrew W.K.: It’s all challenging in a good way, as any worthwhile thing tends to be. But no, not in particular. The whole focus of whatever it is I’m doing has never been about music as an end in itself. What I’m trying to do is to use music to conjure up a type of energized excitement. The means themselves are very noble and worthy pursuits, but for my own situation, they are just a mechanism, a tool, a road that is leading to a very specific place. […] My music is like a hammer. It’s supposed to be used to build something. To build a feeling. And [a hammer is] not sacred. It’s a means to an end.
One of many means. You write an advice column. You host a radio show. You do motivational speaking gigs. Did it all start with music because that was the only way you knew to get to those ends at first?
Andrew W.K.:Music is the most instantaneous for me personally. It changes the way it feels to be you. It changes your body. It changes the physical feeling about being alive. The first thing I really learned how to do, before I learned many other things in life, was piano, so that’s just sort of the thing that was most familiar to me.