Andrew W.K. On Writing/Not Writing “The Party Bible” | CBC Music | By Jesse Kinos-Goodin
Andrew W.K. doesn’t give straight answers, until of course he does. Determining the difference between the two is the challenge. Over the course of a 30-minute conversation about his new book, The Party Bible, expected at some point in the future, probably, the “great unwashed rock god” speaks so earnestly about his “party is life” philosophy that it’s hard to tell whether he’s being too serious or not serious at all.
But what else would you expect from a guy who was once rumoured to be the new cultural ambassador to Bahrain, writes a regular advice column for The Village Voice (sample advice: “You don’t have to like everything about someone in order to love them as a person”), only seems to wear sullied white denim and has made a career off his party-at-all-costs mentality prescribed aptly on his 2001 song, “Party Hard” (which is still his best known work).
The truth is, everyone seems to know of Andrew W.K., even if they don’t know why.
(Although, a good introduction would be his contribution on the soundtrack to the 2007 Adult Swim film, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, “Party Party Party,” which combines multiple Andrew W.K. songs into one epic medley, rhyming “party” with “starty,” “Marty,” “farty” and, of course, “party,” which is repeated 27 times.)
He’s also, possibly, the most positive musician on the planet, a dirty, rock ‘n’ roll Dalai Lama, spouting philosophy on the importance of having a good time. It’s why Simon & Schuster is publishing The Party Bible, his first book, and one of the reasons we’re speaking on the phone (the other being his Canadian tour dates, beginning March 25 in Toronto and ending March 29 in St. John’s).
What began as a book about, well, how to party, and which was going to compile W.K.’s various writings, turned into a “new-age philosophy book about partying. It’s thinking about the world in general,” he says, adding that “I’m going as wide and detailed as I can. The fundamentals of birth and death and everything in between.”
Of course, he’s never written a book before, is only one page in (“I have the cover, I don’t know if they count that as a page?”) and it’s due on April 1 (get it?).
“My editor said, I want this book to create the mindset for where these party tips emerge from, so it become a bigger project. It’s like the difference between painting the world instead of a flower,” he says.
Appropriately enough, we’ve asked Andrew W.K. for his 10 tips for a great party, and he’s taken the liberty to email them ahead of time (you can read them below). Considering he regularly tweets party tips, such as “PARTY TIP: Whether you believe it or not, you do have magical powers. Use them wisely!,” we were fully expecting some tongue-in-cheek advice. Instead, the self-proclaimed “king of partying” sends the most straight-edged 10 tips you could ask for, insisting that each one could also be applied in day-to-day life.
For example, Andrew W.K.’s party tip number three: have lots of food and snacks.
“At an event, it gives people something to focus on and gives you something to do with your hands. In day-to-day life, if you don’t have snacks you will eventually die,” he says.
And again, it’s hard to tell if he’s being genuine, or just genuinely having fun with us, although that hardly seems to matter. Since his 2001 debut, I Get Wet, he’s always skirted that fine line between irony and sincerity so brilliantly that when I tell you he’s opened for Black Sabbath, sang in Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg band and given motivational speeches at both a convention for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom and Yale University, the only logical response is: “Of course he has.”
Make of Andrew W.K.’s career what you will, but it’s impossible to not like the man and his philosophy. In the age of irony, he’s the most sincere musician we have. Or the least.
Andrew W.K.’s 10 tips for throwing a party
1. Have lots of trash cans.
2. Have lots of music.
3. Have lots of food and snacks.
4. Have lots of drinks.
5. Have lots of places to sit.
6. Have a quiet area.
7. Don’t have too many lights.
8. Don’t have too many rules.
9. Don’t make people pay for too much.
10. Don’t be mean.