This Was My Dream’: Talking Goal Songs Fandom, and Destiny with Andrew W.K. | By Sean Gentile | Sporting News
PITTSBURGH — Andrew W.K. had to wear a hoodie over the white T-shirt. Consol Energy Center was that cold.
That’s where we spoke to W.K. on Wednesday; the Penguins, with a push from their fan base, are playing his 2001 song “Party Hard” after goals, and he was in town to host — you guessed it — a party later that night against the Rangers.
Last season, an ongoing joke in the press box was that it was tough to remember what the Penguins used as a goal song, even a minute after the goals themselves. They opted for “Kernkraft 4000” and “Rock And Roll, Part II” a lot. Now, they’ve got a burgeoning tradition in that space, and it’s cool.
W.K. shared more specifics about the campaign itself, so we’ll leave those out here; it started during the 2015 playoffs on Twitter, courtesy of Nicholas Doblick (@psamp), gained momentum and crescendoed a few weeks into the season during a home game against the Sabres. The team, to its credit, paid attention, and the song played.
A few months later, W.K. was in Pittsburgh. A few hours before, we spoke to him about the process — and a lot more. We’ve edited the conversation for clarity, but only barely.
It’s about more than goal songs; he’s an interesting person with a lot of different pursuits — music is one of them, yeah, but more than anything, he’s creative, engaged and thoughtful, and it made for a nice talk. There’s a level of sincerity and depth that, for people whose knowledge of his career stops with the “Party Hard” video or the “I Get Wet Album” cover, might be surprising, but there’s always been an undeniable motivation and ethos underlying his choices, and that shows.
Also, partying only came up once.
SPORTING NEWS: I saw you at a club show in Oakland, like a million years ago (in 2002).
ANDREW W.K.: Oakland, California?
SN: No, it’s here. Right by Pitt’s campus. I think you were with Lostprophets or somebody. It’s good to see you again. How’s stuff gone today?
A.W.K.: Oh, very well. This has been the culmination of a lot of amazing different pieces coming together. It’s definitely a high point and a celebration day. So I’m very thankful I’m here, one, to show how much I appreciate the fact that not only the Penguins but especially the fan base have given “Party Hard” this great honor — to show that I don’t take that for granted at all. It’s a very big deal to me, especially the way this came about.
It was always my dream, from the inception of this style of music, that it’d be used for things. That it really wouldn’t stand on its own. That it was better if it could be empowered by certain atmospheres and certain situations, and that it could also as a result empower those atmospheres and those situations.
So I feel like this is just a dream come to true, not only for me but for the music itself — to be a means to an end. To be a soundtrack for a sporting event, especially as a goal song and especially in hockey, which is a great sport because the goals can sometimes be few and far between, especially compared to something like basketball where points are scored every few seconds.