NEW INTERVIEW: Doing Right By The Party Gods

Andrew W.K. Just Wants To Do Right By The Party Gods | Collide Culture

Andrew W.K. releases You’re Not Alone, his first new album in over a decade, out today, March 2nd.

The 16-track album consists of triumphant, high octane rock anthems interspersed with spoken-word reflections. Lead single “Music Is Worth Living For” sets the tone for the album, one that acknowledges and celebrates the twists and turns of life, and embracing all that it means to be alive, even “In Your Darkest Moments,” and how one can move through those moments by maintaining a “Party Mindset.”

You’re Not Alone symbolizes music as a life-line, one that has gotten Andrew W.K. through some of his most difficult moments. Through his songs he hopes to share the transformative power of music with his fans. His actions have been making an impact: Andrew W.K. was recently named ‘Person of the Year’ by the American Association of Suicidology in recognition of his nearly two decades of positive and celebratory entertainment.

Culture Collide spoke with Andrew W.K. about some of the inspiration behind You’re Not Alone, tapping into life-force energy, and doing right by the party gods.

Andrew W.K. takes his party on tour beginning with SXSW (including COLLiDE x Dr. Martens March 15).

Your lead single is titled “Music Is Worth Living For.” In addition to music what else makes life worthwhile for you?

Andrew W.K.: The song was written out of a desperate feeling of looking for something completely absolute that I could, without a shadow of a doubt, say made life worthwhile. Music was the first thing that came to mind for better or worse. I could also say that about certain family members with the same level of clarity. But families change and grow and enlarge and contract over time, but music has always been consistent.

Some would also say the challenge of trying to make life meaningful is a worthy endeavor, and trying to become worthy of your own life, not the particular endeavors that you might pursue within that life, but the chance to have come into existence at all.

It’s kind of like you have to pay back destiny or the powers that be for bringing you into being. Even if it’s your parents. Whether you even wanted to come into being or not, you didn’t get a choice some would argue, but you want to try to make the best of it so that it can become a worthwhile pursuit. But that can feel quite heavy, like a heavy load to bear, so things like music, to me, are very uplifting and very energizing and gives me personally, and I think a lot of people, the fuel and resilience to approach this great effort called making life count. So that’s how I was thinking about it at the time.

Are there any particular artists or songs that make you feel especially amped up?
AW.K.: Countless, countless. From a very young age I realized music was this magical, reliable phenomenon that changed the way it felt to be me. It made me feel better than I did before I started hearing that song, before that part in the particular piece of music came in. The first few times that happened I actually kind of thought it was a fluke. I didn’t even know what that feeling was.

The first memory I have where music wasn’t this passive experience was around age four. It reached into me, and physically altered me. It wasn’t just a mood or an idea; it was an entire physical change. And it was a bit orgasmic – these waves and chills and kind of butterflies in the stomach and the whole feel. Like ‘this feeling is telling me if I can feel this good while being alive, than there has to be something to all this.’ I just wanted to stay close to that. I think of music as one thing with many forms, many manifestations. I enjoy looking at it as one big song. Like all the pieces of music in the world, including all the ones that haven’t been written or recorded or performed yet, they are all a part of one endless song somewhere. One big melody.