Roaming With: Party Rocker Andrew W.K. | Travel Channel | By Alex Weatherly
For many of his fans, the name Andrew W.K. is synonymous with “party” – the hard-working musician has made a mission of spreading his good-time message for nearly two decades through live appearances, TV shows and advice columns. Andrew recently completed “The Power of Partying” U.S. tour, a run of speaking events that hit all 50 states over the course of eight weeks. Roam caught up with the “Party King” to ask about his travels and the philosophy behind the party.
Alex Weatherly: You started your career in music – what made you decide to do a speaking tour, and was this the first time you’d done something in that vein?
Andrew W.K.: This was a combination of seminar, discussion, Q&A and lecture. I’ve done these sorts of events primarily as one-offs over the past 10 years. With any kind of one-off event, it can be frustrating – if it goes well or doesn’t go well, there’s a strong desire to want to do it again, to apply what you learned as immediately as possible. It’s very satisfying to take those lessons from each night and put them towards another attempt the next night.
Alex Weatherly: How do you prepare for something like this and what was the response from the audience like?
Andrew W.K.: Most of what I’ve done, for better or worse, has not involved a lot of preparation or careful analysis … if I did that I would probably think myself right out of doing anything at all. I hoped it was going to be uplifting, but I didn’t put a lot of thought into it beyond that – just trying to speak from my heart each night about celebrating life. I was a bit intimidated, of course. I can never fully anticipate how people will respond or how a lecture or event like this will go over, or what people expect or even what I expect. I tried to do my best to sum it up in a kind of raw, energized enthusiasm that, hopefully, people can relate to. I hoped that what we discussed each night would confirm feelings [the audience had] within themselves, and amplify them in an encouraging way – that we could kind of cheer each other on in life.
Can you elaborate on your party philosophy?
Partying is extremely accessible – a child can understand the concept. It’s rejoicing, and that rejoicing is a foundation that gives you a type of optimism and enthusiasm for going out into the world. It’s a sense of hope, a sense of inner drive, but it’s also an end result you’re working towards – a level of achievement or experience that gives you reason to rejoice again, so there’s a beautiful, perpetual kind of fuel that comes from a celebratory attitude. Even to those who think they don’t like partying, I hope they can still understand it.