15 Years After ‘I Get Wet,’ Andrew W.K.’s Nose Is Still Dripping Blood | Noisey | By Dan Ozzi
Under the Covers explores the stories behind iconic album covers.â€‹
Anyone who knows Andrew W.K. personally will tell you—â€‹if there’s anything he loves as much as partying, it’s playing pranks. For years, the greasy party rocker has gleefully fanned the flames of an online conspiracy theory about himself that claims that he is not the original Andrew W.K., but an actor hired to replace the man who initially portrayed him. He has also subtly and not so subtlyâ€‹ enjoyed the occasional trolling of interviewers and news anchors. Not to mention, some people have hypothesized that his entire existence is one elaborate piece of Andy Kaufman-esque performance art. So when pressed on the circumstances that led to the iconic image of his nose dripping blood on the cover of his breakout 2001 album, I Get Wet, he gets a bit dodgy with details.
“After years of talking about it—and it’s not due to me being tired of talking about it at all—I don’t want to say how I did it,” he tells me. “I feel a little bit bad about it. It’s not something I want to encourage others to do. It’s not something I would want to do again.”
In past interviews, he has given varying accounts of the photoshoot behind it. He has claimed to some that he took a chunk of cinderblock and rammed it into his face to produce blood. He has also said that since he was unable to produce enough blood through force, he squirted his nostrils with pig’s blood that he got at a butcher shop.
Even the image’s photographer, Roe Ethridge, seems to be in on this charade when pressed. “Andrew went into the bathroom, he did… what he did, and he came out with blood coming out of his nose,” he says diplomatically, carefully navigating his word choices for this corroboration, all these years later. Ethridge hasn’t kept in close contact with W.K. over the years, he says, but he was instantly drawn to him upon meeting him.