Andrew Fetterly Wilkes-Krier, better known by the stage name Andrew W.K., always encourages his listeners to party.
His music is raucous, blunt and loud, but it effectively embraces and celebrates the inherent ridiculousness of the hard-rock genre. And for those who really listen to what W.K. has to say, the ever-present command to party has a deeper meaning.
W.K.’s rock career stems from his childhood piano lessons. He began taking piano lessons when he was about 5 years old.
“My dad had played piano so there was always a piano in the house, and he took lessons from time to time, so I was exposed to that early on,” said W.K.
W.K.’s interest in music never waned, and he began composing his songs and branching out to guitar, bass and percussion. But he always returned to piano.
“You can just sit down, press those keys, and you’re going to get interesting sounds and you’re going to get interesting feelings,” W.K. said. “From the beginning, I was always more inclined to mix stuff up and more excited about that than learning other pieces or sight-reading.”
In his early 20s, W.K. kicked off his party-god career with the controversial 2001 debut album “I Get Wet,” which featured a photo of W.K. on the cover sporting an extremely bloody nose.
Although the album received very mixed reviews and tepid commercial success, “I Get Wet” has reached a cultish status. You’ve probably heard key tracks like “Party Hard” and “It’s Time to Party” coming at you from your television or a bar sound system. Both of the songs are the perfect homage to the blunt, masculine rock that dominated the early 2000s charts. Perhaps these songs will serve a slightly different purpose 14 years later, tugging at nostalgic millennial heartstrings.