Andrew W.K.: I Need A Dose of Minneapolis | City Pages | By Jared Hemming
For Andrew W.K. partying isn’t an art – it’s just life.
The 36-year-old singer and entertainer best known for his jock-jammy 2001 hit “Party Hard” doesn’t see partying as living out any rockstar cliches (aside from the occasional bloody-faced album cover). In fact, calling fresh off a game of cosmic bowling in Fargo, North Dakota, W.K. couldn’t sound more relaxed and thoughtful talking about the necessity of celebration.
Despite not having released music in the U.S. since 2009’s 55 Cadillac, W.K. keeps busy chasing partying as the meaning of life, in between gigs co-owning a Manhattan dance club and contributing a surprisingly thoughtful advice column to New York’s Village Voice. He even found time to co-produce a Grammy-nominated album by legendary dub artist Lee “Scratch” Perry.
Ahead of W.K.’s solo show tonight at the Triple Rock Social Club, the original party-rocker gave a generous amount of his time to explain why he doesn’t think of himself as a musician and how he feels partying is the “most fun activity I can think of.” Wanna party with W.K.? The Meet Andrew W.K. Party goes down at 5 p.m. at Dead Media.
City Pages: Your persona is so tied to the art that you make. What is the first question that interviewers always ask you?
Andrew W.K.: Certainly not this one. So that’s noted and appreciated, it’s a great question. Not really anyone in particular, just maybe “How are you?” You know, “How are you doing?” That’s probably the most common one.
If it’s more like the official interview portion, I guess people oftentimes have asked me about partying, my definition of the word “party” or “partying,” or to help a reader who is unfamiliar with anything I’ve done, to help them understand what I mean by partying. That’s a pretty common one.
CP: Totally. So what is that definition?
W.K.: It’s quite a broad word, is the answer I usually give. I do try to keep my answers interesting, not always the same, but there are some things that just are what they are. This is probably one of those questions I can really only answer the same way, which is, most people already know what partying is, and I don’t have to define it. That’s one of the reasons I was very drawn to that word and concept, that activity, that mindset, that phenomenon, myself, because it was very straightforward and very pure and joyful.
It’s really a physical and emotional state of celebration. It can take many different forms, it can be done in many different ways, and I think that’s part of the appeal as well. People can party in any way that suits them. I don’t usually tell people how to party, but it’s usually about looking at life itself as more of a party. Having this chance to exist is an incredible event that is worthy of our gratitude and oftentimes, when we’re thankful, we’re thankful for the weekend or the new year or thankful for our birthday or the birthday of someone else, [and] we celebrate that. So thinking of life itself as this great event to be thankful for, we can party every day.
Photo by Alyson Colleta