Interview: Hard Rock Partying Animal Andrew W.K. | Salute Magazine | By Daniel Offner
Andrew W.K. is so much more than just a rock and roll party animal. He is also a classically trained singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, actor, motivational speaker, columnist and radio personality.
Short for Wilkes-Krier, W.K. first rose to fame in 2001 with his major-label debut album I Get Wet from Island/Def Jam Records, which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers charts. The album also drummed up controversy overseas for its cover art, which many felt depicted an image of cocaine abuse.
Salute Magazine recently caught up with Andrew W.K. to discuss parties, politics, sports anthems, his advice column, “Ask Andrew W.K.” and his upcoming performance at Revolution Bar and Music Hall in Amityville, N.Y. on Dec. 12.
How come you never stop partying?
AWK: I tried it once many, many years ago. Probably around age 6, I stopped for a few minutes. It was bad. The closest thing I could imagine compares to death. But, much worse than death… like the absence of anything. Ever since then I made a solemn promise to myself and to life to never stop [partying] again.
What is it about your music that is so anthemic?
AWK: I don’t exactly know how a song is defined as an “anthem.” I guess it’s through the use of the song. In that way people have used the song to create a soundtrack for their moments of glory. But, I am not sure that you can set out to make an anthem.
As a New York Rangers fan, I can honestly tell you that there has not been a single game that I have been to without hearing “I Love NYC” over the loudspeakers. So, I am curious, do you follow any New York sports teams? Which ones?
AWK: I love sports very much, but out of sincere respect for sports fans, athletes and historians, I would never put myself in that category. I admire and respect athletes a great deal and am a humble admirer of the whole phenomenon itself. Their passion, risk and a rather unusual path in life—I can relate to that quite a bit. As a professional partier I try to relate in those ways. I really love fan culture and how anyone that can thrive off that atmosphere.
I’ve heard, of course, about the Rangers using my song “I Love NYC” at games. It’s an incredible honor. Going back to your last question, when they play that song in that atmosphere, there is that shared feeling of good energy. That was a high point and I am extraordinarily grateful.
As the authority on Rock and Roll “party animals,” which of the bands you’ve toured with in the past partied the hardest?
AWK: Every band that we’ve had the good fortune of playing with has been tremendously kind and dedicated to being part of the show. I don’t think I’m an “authority.” I’ve always allowed others to celebrate in their own way and I would hope they gave me the same respect to party in my own way, because we’re all there to make it a good night for everyone in attendance.