Amid Darkness and Division, Andrew W.K. Preaches Positivity | Flagpole Magazine | By Nathan Kerce
It has been just over 14 years since rock and roll innovator and popular media personality Andrew W.K. last performed at the 40 Watt Club, but he still hasn’t forgotten that night.
“I remember that night very well for a variety of reasons,” he says. “It was the one-year anniversary of 9/11. It was extraordinarily hot, and I was really exerting myself. As soon as I got off stage I vomited. It actually felt really good. Most people are familiar with this—your body only vomits when it needs to feel better. It was kind of a euphoric feeling.”
On Saturday, W.K. returns to the 40 Watt on his “Power of Partying” speaking tour. Though W.K. is primarily known for his rambunctious punk songs and frequent TV appearances, he has spent the last 10 years giving lectures about his unique, positive outlook on life. This specific tour comes on the heels of the creation of the Party Party, W.K.’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek attempt to enter the 2016 political process with a platform that centers around bringing communities from all across America together—to party.
But what does it mean to party? To W.K., the word has a deep, almost primal origin.
“The best way to describe it is that all of my efforts in life are to conjure up a kind of raw energy,” he says, before admitting, “It is a bit indescribable. How do you describe the feeling music gives you when you like a song? How do you describe the feeling you get going down a rollercoaster? Is it happiness? Sure, but this goes beyond a mood. There’s something physical about it. It involves nearly every aspect of your being.
“I thought maybe the best way to describe that situation was as a life force, a sort of vitality,” he continues. “This feeling of not only being alive but being glad that you’re alive. My whole goal is to just try and immerse myself in that feeling personally. It helps me feel better about life and all its struggles. That’s partying.”