Andrew W.K. doesn’t just “Party Hard” anymore — he parties all the time, 24/7, 365. It’s a lifestyle that sounds exhausting, but after listening to his latest album, “You’re Not Alone,” and talking to the rock star for about an hour, it’s apparent partying means much more to him than just guzzling down booze and staying out late on a weeknight. Perhaps lifestyle isn’t even the right word; it’s a philosophy. And a surprisingly deep one.
“My understanding of partying has developed, because I’m always trying to understand it better,” he told TooFab while chatting about his eighth album, which is also his first record release in eight years (his last being 2010’s “Mother of Mankind”). As much time as he spends singing about partying, or talking about partying in his motivational speaking career or to curious journalists like us, the trick seems to be not thinking about it too hard. “It’s not meant to be pinned down, and I think that’s one of its defining characteristics,” he continued. “It’s quite fluid and it’s quite chaotic, and there’s a joy that’s inherently found in that type of, almost out-of-control freedom.”
W.K. broke into the national consciousness back in 2001, a time when MTV’s “TRL” still mattered and helped introduce his brand of heavy, yet catchy and melodic rock to teenagers hungry for energetic party anthems. “Party Hard” and “She Is Beautiful” were the breakout hits from his debut studio album “I Get Wet,” which was also memorable for it’s eye-catchiing cover art — back when cover art still mattered, too — featuring just a closeup of his face with a bloody nose. But he’s not just a force of hard rock. In fact, he told TooFab he doesn’t “even know” if he’s a rock musician (he prefers playing piano to electric guitar and wishes there was more classical music at the Grammys). But one thing is for sure: He’s a hurricane of positivity, which seems to be the root of the gospel of this American party god.
“It is a mindset,” he said. “If one is looking for a way to party at all times — 24/7, 365 — as I was, it had to be a mindset. It had to go beyond action, and it had to become a way of perceiving and existing. It’s essentially developing layers of perspective that allow you to look at what’s going on around you and also what’s going on inside of you, and appreciate it.”
But don’t confuse appreciating something with enjoying it, because the party won’t always be a pleasure in this life. “You can appreciate something — appreciate the importance of something, appreciate the intensity of something — allow it to make a mark on you, to notice what is going on in your life, especially when it’s intense,” he told TooFab. “The lower impulse is to block it all out or numb it out or run away from all of it.”