Andrew W.K. on Getting His Political Party on the 2016 Ballot | By Tessa Stuart | Rolling Stone
Andrew W.K. knows his strengths. The “Party Hard” singer and proprietor of Santo’s Party House in New York City is the Michael Jordan of having a good time. In the past, he’s spread the party gospel both in his old Village Voice advice column, and on Twitter, where he deploys zen koans disguised as party tips on a regular basis.
Last week, though, W.K. elevated his mission “to unify and unite people under a common celebratory philosophy” to another level. In an announcement video that dropped last Thursday — April Fool’s Eve — he declared his intention to establish a new political party.
The party, W.K. explained, would transcend the vitriolic atmosphere pervading all levels of government and restore Americans’ faith in the political process. Was this an April Fool’s joke? W.K., who spoke to Rolling Stone about his plans for the party earlier this week, swears it’s not.
Rolling Stone: Your video reminded me of a column you did for the Village Voice. A liberal son wrote to you griping about his “right-wing asshole” dad. You told the writer, “The world isn’t being destroyed by democrats or republicans, red or blue, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist — the world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world.” You got a warm response from across the political spectrum for that piece. Do you think political division is the one thing we can all agree on right now?
Andrew W.K.: That’s a very good way of putting it. One thing that we all do seem to be able to agree on is that fact that we’re not agreeing — agree to disagree. Certainly that column, that question that that guy sent in, and the reaction that I had writing it, and the reaction that people had reading it: that definitely was the early germination of this effort. I don’t think I’d really talked about politics — governmental politics specifically — very often, and it was a bit of a stretch for me to do so for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that I’m not that well-versed or educated in politics. I usually haven’t felt that I’ve had anything in particular to add to the debates, to the conversations, to the arguments, to the constant commentary that is surrounding this sports-like atmosphere. It seemed there were already so many qualified individuals, and many overqualified, who had so much to say, and they dominated the conversation. But that column showed me that maybe I did, and maybe a lot of other people were relating to the same feelings I was experiencing and the same thoughts I was having. Certainly none of what we’re doing now would have happened if it was not for the encouraging response that people gave me to that initial piece of writing.
Rolling Stone: You say in the video you’ve already begun the process of filing the relevant paperwork. What does that entail?
Andrew W.K.: That’s one of the areas that I have the least experience with. I’m not proud of this at all, but I’m someone who has relied on business managers and accountants and career managers to run the whole bureaucratic side of my life for the last 16 years, so anything, from filing tax returns to paying credit card statements, is something that I feel rather fortunate to have been out of the loop on. It certainly allows me to dedicate all my time and energy to partying, rather than filing documents and dealing with bureaucracy.