Before heading out on the road on his Party Hard Holiday tour, Andrew took some time to sit down with NBC San Diego, Three B Zine, and CityBEAT to discuss partying, partying, and more partying. For the NBC Interview, Andrew talks about Blakey Boy, holiday cheer, getting into partying and more. In the Three B Zine, Andrew talks about living the ultimate party lifestyle, remaining positive during all experiences we go through in life, his upcoming book The Party Bible, and more. And in the CityBEAT article, Andrew talks about Santa Claus, the power of positive partying, and much more!
Read the full interviews from NBC and CityBEAT along with the full audio interview from Three B Zine below!
NBC SAN DIEGO:
Life is all about partying. Or so Andrew W.K. would have you believe.
In an odd way, the guy’s onto something. Andrew W.K. has a legion of fans who subscribe to his party-all-the-time mantra, and for good reason: The dude’s all about having fun. And what’s wrong with that? Unlike a lot of people who will twist having fun into dark, dangerous and destructive behavior, he’s a firm believer that partying is all about positivity. To him, partying comes down to simply celebrating life, appreciating the people close to you (and yourself) and just being happy to be able to party at all.
For the uninitiated, Andrew W.K. burst onto the music scene almost out of nowhere in 2001 with his now-party classic album, I Get Wet. The album featured a controversial cover of him bleeding (Oh, no! So much blood! Call the FCC!) from his nose, and down his mouth and chin. If anything, having such an instantly recognizable album cover definitely worked in his favor; people (like me and my friends) bought it in droves, supported him, passed the word along, and now — 10 years later — he’s rolling through San Diego’s Epicentre in Mira Mesa on Friday night, for a hotly anticipated all-ages stop during his Party Hard Holiday Solo Tour and getting ready to release his first book in 2014, The Party Bible.
Bottom line: He just wants to keep the party goin’. Luckily, he set aside some time from partying to talk with SoundDiego before the show.
Dustin Lothspeich: Why the decision to do a solo tour around the holidays?
Andrew W.K.: This style of show — with me and a keyboard — goes back to the very beginnings of what I’d do as a child, really. Piano’s my first instrument. And once I started doing W.K. around 15 years ago, I didn’t have a band. So, I’d grab a keyboard and play the shows by myself. It’s important and valuable to me to be able to stay close to that style of playing. Don’t get me wrong: I love playing with my band — we’re playing New York on Year’s Eve — but I like the feeling I get from solo shows. I’ve never played a solo show like this in San Diego, and, who knows?I might not play it here again. It could be a singular, once-in-a-lifetime event.
I’ve started doing more of these shows — it’s become kind of an informal tradition, actually — over the last few years. It kind of started in New York, or the Northeast realm, when I was asked to play one of these one-off solo shows around Christmas. And it turns out I’ve been doing it every year since 2006. Every year, it gets bigger, and this year, we added West Coast shows, too. It’s just taken on a life of its own. And it’s been thrilling. It’s great that there’s already an automatic festivity in the air because of the holidays. But it’s an experiment: You never know what’s going to happen. There are definitely pros and cons, but it’s exciting.
DL: Are solo shows more difficult to play or ultimately more rewarding?
AWK: It’s an unpredictable, vulnerable position to put myself in. I get very charged up. It’s a freaky, scary feeling when you’re up there without the full band. But it does give it a lot more room for other people to get involved with the show. It’s really not so much a concert as it is a “presentation.” It’s more of a party atmosphere, where everyone there can feel included, and that’s really important to me. But, yes, it’s definitely a challenge. It’s a good challenge, though. It’s unpredictable. We’re gonna make it up together. When you’re up there in a band setting, with eight of your best friends, you have a sense of security vs. these shows, when I’m up there with just one guy named Blakey Boy.
DL: Who’s Blakey Boy?
AWK: Blakey Boy is my right-hand man. He’ll be up there prancing, dancing, caterwauling — setting the tone! He showcases the style in which we like to party, with the dancing, the singing along — the closest I can compare these shows to is basically hanging out with your friends at a house, singing songs and having a great time with your buds. The shows will get as charged up as we can make it, and the music actually translates really well to just me and a keyboard. It’s just easy to get into. The energy comes from the music and being together.
DL: Do you ever get tired of playing your most well-known songs, like “Party Hard,” off I Get Wet?
AWK: No, definitely not. There have been times where I’ve been physically worn down, where I’ve just done a ton of head-banging, marching and hollering. But, much to my surprise, I’ve enjoyed playing these songs more and more over the years.
DL: And why is that?
AWK: It’s just more thrilling. I think I’m more thankful. I’m more amazed that any of it has happened at all. I’m amazed it actually exists. I compare it to being thankful for my parents, who created me, made me, took care of me since I was born, who were constantly there for me — and how I always took them for granted. That’s how I felt about these songs. They gave birth to my existence. They launched the spaceship into the adventure.
DL: Did you ever think the adventure would involve you opening the Black Sabbath tour over last summer as a “special party DJ”? What was that like?
AWK: It was a fantasy dream come true. I’m still processing it, actually. Just getting to see them perform every day and be up close to the shows like that, and be on the road with people who have accomplished so much, and how you can see what they do — and what they’ve done — at such a high level; You can feel it! It’s an atmosphere that permeates all the surroundings they occupy. That’s how you know you’re in the presence of godlike people.
DL: For some younger kid who’s looking to get into partying: Do you have any tips for them to get started?
AWK: It’s a vast but very simple subject. Most great subjects seem to straddle the extreme — something very complicated, but also very pure. My advice is to stay very close and very connected to things that make you feel good — physically as well as mentally good — in your life, and in your soul. Don’t doubt those things. Doubt is helpful, and has its place in life, but when something is crying out to you and drawing you toward it in a positive way — that’s something to really cherish. There will be plenty of times in life to doubt. So if we have something really uplifting to turn to in those darker moments, it can be a lifesaver, quite literally. Learn what makes you happy to be alive. Life doesn’t have to be easy all the time. Life is amazing and intense — it’s a full spectrum. We’re just trying to pump each other up and cheer each other up. Be aware of your own mortality, be aware of how fragile life is — but make the most of it and be amazed by it. No matter how dark life gets, there are always possibilities.
THREE B ZINE:
On Friday December 20th, the undisputed King of Partying Andrew W.K. will bring his high energy, ultimate party experience to San Diego! The Party Hard Holiday Tour is coming and will be the absolute best holiday party of the season! We spoke with Andrew W.K. on the phone to learn all about the tour plus TONS more conversation about partying! Do not miss this VERY special PARTY episode!
In this very special, very PARTY episode of Three B Zine Podcast! I sit down with the undisputed KING of Partying, none other than Mr. Andrew W.K.! In our extended phone conversation we talk about his thoughts on living the ultimate party lifestyle, how we all can learn, grow and remain positive during all experiences we go through in life and how to remain in high spirits to ensure we never lose sight of a true party life. We also talk in detail about his upcoming Party Hard Holiday Solo Tour, we talk about his upcoming book The Party Bible and learn what Andrew W.K. would do if he could party for one night with Santa Claus in the North Pole. All this, plus tons more in this extremely special episode featuring the incredibly talented and inspirational Party King – Mr. Andrew W.K.! As always, please share so we can keep the wheels rolling strong on our show!
Andrew W.K. Party Hard Holiday Tour will be in San Diego Friday December 20th at the Epicentre in Mira Mesa. Tickets available NOW! Don’t miss the ultimate holiday party of the season!
Below you have the ability to stream the podcast directly on our site from Podomatic, or click “Download” on the Pod Player to download the file for your mobile device. You can also download the podcast directly by clicking here.
To know Andrew W.K. is to know the way of the party.
The endlessly enthusiastic New Yorker is more than a musician—he’s an icon for positivity and, more importantly, partying hard. Andrew W.K., whose real name is Andrew Wilkes-Krier and who plays a guitar that resembles a slice of pizza, didn’t launch a career with his 2001 debut, I Get Wet, so much as he launched a lifestyle and a brand. That album, packed with hard-driving 4/4 stadium-rock anthems like “Party Hard,” “It’s Time to Party” and “Party Till You Puke,” introduced the world to a figure who would soon become America’s foremost authority on uproarious revelry.
Since the release of his debut, Andrew W.K. has taken innumerable career left turns, having released an album of improvised piano pieces called ’55 Cadillac, participating in The Boredoms’ 77-drummer “77 Boadrum” concert, opening the Santos Party House club in Brooklyn, hosting the Cartoon Network show Destroy Build Destroy and even giving a number of motivational speeches. He’s a one-man celebration—a conduit for good times and a traveling distributor of mirth and merriment. Whether he’s delivering a lecture at Yale or overseeing operations at a New York rock club, all of these efforts eventually lead back to Andrew W.K.’s raison d’etre: partying.
For W.K., it’s only natural to take advantage of the holiday season to spread his gospel of riotous good times with a Christmas-themed tour. The Party Hard Holiday tour brings him to San Diego on Friday, Dec. 20, where he’ll play the Epicentre. He tells CityBeat that the tour allows him to give a less-structured performance that encourages audience participation.
“It’s a very festive and very open format for a show, and it does give us the flexibility to play holiday songs, to make up songs with the folks in the room,” he says. “It’s as interactive and intimate as we can possibly make it.
“I like the feeling that the whole room is the stage and everyone is just performing for each other,” he adds. “In a way, I’m as much an audience member as a performer. So, whoever’s in the room that night, that’s my band. I want it to have that feeling of a real sing-along, friends-hanging-out-and-partying vibe.”
This set of special holiday shows also allows Andrew W.K. to pay homage to a personal hero: Santa Claus. “He’s one of my favorite people or characters or figures, and he’s definitely, to me, as ‘party’ as it gets,” he says. “I try to emulate him and also want to make him proud and also try to live up to the kindness and good cheer that he’s exuded.”
When Andrew W.K. isn’t gracing an actual stage, he uses social media as a platform to deliver daily affirmations of celebration and debauchery. His Twitter feed is a long and frequently hilarious string of “Party Tips” that range from the silly (“PARTY TIP: Candy dinner”) to almost-Zen-like koans such as, “On a good day we party. On a bad day, we party until it becomes a good day.”
He’s channeling that party-driven wisdom into a lengthy tome—yes, he’s writing the literal book on partying—titled The Party Bible. It’s due for release in 2014 through Simon & Schuster, and W.K. explains that it’s intended to cover as much topical ground as possible on his party-positive way of life.
“It’s the world as seen through the party mindset,” he says. “I’d like to touch on everything as much as I can. But there’s a lot of fun ways to improve the definition of partying, as far as how it can help one person get cheered up or view the world through this attitude.
“It’s not a book about my life; it’s not a memoir or autobiography,” he clarifies. “It’s really just a book about partying.”
Between touring, writing the book, hitting the academic and motivational lecture circuit and various excursions into product endorsement—which includes Kit-Kat bars and Playtex hygienic wipes (no, really)—it would take an unnatural level of energy to keep up the kind of schedule that Andrew W.K. does. And it’s possible that he’s the result of a government experiment to create a superhuman party machine—as he put it recently in a tweet: “My body is a piece of party equipment.” But the answer to how he stays upright, even after more than a decade of intense, nonstop festivity, it turns out, is much simpler than that.
“I don’t feel like I work very hard at all, and I don’t know if that’s because 99 percent of what I’m doing I enjoy so much,” he says. “When you’re partying all the time, it’s hard to make it feel like work. It’s just constant, nonstop celebration. It has its own fuel source built-in.
“It’s like a perpetual-motion machine.”