VICE: Andrew W.K. on Death Metal

Andrew W.K. on Death Metal | VICE

I grew up in a musical vacuum, mostly limited to traditional piano lessons and whatever albums my parents listened to. Some other bits of music trickled in over the radio or from movies and TV—Christmas music, children’s songs—but the selection was pretty small by any standard.

I didn’t have older siblings to help act as gateways into larger musical realms, and my parents wouldn’t allow cable television, which meant no MTV. I was happy enough with my piano lessons and what little else made its way onto my radar that I never felt the need to go actively search for music.

It wasn’t until high school that my wider musical and cultural education really began. My ears, my eyes, and my mind were opened to a soul expanding menagerie of sounds, sights, and ideas. I had a friend, Brian, who was considered a trouble maker and class clown. I thought he was very funny, a bit scary, and definitely provocative. One day he came bounding into class with a glint in his eye, and a wide, wicked grin.

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