By: Curtis Sindrey –
Andrew WK is as much the poster child of the international party scene as he is an renowned musician. And whether you like him or not, his philosophy is irresistibly simple: have fun and be yourself.
“I want my music to be as simple and accessible as anything could ever be so that [I welcome] people in like a big neon sign in Las Vegas,” Andrew says. “I want it to feel like the artist would like me, just as I am, and they wouldn’t say that I was a poser or that my lifestyle wasn’t the kind of fan that they wanted, I want that feeling where I am not only accepted but desired by the artist that I’m excited about.”
Andrew was recently tapped to be the lead singer for Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg band on an upcoming world tour after New York City nightlife mogul Steve Lewis introduced the pair late last year, which, according to Andrew, “still feels like a dream.”
“Steve suggested that I should sing for Marky and it has progressed from there,” Andrew explains. “[Our first rehearsal] was like my audition, and we’ve been rehearsing since January and I’m still in a daze, I can’t believe that he asked me to do it and I’m humbled and shocked but also very motivated to do the very best that I can.”
“The Ramones’ influence is universal, Andrew says. “And it goes far beyond the realm of music.” “They’ve influenced the entire world and you don’t even have to be a musician to be influenced by them because that’s how powerful and how vast their contribution to culture has been, it permeates the world around you.”
While fans have been eager for new material for the past three years, Andrew admits that it wasn’t supposed to take this long. He has taken a very casual stance on when he will release his new album saying, “when it’s meant to happen, it will happen,” but there’s no one more excited than him for the time when fans will be able to listen to what he’s been up to.
“There are times where I fought against it and got very frustrated and felt like I needed to rush it out, but I don’t think that it’s up to me,” he says. “I want it to be the most exciting, energizing rock and roll music that I can make and I couldn’t be more excited about it in terms of the riffs, the melodies, the lyrics and the songs that have come together.”
Andrew says that there are a “whole bunch of songs” that he is working on and that he’ll have to decide whether to be selective about the running order or indulge in a double album, which is no stranger of.
“With I Get Wet, that was basically the first and second album and I had all those songs at the same time and it was hard to choose which to put on so I ended up making two albums with I Get Wet and The Wolf.”
With his ongoing tour, dubbed “The Human Party Machine Tour,” Andrew stripped down his live show, not in terms of atmosphere, but in terms of personnel. Andrew developed the concept for more than six years from touring back and forth across Canada doing solo shows. “[The concept allows] for whoever is in that room with me to be in my band that night,” Andrew says.
“There’s a lot of vulnerability with this type of show,” he admits. “Because I can’t rely on the power that my band brings to the stage, so there’s this extreme feeling of exposure and it’s a frightening kind of feeling, but it’s ultimately very thrilling and it forces me to really be at the top of my [game].”
From songs about ditching your inhibitions to his self-help and motivational lectures, it’s hard not to look up to Andrew, but being an idol and having fans classify him as a role-model, he gives the power to them on how much of him they choose to allow into their worlds.
“Anyone that you allow into your realm, you’re empowering that person to have an impact on you,” he says. “I began this adventure mainly to cheer myself up with the hopes that other people would also get cheered up as well, so it’s very encouraging to me when someone tells me that it’s working for them too.”
“Having fun is as primal and elemental to the human experience as eating food or drinking water.”
Since Andrew became a “professional partier,” he feels that “the sky is the limit,” and that currently, external forces direct him so his destiny will unfold accordingly.
“I’ve really handed myself over more and more to the road itself,” he says. “And I have my desires and dreams but I can also tell more clearly that I’m being pulled and directed by a force is beyond my control and even what has happened in the past six months, yet alone the last six years or the last 16 years when I first moved to New York, there are those times where you realize that your destiny has a plan for you whether you like it or not or even whether you understand it or not.”
Andrew asserts that partying and having fun is a universal feeling and that it transcends cultures or borders.
“Having fun is as primal and elemental to the human experience as eating food or drinking water,” he says. “Seeking joy, happiness and the expression of those sensations is something that everybody around the world does and every culture has this pursuit of joy and the physical manifestation of that.”
Andrew refuses to order the things that he loves because doing so would be “too stressful and unnecessary” and it would go against his open and inclusive way of thinking.
“If a song somehow had a consciousness, which it probably does, wouldn’t it hurt its feelings to be put second, why wasn’t it first, so just let it be this big swirling wash of joy where it doesn’t need to be organized or ranked.”
In a culture rampant with exclusive and pretentious hipsters, Andrew is the last person worrying about his image. Instead, his message is an inclusive one: if you love life, fun, and being non-judgmental, you’re welcome any time.