In a typical interview, I’d start out by either explaining how prolific a band is, or telling some interesting story of fact from their recent touring or recording sessions. But an interview with Andrew W.K. is not a typical interview.
Always mysterious, he does his interviews via email only, but unlike musicians who take this route to fire off short, simple answers, I believe Andrew uses interviews as chances to write unique, freeform musings on life, like original art pieces. Either that or he’s messing with us, both of which would be equally on-brand.
“As always with Andrew W.K., it’s supposed to be about pure fun and total love— just so much love, just driving it in, over and over, and over and over, so you sublimate all false pain— for almost everything— and then some— and all of it is happening at the same time. Super transcendent positivity, and then to celebrate it completely out of phase until you’re just obliterated and feel so good about everything. And then you just don’t ever feel that upset anymore. You take that feeling with you.”
And that was just the beginning of his answer about what his lyrics mean. His latest record, The God Is Partying, is out via Napalm Records, and it’s a continuation of his sacred party manifesto.
“There haven’t ever really been any lyrics on any of the Andrew W.K. releases, they’re only just words,” he explains.
His music may provide a wholesome soundtrack to partying, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want folks to get addicted to it.
“For me, I want to get addicted to it. That’s how music is. How life is. To let it hypnotize me. But part of that hypnotization is that it makes me think I’m not addicted to it, and then it makes me think that I want to be addicted to it. I mean, that’s exactly what is happening to me. That’s how it’s supposed to work. And I urgently want to provide that for the audience, in a very intense and super straightforward way. It should be an overwhelming and undeniable experience. That’s not easy to pull off, let alone conceive of. It’s a work in process, and I’ve been operating at a high, high, high rate of failure since my term began.”
And that high rate of failure is exactly what spurred him into the public eye in the first place.
“I’ve never really had any plans for Andrew W.K., or at least any detailed plans that ever panned out like we planned. I suppose, for me, that’s the price I pay for being in this line of work. It’s hard to predict what the hell is going on. For example, right from the start, when the first Andrew W.K. album came out, it began getting hate mail, crank letters, and phone calls to the record label and MTV, and so on. It never stopped. I just accept it as part of this line of work. I don’t take it personally. It’s not a personal thing we make— for me, it’s entertainment. So, we cannot take anything personally.”
Still, while he claims he doesn’t mind the casual dismissal or downright disdain that may come from being in the public eye, he loves the religious feeling of a live concert, like all the rest of us. Luckily, he was able to get back on the road in a small, U.S. tour this early fall.
“Live concert experiences are sacred and transcendent to me. Everything’s mathematical. Everything’s sexual. Everything’s musical. Everything’s biological. And it’s not. Because all that is happening is the total impact of the sensation— all that’s lead up to it and all that’s loaded on top of it with whatever additional context or non-context you can present to the audience to bathe in. All that can come crashing home and be amplified by that live concert encounter. Because it’s in person. I love it deeply. And I’m deeply grateful to the person who actually spends their life on it. I will always try to hold up my end of the agreement. We’re in it together.”
“I wanted to offer a straightforward way to look at partying— simply one perspective— and see what you think,” he concludes. “What if partying was really just to say you’ve done your best and tried every option as you’ve honed-in on your preferences in life? Partying is not necessarily a tyrannical sort of inner imaginary execution. Rather, it’s a combination of trusting your primary intuition, but not being entirely beholden to your instinct, for you’re aware that something even better than what your brain thought your spirit had planned could be hidden somewhere inside the mind’s process of executing your imagination’s original life idea. You generally want to remain fluid and open to new options, but also very disciplined and tireless in your willingness to push through to complete the processes required in order to execute your previously promised commitments to yourself.”
Watch the video for “Everybody Sins” here:
For more from Andrew W.K., check out his official website.
Photo courtesy of Andrew W.K. and Elena de Soto.