Andrew W.K. Says "Twitter Is a Party"
Andrew W.K. is very recognizable in all white, sometimes with blood smearing his mug and T-shirt. He looks like a santero, and though he seems all obviously "party hard," he's actually as mysterious as one of these religious men of the saints. A conspiracy theory even circulated on the never-quite-factual web that the current Andrew W.K. is actually a replacement Andrew W.K. -- two men under one title.
We may never know who he really is, but what is clear is that this Andrew W.K. seems to take every interesting and bizarre opportunity that comes his way. He recently won the world record for "Longest Drum Session in a Retail Store" and has also sung the word "party" more times than anyone else in one song. His Party Tips gained him a Must-Follow On Twitter award from MTV. It is through the lens of those Party Tips that W.K. expresses larger thoughts and sometimes just simple things, like "Girls can be bros." There's also his partnership with Playtex, its "Fresh and Sexy" wipes, and a starring role in the Eternal Descent: Heavy Metal Heroes videogame. W.K. is on the slow climb to the top of the world.
He just returned from Europe, singing Ramones songs with Marky Ramone and his band, and is currently acting as the opening DJ for Black Sabbath on its North American tour that launches tomorrow. He says his job is to "amplify that energy that already exists." He, and you, will "rock out."
We spoke with W.K. about performing with noise collective To Live and Shave in L.A., whether he's actually a brony (a man who loves My Little Pony), and his tweets on the George Zimmerman verdict.
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New Times: You are the opening DJ for Black Sabbath?
Andrew W.K.: That is correct. Just to be asked to do any kind of tour is always exciting. But when it's arguably the greatest heavy metal band, the inventors of a whole sensation when it comes to rock music, to have them ask you to be involved in anything, to even acknowledge me in any way, is just shocking and a little baffling -- in a good way. It's this dream that I get to travel around the country with Black Sabbath playing all my favorite heavy metal songs before they take the stage. It's surreal. No one is more shocked and confused, in a good way, than I am.
You also played with To Live and Shave in L.A. with Rat Bastard, who is a local musical hero of sorts. What, personally, is the best thing about performing in a more experimental or noise group?
Rat Bastard and the other founding vocalist of the band, Tom Smith, they just had a very huge impact on me as a young person, in terms of blowing my mind, finding different ways to get to that place of excitement. That physical excitement, that emotional release, the sense that anything was possible, that the world was a very big and fascinating and strange place. I never really thought of it and still don't think of it as "this is noise or experimental" so much as how many different ways can we find to get to this intense place while we have a chance.
Rat Bastard is a genius. He figured out exactly how he could get to that place of excitement and joy and is very good at bringing people along with him. I was one of the folks fortunate enough to go along for the ride. I think he's one of the greatest people I've ever met.
You also are trained pianist...
Yeah, I had traditional piano lessons growing up, and that was what introduced me to music in general. I love melody and rhythm, and it's all one big thing. It's all one big thing called being alive. You just want to fill that time, or I want to fill that time, with as much good feeling as possible or as much intensity.