Andrew W.K. Parties Hard On Warped Tour

Andrew W.K. Parties Hard On Warped Tour

Andrew W.K. might be known for his high energy, almost cartoony on stage persona but he was much more subdued when we caught up with him at Warped Tour's Camden, NJ stop. W.K. kept his sunglasses on and his message direct: enjoy life by partying.

- Corinne

posted July 27, 2010

Andrew W.K. might be known for his high energy, almost cartoony on stage persona but he was much more subdued when we caught up with him at Warped Tour's Camden, NJ stop. W.K. kept his sunglasses on and his message direct: enjoy life by partying.

How are you?

I'm well. How are you?

Good. How's Warped Tour going for you?

The Warped Tour is going very well. [I'm] very pleased to be back here again after seven years. The first time that we got to play any Warped Tour shows was 2002. Then we did the entire Warped Tour in 2003. Now to be back after seven years is a great pleasure.

Is there a difference for you playing the whole thing versus just a few dates?

Well, of course, playing the entire tour you get into a rhythm, you get into a real groove. You're playing a lot of shows. It's really six shows then a day off, six shows and then a day off, six shows then a day off. You rely on that rhythm. The sequence of events that repeat themselves day in, day out allows you to really focus on performing, on giving your energy to everything other than the day-to-day activities because when the day-to-day activities become part of that they would go.

Now you're a very busy man - musician, producer, own a nightclub, motivational speaker. Is there one that you're more passionate about than the others?

Well all the different things I've gotten to do, and enjoy doing, they all seem to fall under the umbrella of show business, somehow or another. So that's my favorite thing. What I feel I was always meant to do: work in this entertainment industry, one way or another. Whether it's doing music, whether it's running the venue with my friends, whether it's going on TV, whether it's doing an interview like this; performing in general, the entertainments, the show businesses - that's what I'm meant to do. It really relates much to a celebratory vibe and a good feeling in the air and that's why I call it "partying." Entertainment delivers a party just better than anything else I can find.

Are there things you haven't done yet that you want to?

Well sure, there's all kinds of stuff. I still feel like we're just beginning and for that I'm grateful. It's very new, very fresh to me. And I trust and I hope that it feels good to other people in that same way. But the main thing is to continue on, to persevere, to keep your spirit and your passion alive, your excitement for life. Every day is a great gift and an opportunity to party and enjoy yourself and that's really what I want to do. Besides that, I would like to do some drawings, some paintings. I'd like to maybe even make a movie, a book, things like that.

What kind of art do you do?

Well I used to do a lot of paintings and sculptures and things like that. It was hard for me. To make a painting or a drawing and to hang it on the wall...I found that to somehow be unfulfilling. If you make a painting and make it an album cover design or a T-shirt, or make a painting into a sticker - somehow that people can participate so there's not just one of them but mass produced, consumed by a larger number of people. That's why I like entertainment. I'm trying to communicate to a large number of people. And when I did paintings before the most exciting times were [for] a painting that would be on the cover of your first album or something.

You recently re-released a couple EPs and released an album of instrumental music. How different is it doing instrumental piano music versus the high energy music you're best known for?

Well playing instrumental music versus rock ‘n' roll - or traditional instrumentation where you have drums, guitar, bass, all the vocals - when you just sit down and play the piano there's a sense of freedom and possibility that to me is very thrilling. On my other albums I've always written out the songs, fine-tuned them, recorded them very carefully, performed every instrument over and over again until it was perfect, overdubbed and got it just as best as I could. With this piano album, which is called "55 Cadillac," I just sat down and made it up as I went along and just did the best I could and tried to free myself of the need of it to be a song or be an idea or even being good. I just wanted to play. It's the first instrument I ever learned. I always wanted to make an album like that, for better or worse.

You talked about partying and you're a motivational speaker and real inspirational, motivational guy but then the common image of you is that picture of you with the bloody nose.

Yeah, sure.

Don't you think that's sending mixed messages?

Yes. There's definitely a mixture of messages that I'm looking to get out there. Sometimes there's a lack of a message, which can be a message all unto itself. If you mix that with the opposite of that message...for example, sometimes the word life can go very nicely with the word death, sometimes the word to live can go nicely with to kill...and that balance: black and white, it's looking at the good and the bad and enjoying the negative and the positive. I'm not a one-dimensional person; I don't imagine anyone else is. I've never met a one-dimensional person. So we all have many shades of emotion, shades of feeling and that's what I want to do: I want to live a range of life.

Is there anything else you want to add?

Just that we're very thankful to be alive and have a chance to party and enjoy ourselves before we die. Thank you to PlugInMusic for including me and supporting this party.