The Preface’s exclusive sit-down interview with Andrew W.K.

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Andrew W.K. performed in South Bend on September 23rd. Preface photo/MANDI STEFFEY
Andrew W.K. performed in South Bend on September 23rd.
Preface photo/MANDI STEFFEY

Staff Writer

Andrew W.K, the self-proclaimed “King of Partying” made a stop here in South Bend as a part of his Party Messiah Tour.

Fans crammed the floor in front of the stage at Cheers Pub, chanting “Party Hard!” and “Andrew W.K.!” on and off for almost an hour. The opening bands had already played, and the only person left to take the stage was Andrew W.K.

After the long wait, and half the crowd shuffling in and out for drinks, Andrew W.K. finally descended down the steps from the green room to the small stage. Hunched over a keyboard, hair in his face and a microphone in the front of his pants, W.K. instantly got the crowed excited.

With the help of his tour manager, known only to me as Blake, W.K. played through his party anthems.

Throughout the night, Andrew W.K.’s singing was only occasional, making the night seem less like a normal party and more like a bizarre karaoke party with a twist: the writer of the songs was standing on stage playing keyboard.

A little while after the show, I was invited up to the green room to spend a few minutes interviewing “The King of Partying.” Here are some highlights from our interview:

So you’re on the Party Messiah tour right now, and you’re doing smaller shows, how’s that been? Is it a nice change?

Oh yeah, we’re just having some fun. Just having fun and enjoying ourselves. We’re trying to make the most these days and just do what we gotta do.

You give out some pretty interesting party tips on Twitter and Facebook, how do you determine if something is party or not? Do you have a party equation?

Well not really. I figure, you do the best you can and kind of try to embrace yourself as you go. Embrace your life, embrace your spirit. Embrace the opportunity you have to not be dead and try to celebrate that as you move along basically.

I know you came from a classical piano playing background as a kid, how has that influenced the way you make music today? It’s something that I don’t think a lot of people would expect.

You know, it’s highly overrated. My training was just a waste of time really. It was just an introduction to an instrument. They weren’t gonna teach you anything when it comes to music. That was just a whole big bunch of garbage. Just try to, you know, relearn the instrument. Find a starting point and just throw that away as well. Every day is a fresh start with guitar or any instrument like that.

You just got off tour DJing for Black Sabbath. What kind of experience was that? 

It was definitely very interesting, very amazing. I’m just very thankful and I just played the best songs I could. Gotta play the, you know, heavy metal songs that they requested. Being the DJ for Black Sabbath; that was a once in a life time privilege. I just played the songs [the crowd] wanted to hear.

I know you’ve met Lil Bub the cat, how was that? What’s she like?

She’s a fluffy cat, that’s the main thing. Most folks really don’t realize, you know, how soft her fur is. She’s fluffy, I don’t want to say she’s chubby but… she’s tender. She’s a very tender cat, you know, a fluffy cat. Her fur is very soft and I think she’s well cared for. I was very pleased and grateful to be around her, just to see her special face.

I know you grew up in Ann Arbor, how do you feel about the Midwest and how did that influence you?

Well, I do like this region, this area. The fact that they have all the seasons, you know, summer, spring, fall, winter.

Your website said you got accepted into the art institute of Chicago at one point. What were you going to study? What made you decide not to go?

I should clarify that I was accepted and then…. They saw my drawings and they canceled their invitation. They realized I really don’t have very much to offer. It was motivating in its own way. Just this idea that I have nothing to offer here and I have nothing to offer there. I’m just trying to offer something somewhere.

In your opinion, what’s the most party college degree you can get?

Anything you sign up for. Actually taking the time to go deal with it and go to college, more power to you. Any degree is a good degree. Even if you end up working in some job you don’t like and the best thing you can do is get a house in the suburbs and have a kid…. Just throw everything away, you know? Just throw all the possibilities away. And that’s what I got out of college. I got this idea of like throwing everything away and kind of just … it’s extremely bleak.

Do you have any plans as far as new material? Are you releasing a record anytime soon?

No, I have no plans. If a record comes out, that’ll be a miracle.

What’s the most party experience of your life so far?

Playing tonight in South Bend, playing in Indiana. It was a crazy night, the venue, the folks, I felt like I did a very bad job. I’d like to come back and redeem myself.

Check out more photos from Andrew W.K.’s South Bend Performance here.

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