Andrew WK is something of a mystery... He has been hailed as the saviour of Rock and Roll. Others see him as just another over hyped product of the record industry. You have to decide for yourself – but if you enjoy full on and hedonistic music then I can fully recommend him.

Little is known about his past and he seems to enjoy keeping his past secret. See the official web site for a very strange and cryptic biography: www.andrewwk.com However, what is known is his parents are James Edward Andrew and Kristine Williams, he was born in California, and currently lives in Florida. He has been in various bands before his current line up. His first gig was in High school with a band called Lab Lobotomy’. His first “real” record was with Cathode in 1996 (approx).

He has developed a reputation for physical pain – the cover of his current album shows him with blood streaming from his nose (he repeatedly hit himself in the face with a brick to try to later emulate this picture). During the recent London show he stage dived near the end of the set, head butted a member of the crowd (accidentally) and was hospitalised. He also cut his face three times for NME magazine when they asked him to do something “dangerous”

So far he has released two EP’s – “Girl’s Own Juice” and “Party Til You Puke” Neither of these are available any more, both have been deleted from production. He also has an album released in 2001 on Mercury records. The single “Party Hard” is taken from the album. The track listings are as follows:

Girls Own Juice – EP, released on Bulb 1. Girls Own Juice 2. Don’t Ever Stop the Noise 3. We Want Fun 4. Music or Die 5. Make Sex – Also included on the Party Hard single.

Party Til You Puke – EP, released on Bulb 1. Party Til You Puke 2. Party Til You Puke (remix) 3. Party Til You Puke (shout out mix) 4. Dance Party (Anti never ending music mix) 5. I want to Kill (Build it up mix)

I get Wet– Album, 2001 Mercury records 1. It’s time to party 2. Party Hard 3. Girls Own Love 4. Ready to Die 5. Take it Off 6. I Love NYC 7. She Is Beautiful 8. Party Till You Puke 9. Fun Night 10. Got To Do It 11. I Get Wet 12. Don’t Stop Living In The Red

Andrew W.K. (the W.K. apparently stands for Wilkes-Krier) was born in California, and lived on the outskirts of Los Angeles until he was four. He then moved to Michigan where he spent the rest of his childhood. At age 18 he moved to New York City, and at age 22 he moved to Florida, where he currently is renting a room.

His childhood was solitary, but he was a fairly happy child. In his own words, he 'always had projects' and so he was 'always entertained'. He basically existed in his own little world. He also took piano lessons from a very early age, which was how he got his start in the musical world. For him, music was about melody... he developed a simplistic appreciation of music, and liked (and still does like) anything that sounded good. Eventually, he got hold of a digital keyboard, and loved it. He would sit for hours at a time just playing things. Later on, he and a couple of his friends formed a band, and started playing a few shows in a Unitarian Church basement. This was where he began to be exposed to the Detroit punk and metal scenes. He was blown away by the noise and intensity of these bands. His classical piano training and obsession with melody, combined with the energy and intensity of these punk and metal bands would seem to be the two major influences in his music.

In his late teens he went through a period of what he describes as "calculated, intensified chaos and a solitary existence, yet with many amazing people around that I consider my friends." There was a lot of crime and especially stealing money involved. Apparently his parents' concern for him, and his own realisation that his parents were disappointed in him were a major part in his changing things. It was around this point that he moved to New York. He didn't have a band, but was making music. This basically meant him playing shows and recording songs by himself, using nothing but his keyboard. During this time, he had very little money, but he was meeting people, handing out tapes and CDs, and slowly he got his current band together. The band members are guitarists Jimmy Coup, E. Payne and Sgt. Frank, drummer Donald "D.T." Tardy, and bassist Gregg R.

The recording process for Andrew W.K.'s music is a long, tedious and labour-intensive one. Songs are composed of dozens of distinct sounds, carefully composed and stacked on each other, meticulously and precisely. This takes many hours of work, and requires numerous engineers and a lot of different equipment, in several different cities (I Get Wet was recorded in Michigan, Los Angeles, New York City, Colorado, Minnesota, and Florida). The effect Andrew shoots for could be called a 'wall of sound'. In Andrew's words: "I did not want it to be the sound of a guitar and drums and bass playing. I wanted it to be the sound of the song playing, so you just hear one big, massive instrument just grinding out this song. You can imagine it sort of all coming from one enormous source, where you just hear an infinite expanse of a million things all happening in perfect unison, all laid out in front of you. We spent so much time so that you don't hear thousands of hours of work. That takes thousands of hours of work, I believe, to achieve that."

It is easy to see why many people see him as a big joke, or a poser, or a product of the record industry, all hype and no substance... because his music really has no apparent deeper meaning. He has no cause, or real political views, and he isn't depressed, disillusioned, or angry with the world. Many of his lyrics make little sense or sound pretty lame, perhaps because he seems to pick his words for the sound they make, rather than their actual meaning. His music can sound silly, repetitive, and shallow, and this seems to put a lot of people off it.

"There's no wrong reason to like my music. There's no wrong reason to like anything. This music is freedom. It allows anyone else the freedom to do whatever they want, and it accepts that unconditionally. And it continues to just want to make you happy. All you need to know is, "Do I feel this in my stomach? Is this running through my veins? Does this go up my spine? Does this blow my mind to pieces? Does this affect me?" That is real. That is physical evidence, and you don't need to even question it, or even understand. That's why I would never question why someone liked this or why someone's smiling or why someone is happy. It could be for one of a million reasons, some that people think I would think are bad or against me."

I'd wager that most of the people who see AWK, as a big joke or as a 'poser', have never seen him play live, (the most intense, energetic, just plain fun show I've ever experienced) or met the man in person. I met him after a show, even hung out with him on his tour bus (the coolest thing ever)... I decided that he is the most optimistic, friendly, charming and enthusiastic human being I've ever met. This is a man who loves life, and loves what he is doing.

Andrew's music and attitude to life is perhaps best summed up by a couple of his own song titles: 'Party Hard' and 'We Want Fun'. He really is just about making enjoyable, exciting music, and about living life to the fullest.


Quotes taken from the Onion AV Club's interview with AWK. http://www.theonionavclub.com/avclub3817/avfeature_3817.html


I find it oddly amusing that mint-flavored liquid prozac is softlinked here. It seems strangely appropriate...

I have just returned from an Andrew W.K. concert. My eye is black, my lip is split, and I think I may have licked the basketball team's starting point guard during a mosh. Bruises decorate both my beaten arms, and I've got more bodily fluids on my clothing than I'd care to identify. So, you ask, how was the show?

It's time to party...

I've never been part of a more ...electric crowd. Over an hour spent jumping, bouncing, head-bashing, and throwing punches in one-shot fights with random strangers. W.K. keeps the crowd shouting through the entire fucking show, even when he's not playing. Like between songs, when the guitarist sprayed water on the front crowd, or when he caught a bra my friend threw (he stole it, god knows who from, since it was huge), put it on, and, grinning demonically, launched into "She Is Beautiful." We were moshing, we were dancing, we were throwing punches at security and security was saying "fuck it" and throwing 'em back. It was great, most energetic hour I've spent in forever. And get this, there were only 100-or-so people there.

..Let's party...

You completely get the feeling that you're part of his show, not just an audience. We threw clothing, he put it on (bra, boxers, sock...he put the sock on the mike, go figure!). We yelled for songs, he played 'em. We threw a camera, he took a picture of himself and threw it back (Don't ask what the picture was ...). At the end of the show, W.K. yells out for everybody to get onstage and mosh, and security, un-fucking-believably, tried to stop us. Nice try. He's screaming "I Get Wet," while 37 college kids are slamming around him, banging out incongruous tunes on his keyboard, or sneaking in notes on the bass (that was me!). You know what? It probably sounded like shit, but damn, it was fun.

..Don't even try and deny it...

We hung out by the bus before the show (yea, I know, it's lame...but hey) and got to meet him. He talked to us, just casual, was cool ...bouncy as all hell, though. If he were just some guy, I'd a been kinda worried about him, he seemed to be holding so much energy in check. Told us to come back after the show, and he'd give us some autographs (we, stupidly, didn't have a pen! stupid!). He kept his promise, too. Great guy.

..We're gonna lose it all when you open your door!

So, if you ever, ever get the chance to see Andrew W.K. live, DO IT! I promise, you won't regret it. If you've ever done anything for the sheer, unbridled hell of it, do it again. I mean, my lip is bleeding, and I'd head straight back, if he'd put on another show.

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