The Concordian sits down with Andrew W.K., the self-proclaimed king of partying

Last Friday, musician, motivational speaker and self-proclaimed king of partying Andrew W.K. visited Concordia for an unconventional lecture that flew between topics like the detailed intricacies of an amazing sandwich, the festival of the Juggalos and depressing literature. The talk, presented by the Fine Arts Students Alliance, saw the man in white explain why he wanted to smash his bus driver into a brick wall, it saw him momentarily break into a solo hardcore dance, and one audience member wiping his own blood onto the speaker’s shirt. We doubt such antics have ever occurred in the walls of H-110 before. W.K. was also in town to perform a DJ set later that night as FASA’s contribution to the Art Matters Festival. But before either of those escapades took place, the Concordian sat down for a quick, but surprisingly insightful interview with him: 

Concordian: You’ve been interviewed by everyone from Narduar, to Fox News, to a young kid, so what’s your take on doing interviews?

Andrew W.K.: I like it and I’ve liked it always. I remember the first interview I did as Andrew WK and I couldn’t believe this person really just wants to talk to me. And even if they don’t, they’re being paid to talk to me. They have their questions, they’ve looked up things about me, I mean it’s a huge ego boost. So of course in that way I like it. But after that you wonder what can you do with this. Now that you have this chance to talk with someone what can you say. I’ve tried to keep it not only entertaining for the readers and for the writers but also for myself as well,, to find new answers. It’s like psychoanalysm or something, it really is. I’ve learned more about myself from doing interviews than any amount of psychotherapy ever could have done. And I guess it’s because you’re trying to come up with reasons for like ‘why did you write this song?’ Well I’ve never thought about it. It’s interesting, it’s very self-indulgent but I think it’s fun, it’s healthy. A long as you’re aware while you’re doing it that it’s completely absurd that anyone would want to talk to me to this degree, then everything’s okay. If you get too swept away with interviews you can enjoy them too much or grow to hate them like many people do. But to me it’s just a pleasure that you want to talk to me at all.

So you’ve been keeping busy, between your music, motivational speaking, your television show Destroy Build Destroy, the club that you own, you’re working on a breast cancer awareness campaign right now, etc. So how do you balance all of those things and which is your favourite?

My favourite is entertainment, show business, performing, or however you want to define this realm. As much as I am doing different things, they all fit under the same umbrella very, very clearly. I mean it’s easy for me, I’m not doing mathematics on one hand, social studies on the other hand; it’s pretty much partying and entertainment, all the good stuff. I grew up as someone who was into drawing, and painting, and music, and theatre and it just became very obvious that the entertainment industry would allow me to do all of those things. They are all justified, they all fit […] Anything I could ever think to do, not only has a place here, but is valuable here. So that’s what I love about it, I feel like I was born to work in this field.

So I noticed you tweeted this week that every day you write a to-do list, and the one you posted was : 1)party 2) party 3) party hard 4) call mom and dad 5) party harder. So where does work fit in?

Work is an interesting word. I used to kind of think you weren’t supposed to want to do work, and work isn’t a good thing and the whole goal of life was to work so hard that you wouldn’t have to work or something. But work, of course, is what life is all about. You’re working at all times at least just to survive. The only time you don’t work is when you’re going to sleep, but for me even that sometimes takes some work. But for me, if you enjoy the work that is like the greatest thing because putting energy and effort into something that you love and then seeing results from that, that may be one of the meanings of life. To have something to do and to do it well. To me that is partying hard. […] Work is different than a job. I don’t really ever want to have a job. I’ve had jobs and they sucked because that’s the type of work that is not fun. But work doesn’t have to be a job, it’s something I’ve just been realizing now. I work harder now than I actually did when I had regular jobs. But it’s a work that is so full of joy that I would never call it a job. A job is not good vibes.

What about the Arts Matters event drew you in?

Well for one I’m a big fan of Canada, so that was the easy part about it. And two, a fan of Montreal, I’ve spent quite a bit of time here. I also worked with some of the organizers for this event at a Canadian festival called Sled Island that I enjoyed very much. But at the same time this is my first university lecture anywhere in Canada, so I was very pleased. I mean I just can’t believe that I get invited to do this stuff so part of it is just embracing it before they change their mind and uninvited me.

What can one expect from an Andrew WK lecture?

That I will show up. That’s about the only thing that you can expect […] I have arrived, I’m here. And expectations beyond that? We’re just going to party hard.

What do you hope students get tout of all this?

That it puts them either further in touch or back in touch  or amplifies with whatever excitement or will they already have to party, enjoy themselves and to do what makes them happy. I’m just here to facilitate more of that feeling, to be a spokesperson for joy.

As someone who uses the word party extensively in songs, what’s your best party story?

Well it’s going to be a party story that we write tonight, I imagine, at this event. I leave it open. The greatest party is always ahead of me, the time of your life that you’ll remember forever is always in front of you and ideally every day is the best day you’ve ever had.

Let’s play the word association game:

Canada: St. Hubert

Destroy: Build

Fox News: Screaming face

Party: hard

Charlie Sheen: Winning, I guess. Bi-winning.

This week FASA will also be posting a full podcast of Andrew W.K.’s lecture on their website,

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