By Angela Ufheil
Andrew W.K. has a grin that takes over his entire face. It’s a face that is hard to forget, and not just because it beams from various Music University promotions. Andrew W.K.’s face sticks in your head because it perfectly represents the man himself: enthusiastic, uninhibited and over-the-top.
This “multi-faceted musician and performer,” as his website describes him, is perhaps best known for his hit single “Party Hard,” a high energy romp emblematic of the man who performs it. He is also a motivational speaker, and he will be bringing both talents to Des Moines.
Andrew W.K. talks about energy, positivity, and his brand of partying.
Music University: You’re a pretty diverse talent: rocker, motivational speaker, radio talk-show host, producer, nightclub owner – is there a part of your work that you’re most proud of?
Andrew W.K.: I’m most proud of doing any work at all. I actually don’t have any talents in a traditional sense, meaning that any of the particular endeavors that you just listed, I don’t think I’m particularly talented at any one of them individually. But I think that in terms of just being Andrew W.K., that is the one thing I’m talented at.
MU: What goes into being Andrew W.K.?
AWK: First and foremost, like any human being, a lot of breathing, a lot of consuming of food and water, you know, just maintaining my survival. And beyond that, my main interest—or what I feel I’m meant to do in life—is to try to provide a type of physical, emotional and spiritual excitement, a kind of raw energy. I’m like a delivery truck that, instead of bearing packages or gifts or mail, I come bearing raw energy and excitement that hopefully people can apply and use in their own lives.
MU: In what ways do you see yourself delivering that energy in your life?
AWK: I’ve obviously chosen the entertainment industry as the most efficient means of delivery. I’ve always found music to be an extremely powerful way to get that energy out there. It’s always made me feel good about life. A lot of people have that relationship to music. They really can rely on music to provide them with a type of energy, not just a mood, not just an emotional feeling, not just an idea, but a real physical sense of power. That’s really what can take you through those harder times in life.
MU: You talk about partying a lot. How do you think partying fits in with being Andrew W.K.?
AWK: It’s a very simple word that helps to describe that type of vital energy that I’ve been describing in the beginning of our talk here. This unbelievable chance to exist is something that we can celebrate all the time. It’s a type of active gratitude where your mind is devoted to an upfront awareness of being, the spectacular phenomena you’re surrounded with at all time purely by the nature of getting to live.
MU: How do you plan on bringing the party to Des Moines?
AWK: As far as the lecture goes, we’ll talk about life and music, and there will be plenty of time for Q&A, and I’ll ask questions, and people will ask questions of me, and we’ll see what happens. I’m excited because I will be playing a show as well, at Vaudeville Mews, where I’ve played many times before. It’s always been completely unhinged, and full of revelry, so I don’t doubt it will be another revelrous experience once again.
Andrew W.K. is the keynote speaker, and will be hosting a Q&A at 12:30pm on Oct. 17 at Cowles-Kruidenier Auditorium at MU: A Conference and Showcase for Musicians October 17, 2015.
Register for MU today at music-university.org