We Partied With Andrew W.K. (2 of 4)

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Party #2
June 10, 2011

Missed the first interview? Check it out here: Party #1 – April 12, 2011

AWKMusic: This time I would like to just run through previous bands that you were in. You were in a band called “Ancient Art of Boar” right?

02 Cover EditedAndrew W.K.: Yes, and one of my good friends that was in the band “Lab Labotomy” was also in that group with me. He wasn’t always, but at the beginning he especially was. His name is Jaime Morales. Yea so it was “Ancient Art of Boar”, he came up with that name and then I changed it later when it became more of a solo project, to “AAB”. But also there was a time when Aaron Dilloway [owner of Hanson Records] was in the band as well. We recorded a cassette tape together called “She’s a Professional” [SIC, it’s actually called “She’s A Perfectionist”]. He released that, I think it was on Hanson Records. It was on cassette only. Pretty much after that I decided just to do it solo. That lasted for another six months to a year or so.


The first band in high school I was in was called “Lab Lobotomy”, or at least it was the first band that played shows and tried to do whatever we could do. But originally it was supposed to be called “Lobotomy”, but I spelled it wrong with an “a”, “La-botomy” instead of “Lo-botomy”. Of course I probably made t-shirts and a whole bunch of stuff before I noticed it was misspelled, which is just amazing. So I think the way we as a band kind of covered that, was deciding to embrace it and call it “Lab” and then spell it correctly after that. That’s how that band got named that ridiculous name. Lab Labotomy had Jaime Morales in it playing guitar and a man named Alex Goldman played trumpet, guitar, and sang as well. Also, a man named Allan Hazlett who is a philosophy professor now at NYU I think, was in the band. I got in touch with him not so long ago through email but I haven’t seen him… [looks him up online]. OK, this is saying he’s in the UK now, it’s gotta be the same guy. So now it’s saying [the internet] that he lives in England, I wonder if he’s teaching… he’s really fascinating. After High school I really lost touch with all of those friends to a small degree and then I was blown away when I heard that he decided to go and become a philosopher. He’s at the university of Edinburgh. That’s pretty amazing. So anyway that was Lab Lobotomy.

AWKMusic: So what can you tell me about “Artists Against Apartheid“?

Andrew W.K.: That was recorded in 1997 or so in my apartment. The first time I lived on my own was when I moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan. Which is about 10 or 15 minutes from Ann Arbor, they’re right next to each other. But it’s a very different vibe and it’s an amazing town.  Most of my friends throughout these years we are talking about lived in Ypsilanti. They had already graduated high school and some of them were going to college at Eastern Michigan University which is in Ypsilanti. It’s a much smaller city and very, very, very strange and I just loved it. We all loved it, I still love it. I would still in some ways rather live there than Ann Arbor, just because it has such a strange tone to it. So it’s one of my favorite towns and I just can’t get over it, it’s a very bizarre place. There is a band called “Harry Pussy“, have you ever heard of them?

AWKMusic: Nope.

Andrew W.K.: You should look them up, it’s worth it. We were all blown away by them and they had been around for a few years at that point. There was a connection between them and my friends in Michigan through Tom Smith, the guy from To Live and Shave in L.A.. He recorded with them and was friends with them in Miami, where they are from. They came to play a show in Ypsilanti, it was a really big deal. I was so excited, I was just beside myself. The show was absolutely incredible, it was one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen. It was an unbelievable performance and had great sound. Then the guys in the band turned out to be really nice. Of course I was shy and you’re always curious about the people you look up to if they’re going to be nice. They were very, very nice and so nice that they came over to my house with all my other friends.  That was because I lived right down the street from where they played, I think we just walked over there probably. Then we recorded. Twig Harper–who is amazing was there, Aaron Dilloway was there, and a man named Andy Roach who is an old friend of all of ours (who is also from Michigan) was there. There could of been someone else but I think that might have been it. It’s very possible there could of been a few other people, but those are the ones I clearly remember.

We just started recording, I actually had a pretty good recording system setup in that house and was able to just start recording quickly. I had tons of stuff [recording equipment]. I haven’t listened to that recording in years and years and years, I have no idea what it sounds like. Adris Hoyos is the drummer and singer from Harry Pussy and she was definitely there playing stuff. She kept saying “give me something to ride on man, give me something to ride on”. I think we had a full drum set setup and all kinds of stuff, we definitely had a guitar and bass. So it was all recorded live and then released sometime later as “Artists Against Apartheid”.

AWKMusic: So obviously you didn’t have a band name picked out while you were doing it, since it was a spontaneous thing.

Andrew W.K.: Yea, we never even really told them we were going to record. It was just real spur of the moment. I think Aaron was like “dude we should just start recording”. So it was one of those instances where the way that apartment was, being set up very well because it was a huge room, you could just play and record easily. I remember the spirit that night, everyone was really excited and wound up after the show. Whatever that scene was, the setting was natural and it was an obvious thing to record and I’m so glad we did.

AWKMusic: So the album is called “Unit + Peace = Strength”?

Andrew W.K.: Yea, I guess that’s the album title, it was just more of a way to get that out as easily as possible. I don’t know if I even have a copy of that. I hope I have a copy of that someplace. Was in it in a hard-shell case or was it in a paper sleeve? I’m sure Aaron has it.

AWKMusic: I only have a digital copy of it, I think Knox [long time noise & Andrew W.K. fan] has it.

Andrew W.K.: Oh yea, yea, yea—-Knox is good at keeping that stuff. Aaron Dilloway definitely would know and probably remember even more about the recording than I do.

AWKMusic: OK, it says it’s a CD-R. I have it up on the site if you can’t find it for some reason.

Andrew W.K.: Yea, yea that makes sense. OK cool, great, thank you.

AWKMusic: Alright, so how about “The Beast People“, this one can be confusing to me.

Andrew W.K.: Yea there’s a whole bunch of recordings that band has done and I was included in some of them. There’s a lot of stuff. I was in it at a certain time. There were shows of them in Detroit, Michigan and there is footage of that somewhere… it may be on youtube. But there is a couple shows I was a part of. Some of the shows were very strange because it wasn’t really evident it was a show at times. There would be a house party going on and Aaron would say “let’s do the Beast People”, so there wouldn’t be a formal plan. But we wouldn’t really perform necessarily where the bands were playing. We might just be walking around the house doing stuff and performing all over the place.

It was a very confrontational group, they would grab people and it was meant to be very frightening. Aaron was a very aggressive performer, I learned a lot from him. He’s very confrontational and he would get right up in peoples faces and then encourage that. The same goes for Twig Harper who has also been in that band a lot more than I have. He’s also extremely advanced when it comes to that style of performing. Nate Young of course, who also would get aggressive but not quite as intense, but in a good way. Everyone sort of had a different character and attitude when they would be a beast person. I never even dressed up as a beast really, I would always be a human, but I would sometimes where a mask or something like that.

There’s one recording that I worked on really hard with Aaron. It was during that brief time when Aaron and Nate Young moved to New York and we all lived in my apartment. So that was in ’97 or ’98 or whenever I had first moved out. It was probably right around the time of the second year or at least year and a half of moving there. For those months they lived here, we did so much work, we did tons and tons of stuff. We recorded that Wolf Eyes 12″ that I did with them for that split on Bulb. I also recorded a Beast People song which I believe was released as a 10″, yea I think it came out on vinyl as a 10″. It’s probably on the Hanson site somewhere. It was very limited though, I don’t even know if I have a copy. I probably have one copy somewhere. But anyway, that was a recording we worked on really, really hard. I think it was called “The Beast People Opera” or that’s how Aaron would refer to it. I don’t know if that was actually the title, it might not even have a title. But it was a multi-track recording that we worked on very, very hard with keyboards and percussion and many, many overdubs. We recorded it all in one night. It was probably 90 degrees on a really hot and humid summer night in New York. You know how hot and humid it gets at night?! I was living in Brooklyn at this point where we were all living together. I don’t remember Nate being there, so he might have been out that night or something whenever we recorded this. It was just me and Aaron and I had built this vocal booth in my closet, that was actually extremely effective. The apartment building I lived in had paper-thin walls so that even me playing the keyboard with headphones on, the tapping on the keys would make people knock on my door and be like “ANDY WHAT IS ALL THIS TAPPING, WHY ARE YOU TAPPING?”. So somehow it was a miracle that we soundproofed this tiny little closet well enough. We had all these layers of blankets and foam and it had to be rubber and all this stuff. It really did work, you couldn’t hear it in the hallway at all and Aaron would just sing and scream his heart out for about five hours all night long. He was just dripping sweat. All he was wearing was his underwear–it was so hot. There was no air conditioning in this house and not only that, but he was in like a box, insulated with tons and tons of blankets with a hot light on inside. Which eventually he turned off, it was just too ridiculous. It was probably like 130 degrees in that room. He was completely delirious.

AWKMusic: [Laughter] That’s hilarious! So this is all different from “The Birthing”?

Andrew W.K.: Well, “The Birthing” was the name of one of the moments during that Beast People recording but he might have also used that title for another release. That might be the Birthing, it’s possible.

AWKMusic: But it could also be some type of “opera”?

Andrew W.K.: It had all these parts and all these different sections and movements. It did tell a bit of a story in a very abstract way, but it created this arc at different moments that made it very cinematic or a theatrical listening experience. Which is why we referred to it as that, but it might not of ever been released with that title. Neither of us had ever really recorded anything like that. Where we mapped out this whole drama where it starts with one thing, we set the scene and it rises up and then there’s a conflict and then there’s a resolution and then it moves on its way. It’s a slightly more conceptual Beast People recording.

HANSON RECORDS Promo Video 1998 from Hanson Records on Vimeo.
(Contains some footage of The Beast People)

AWKMusic: There’s a band called “Free Jumps” which is obviously a song of yours too.

Andrew W.K.: Yea, first it was the name of a song by a band I was in called “Kangoo”. The members of that band had a lot of people coming and going but those sessions I remember very well. People that were there (and I apologize to anyone I’m not remembering who was there) were Steve Kenny. He was the original drummer of the “Pterodactyls” and he was also in the band “Isis and Werewolves” and also played in a bunch of other bands. He is amazing, he’s one of my friends and favorite people in the whole world. He was definitely in “Kangoo” and playing on those recordings we made. I think that the song was called “Freejumps” at that point. But it may have broken off into a band, a lot of times we would come up with a band name that we would end up turning into a song title or the opposite where we would have a song title or an idea for a lyric that we then used for a band name. That’s because we liked it so much.

AWKMusic: So there wasn’t any actual releases under this band name?

Andrew W.K.: Not that I can remember, no. The thing that I remember the most was that it was definitely related to Kangoo and it was probably a song that we had.

AWKMusic: Were you ever in “Galen”?

Andrew W.K.: I was never in Galen, that was Aaron Dilloway’s band. It was probably his first really successful band. I mean, he had done a lot of bands before and projects that he had released. However, Galen was a real big step in terms of everything; quality, how often they played shows, they were a real performing band and made releases that looked really good. I was just so impressed by how good everything looked that they did. Not to mention the music, which was just incredible. Just the artwork and the packaging and the design, I was very impressed. I was like “who the hell is this guy? who are these people?”. Because it’s a smaller town and just when you see someone who can make a good flyer, it really catches your eye because most of the flyers look like shit. He lived in Brighton, Michigan which is quite a ways away. It’s still southeast Michigan, it’s like an hour or 45 minute drive, in an even smaller town than Ann Arbor. So it was so amazing that I didn’t already know this guy and that I hadn’t met him, it was all really exciting. Then he ended up moving to Ann Arbor and that’s when it all unfolded over the course of a couple days. I got to finally meet him and then go over to his house and become friends and then the next thing I realized, I was playing in bands with him. It was like meeting my idol, it was really exciting. So Galen had a huge impact on me and that was all Aaron Dilloway–of course other people were in the band. Also, there were other versions of the band, I played in a version called “Galen Via Hercules” and than that turned into a band called “The Hercules“. I played drums in that.

AWKMusic: So “Galen Via Hercules” wasn’t a split, it was its own band.

Andrew W.K.: Yes exactly, that was the title that they used for a short time. They had other names, like there was a time when I think the band was called “Galen Via Remember I Was Vapor”. Aaron is very advanced and brilliant man. The thinking he would put into band names or the idea of what a band name is. I mean, I was very confused by it too but those were the band names. They would split them off and then one would turn into the other. He kept changing his own band name all the time and constantly formed new ones and sometimes he would join them together and stuff like that.

AWKMusic: It’s really hard to find information on some of this stuff, especially for a person like me who is unfamiliar with this scene. I’m sure though Aaron and few others know about it and own it.

Andrew W.K.: Aaron and Knox are the best people to go to for all of this stuff. Aaron, on top of all his other talents and gifts is also an extremely, extremely gifted archivist. The nature of his personality makes it so that he keeps track of everything. He has doodles we did on napkins at restaurants from fifteen years ago and has saved, filed and organized them. Not to mention transferring every video of every show onto DVD, he is a real master-archivist. Again, his personality lends itself to doing that, I think he gets a lot of personal pleasure, even like a good feeling of security from it. I certainly have been grateful for it and benefited from all the stuff he’s been able to keep track of and remind me of. These are things I would have never have been able to remember, he’s influenced me hugely. I try my very best to save almost everything now, but I’m not nearly as good as him. That’s with all the stuff I have, I don’t really buy a lot of things. I have stuff from what I accumulate from doing what I do and what I make; and that’s enough stuff as it is. He’s definitely inspired me to be more responsible by trying to keep track of everything. The things that I have lost, like I had the entire “I Get Wet” album documented on video for the “Making of” stolen. There was a video camera and all the tapes were in that bag. So that was painful and it really means that much more to me that Aaron puts the time and energy into ensuring that kind of stuff doesn’t happen.

AWKMusic: I was curious about the “Blow Your Bone” and “The Wolf” album. If they’re different or is it just a switched album title?

AWKMusic’s mockup of the album art
Andrew W.K.: It’s a switched title. I wanted to call it that and then I changed it to The Wolf. I remember the moment when I was in the airport and I had this flash going back to the “Wolf Slicer” magazine, which is a magazine I had made when I had first moved to New York. I guess it was three issues or something. The cover of that magazine is in real big letters; “WOLF”. I thought “you know what? that’s what I should call this album”. Because the sentiment to me on Blow Your Bone clashed with the emotional feeling that was coming through on that album. It was a very personal feeling and I thought “The Wolf” and that vibe, I just wanted to get that out there. I just wanted to acknowledge that word and Wolf Slicer and my whole fascination with wolves for all those years. So I called the album something that had a lot less power [than Blow Your Bone]. I thought the word was a lot more empty and I thought that would be better. Because the music was so strong and over the top and so dense, Blow Your Bone was too much. It’s too intense of a title and The Wolf had a power to it but was also plain and boring at the same time. I thought that would be better. I also really wanted it to clash with “I Get Wet” and be very different than that title, but Blow Your Bone was a lot more similar to the title of I Get Wet.

AWKMusic: So there wasn’t any different tracks, it was just a switched title and that’s all?

AndrewW.K.: Yea, I mean there were songs that weren’t on that album that were recorded for that album.  But no, it was just a switched title.

AWKMusic: OK, so “62nd Sex Change” is a unique track that appears on a compilation. Can you tell me more about how it came about?

Andrew W.K.: Visonaire is a long running and hugely influential fashion publication and organization. It’s not really like a magazine, I mean it is but they do these very, very complex concept-based packages. They’ll do an issue called “Stars”, an issue called “Modern”, an issue called “Love” and then this was this issue called “Sound”. I was blown away that they asked me to be on this because there is a really, really, really pompous fashion world that’s very high-end. I have never really been embraced by that world because they thought my clothes were dirty, just ridiculous stuff.  Even though I came from fashion and worked and studied in high-fashion, but I actually got out of it because I couldn’t stand how snobby the people were. It’s some of the most ridiculous people you can’t even believe, it’s just like the movies. So I couldn’t interact with the people because they were just being idiots. But anyway, there was still stuff I loved and Visionaire was always one of the coolest things that’s ever happened in fashion. It’s a really, really incredible magazine; just turning through it, looking through the pages, and the packaging. The whole thing is completely absurd and over the top and there’s nothing else like it. So when they invited me to do that, it was really exciting. It was because I had been in New York long enough at that point that the guy who curated it was into all kinds of stuff and knows all kinds of things; not just clothes. So anyway, I made that track and I think it had to be 60 seconds. I really wish I put that track on Mother of Mankind. I’ll have to put out some other things and have that as a bonus track. I didn’t want it to [only] be a 60 second song. I really like working with sound and sound FX, it goes back to the music I was making with Beast People or whatever. You don’t have to have a song, you’re just going to make something that when people put it on it’s going to take them to a different place.

AWKMusic: Thank you so much! This stuff is important to me and I like to know and find out how everything connects and then get it documented.

Andrew W.K.: I really appreciate it, it means so much to me too, it really, really does. It’s incredible to me because it helps not just me but all these other people that might have had questions about the same stuff. No one has ever asked about these things. Interviewers just don’t ever ask about this stuff and if they do it’s like one in a million. So this is the stuff that’s more interesting for me to talk about anyway because it’s my life, not just like “ok what’s the new album about, what’s this thing?”. Let’s talk about these amazing people and these crazy things that they’ve done. So it’s really fun to talk about all my friends like this, they’re the best! It makes me appreciate it more too. Also, when you do a great job at this like you do–I’m reading this book right now about KISS called “Behind The Mask”. It’s essentially written by a guy who is doing exactly what you’re doing. He took his enthusiasm and interest in KISS to a point where he was able to interview them and work with them and make this amazing book. It’s one of the best and most detailed and documented books about any musical thing or anything for that matter. Like if you’re a fan of something this book is amazing, and that’s exactly what we’re doing here. Even if there’s just a handful of people who care about it, just getting it down is important. Who knows in ten or twenty years how valuable it will have been to have recorded and organized all of this. So I’m extremely grateful for you doing it, really. Thank you so much!


End of Part 2

Stay tuned for part 3 of 4 – coming later this week!

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2012 – Fund Andrew W.K. Music

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Hello AWK fanatics,

I hope you enjoyed this last years worth of Andrew W.K. news, media and archived content. If it’s not obvious already AndrewWKMusic.com is not only FUN for me but it is a labor of love. Looking back, I had very specific things I wanted to accomplish when I set out to create this website 2+ years ago. Those expectations were met quicker than I could have imagined, thanks to you. Your interest fed my enthusiasm. So in 2011 new goals had to be made and the bar had to be raised. To name a few things we’ve accomplished this year…

I plan on 2012 being the most exciting year to date. For some that might be hard to believe and one might ask “what else is there?”. I can only respond to that in one way, “EVERYTHING!”. I promise that you and this website has only seen the tip of this iceberg. My vision, goals and expectations are higher than ever. So to ensure you that these are not hollow promises stay tuned in the coming weeks for some surprises that will blow your mind. The easiest way to do that is to subscribe to our email list.

Out of deep gratitude and humility I thank you for your passion towards Andrew W.K. and his fan community. Please help fund this website’s hosting costs, any amount is accepted and appreciated. A total of $120 will take us all the way until this time next year. Thank you!


We Partied With Andrew W.K. (1 of 4)


While adapting these transcripts into an easy-to-read “interview” format, slight creative liberties have been taken.

Back in April Andrew W.K. personally reached out to AndrewWKMusic.com and expressed his desire to become a resource to this fanpage. Is it not obvious why Andrew W.K. has a cult-like following? Since the beginning he’s shown tremendous loyalty to his fan-base or what he refers to them as–his personal “friends”. To assure that you know you are invited to his party, it’s common for him to write long and personal responses to fan mail, spends hours after shows hanging out, video chats with you for an hour each week (he hasn’t missed a week in the past 1 1/2 years), constantly gives out free merchandise, and then there’s the stories out there like the time when he signed autographs for ten hours and ended it in somebody’s kitchen… just to name a few.

AndrewWKMusic.com has witnessed this philanthropy first hand.  Having previously contributed to this site in many other ways, he was now offering an even more precious resource–his own time. So, a third party publicist didn’t contact me, there is no imminent album to promote, nor are we a famous publication that carries any weight. We’re just a fanpage and I’m just a nerdy fan, asking nerdy questions. Nevertheless, he has set this time aside by dedicating it to his “friends”. The four conversations lasted over 45 minutes each! So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, dig in! And stay tuned and subscribe via Email or RSS for parts 2, 3 and 4 in the coming days and weeks.

Party #1
April 12, 2011

AWKMusic: Thanks for setting this up.

Andrew W.K.: Sure, thanks for everything you’ve been doing.

AWKMusic: So how’s your day going?

Andrew W.K.: Everything is good, it’s a beautiful day here in Los Angeles, it’s very sunny. I have some meetings and things tomorrow. We are continually filming Destroy Build Destroy, which is the main reason I’m out here. I’ve also been recording out here for the new album. So you have some specific questions right?

AWKMusic: Yes, one item of yours I was most interested in was what fans call the “We Want Fun” album. There’s not a lot of information on it because it was never released. So if you had any clarification on that, it would be helpful.

Andrew W.K.: Yea sure I’ll just tell you the whole thing. So as you are aware the first thing I ever released as “Andrew W.K.” was a 12″ with Wolf Eyes, as far as using that name on a release. After that came the Part Til You Puke 12″. Even before Party Til You Puke was recorded I had already recorded most if not all of the songs on We Want Fun, which was going to be my debut album on Bulb Records.

I had already moved to New York and I had been living, working and traveling back and forth to Providence Rhode Island where Bulb Records was based at that time. Of course Pete Larson [owner of Bulb Records] and I had first met in Ann Arbour, Michigan where he was first set up. I traveled up to Providence all the time to work with him, play shows, and do everything else. So I had a selection of songs… do you remember is it ten songs on there?

AWKMusic: I think there are twelve.

Andrew W.K.: Because there are a whole bunch of other songs that I don’t think that are on there. For example, the version you have does it have a song called “They Ruined Our Lives”?

AWKMusic: Nope. (I have since speculated that this may have been an early version for the song “The End of Our Lives”?)

Andrew W.K.: OK yea, I’m trying to remember now what the whole idea was because I prepared another group of tracks that I still have, that I found. I don’t have the original masters or original mixes to work with but I do have versions of the CDs, while I was working with those albums. There was a bunch of other songs that I guess I didn’t put on there, but did consider working with from the same era. So what songs are on that one, do you have the complete track listing?

AWKMusic: Yea, it’s pretty much a mix between I Get Wet and The Wolf songs, the version that I have is:

  1. It’s Time To Party
  2. Free Jumps
  3. Girls Own Juice
  4. Your Rules
  5. She Is Beautiful
  6. Tear It Up All Night
  7. I Love Music
  8. Kill Yourself
  9. Don’t Stop Living In The Red
  10. Party Music
  11. I’m Totally Stupid
  12. Party Hard

Andrew W.K.: OK right, if I remember correctly I recorded and wrote the Party Til You Puke EP after all those songs were recorded. I could be incorrect, but I believe that is the case. I wanted to release Party Til You Puke [the EP] first because I had been playing shows using material that sounded a lot like that—-the drum machine and keyboard based music. Those were some of my first shows I was first playing as “Andrew W.K.”, both in Providence and New York. So I thought it made sense to connect what I had been doing, or what people had been suggesting me doing in the beginning, with that first release. Then we went to the next stage which was the We Want Fun album, but at that point I had already met my A&R guy at Island Records and decided to sign with him. Island Records bought out the contract I had with Pete and gave him money. Then we started approaching the [Island Records] album using what was going to be the We Want Fun album as a starting point. A lot of the song versions on We Want Fun are actually from the same versions that appeared on I Get Wet. Even some elements from songs on The Wolf are actually from the same recordings, just with more work done on them. Even Party Til You Puke [the song on I Get Wet] had been taken from the original version on the EP.

AWKMusic: Yea you can tell that elements from We Want Fun are embedded on I Get Wet.

Andrew W.K.: Yea exactly. Sometimes I didn’t have a lot of pieces to work with because several times during my recordings of all of the first Andrew W.K. stuff, I lost my hard drive. So all I had to work with was just some stereo rough mixes—-I learned the hard way. But it wasn’t too tragic, there’s a lot of stuff throughout my whole life that I lost and wish I still had. But over the years I’ve gotten better at keeping everything, trying to organize it and trying to back it up. That’s just one of the stressful things about working in general, trying to keep track of all the work you do. It’s not always the case that the best stuff ends up being the stuff that hangs around, gets archived or gets released in a way that preserves itself. Sometimes I think there’s really good things that just get lost, even if it’s just an idea that you didn’t have the ability to remember, write down or record. But at the same time, the best stuff you always remember does stick around but I always wish I could hear earlier things.

AWKMusic: That album sounds like an extension of the Girls Own Juice EP (AWKGOJ), it sounds very much the same.

Andrew W.K.: Yea I think all those songs were recorded at the same time, the same exact setup and the same recording system. There were definitely songs that I wrote after AWKGOJ EP which were going to be on We Want Fun album. But I think at the same time, there were a lot of songs that were written and already recorded which were all done around the same time. I just put some on AWKGOJ and saved the rest for the Bulb album.

I’m glad that album didn’t come out at that time, I was really relieved that it didn’t. I wouldn’t be opposed to putting it out now, it’s not that I didn’t want people to hear it. It has things about it that I really like in many, many, many ways but back then as far as a first full-length album I’m glad we did I Get Wet.

AWKMusic: Once Island approached you, it probably made a lot of sense to withhold it and save it up for I Get Wet.

Andrew W.K.: Yea and by that point I also realized I could make things sound, in my mind, even better or at least different. When I recorded We Want Fun & AWKGOJ, that was my first time I really dove into recording. I was learning so much as I went that just by the time that even two years had passed I realized I could do even more or better, in terms of the sound I was trying to go for. I wanted it to be really hard-hitting and that’s what we did with I Get Wet. After I did that, to be honest, with The Wolf I didn’t want the album to be as hard hitting. I wanted it to be a bit more like the feelings that were on the We Want Fun album. The song “Totally Stupid” to me, defined the feelings that I was trying to get the majority of the time on The Wolf. Which is a feeling that I don’t really think appears as distinctly on I Get Wet. It’s more emotional but I Get Wet is more moving in a joyful and energizing way. But I wanted The Wolf to be moving in every way. It’s every emotion, it’s that feeling of just being overwhelmed. Like it would make you cry, but if someone asked “are you sad?”, you wouldn’t say you were sad. You’re just overwhelmed with this feeling of emotion.

Close Calls With Brick Walls was an attempt to really synthesize both of those things, both of those feelings. It appeared as kind of a raw energy coupled with a some kind of an emotional and human feeling. I wanted to really talk about just being a human being. Now with this new album I’m trying to combine everything of my own work going all the way back to Party Til You Puke. I feel like it was a natural desire to do that. I want the emotion from The Wolf, I want the power from I Get Wet, I want the electronic manic quality from Party Til You Puke and the  musical arrangement approach of Close Calls With Brick Walls.

AWKMusic: Yea even on your new EP [The Party All Goddamn Night EP] I can see it reverting back to some elements of Party Til You Puke with its dance beat on some tracks.

Andrew W.K.: Yeah absolutely, I’m taking entire approaches that I haven’t used in a few years but always loved, and have a newfound appreciation for. As well as certain recording approaches that I’ve taken. Like how I would do guitars and the way I would layer things. For most of the music it’s usually been an attempt to remove the sense of any instruments or any performance.  All you hear is the song as sort of a sound itself, just one total sound. You’re not really thinking about who is playing bass or how the guitar player is playing that one chord or that one note. It just washes over you and there’s not really the time or enough separation to examine it in that way.

I do like music that is the exact opposite of that but that’s just the thing that I do. On Close Calls With Brick Walls, that was the first time I wanted to listen. I wanted myself to be able to hear people playing the music. And I love it, and am really glad with it, and I’ll make an album like that again. Actually the next album. I have two other albums in the works, and then I have another album that’s an instrumental rock album. That’s the one that I’m really gonna go even more over the top with.

Because sometimes there’s a place for personality and individuality and performance in a song or in a recording. But I think sometimes there’s not, sometimes it just gets in the way of the song itself. I have a lot of respect for the song and the recording and not as much respect for the players or how they perform, or how they approached it, or their style. That is not what I’m looking to do with this music. It’s not about impressing someone with how fast you can play a scale or anything else. It has never been important for me to tell people about how I play, what I play, or if I can play well or not. I don’t care if people think I can play piano well. I’ve made efforts to try to show that I don’t play well, because I don’t want it to be about instrumental players. It’s about the feeling of this recording, of this song, of this thing, and everybody else is just a part of that. I mean of course you always respect a great mechanic with what they are able to do, the tools that they happen to use and how they approach repairing a machine. But at the end of the day it’s how the machine works, how it gets done what you want that machine to get done. Everybody else is just serving the cause of that machine. I think the song is like a machine and I’m just a mechanic. Everybody else is there just to serve that song and not just show off how they can serve it or how good they are at getting to that place, because that’s just distracting.

AWKMusic: Yea so obviously that’s been a good approach and you have had success doing it that way. Nick Sheehan [a long time fan] mentioned how he noticed, and in retrospect I’ve noticed too, how each release is almost completely different than the previous one. I love that, it’s incredible to listen to such a diverse discography and enjoy it.

Andrew W.K.: Well that’s very nice and I appreciate that. It’s not always been intentional, I’ve never approached something like “OK we have to do this one different than the last one”. It’s just “I want to do this” and then it comes out however it comes out. I really want it to be the best sounding thing it could be. Whatever I think that is at the time, is what the result will be.

I also appreciate listening to records I love which sound different from other records by the same artists.  Even if it’s a different production style. You know it’s funny because if you listen, and of course these are changing times, but if you listen to an artist on an iPod or any kind of shuffle playback where it’s taking songs from all over their work and a series of albums, that can be rather alarming. Because they’ll have totally different frequency ranges. Where one will be very mid-range-y, one will be all blown out and treble-y, one is half quiet and one album is louder. But I love all of that! Like you’re saying, it’s the spice of life! It’s not always comfortable and it’s not always settling, but I don’t want that out of culture or art. I don’t want to be comforted or soothed or settled or made to feel OK. That is just a personal preference that I have, but I would not be being true to myself if I didn’t approach my work in that same way. This music is not meant to comfort you, that is not its feeling.

There is great music out there that I love that is comforting, even if it’s an artist like Charné or something. But that’s not what this is and that’s not what my passion as an individual is and you always have to stay true to your vision. Part of that is always shaking things up, always shaking up yourself. I never want to feel comfortable, the only thing I want to feel comfortable in is being uncomfortable. Because that’s when you can grow and expand your mind and realize that you don’t need to cling to any of these things to still be yourself and have a fun time.

AWKMusic: I have one more question about the We Want Fun album. I emailed a guy who said that when you were passing it out, his copy had some artwork on it. It was of some painting of a girl, so there is artwork for it too?

Andrew W.K.: Yes! That’s correct and I’ve remembered this before but I’m glad you reminded me about it again. It is true that at the same time while manufacturing copies of “AWKGOJ”, I had made semi-professionally duplicated copies of We Want Fun done. It did feature what I intended to be the album artwork, which I still have the photos for–thank god. It was a fairly large scale painting of a girl’s face, which you can see a small portion of on the back of the Girls Own Juice [AWKGOJ] album. I painted it the way as it appears on the back cover, which is of a very beautiful girl’s face. She’s wearing sunglasses and she has a band-aid on her face with little hearts on it. Then I actually painted over that same painting and turned her face into half-of-a-skull-face with a really bad bloody nose, blood all over the place, and one of her eye balls was popping out. The glasses were shattered, the band-aid that had once been on her cheek was now wrapped around her glasses trying to hold them together. I still have very good quality photos of it. So that was going to be the front cover of the album and the back cover was going to be the bloody version. I actually cut that painting off of its canvas and frame and give it to Pete Larson, so I just pray that he still has it. I use to give away all my paintings and all my artwork to my friends, I hope they still have them. I gave away some really good paintings and some really cool clothes that I made and painted too.

AWKMusic: So it sounds like the same concept in Close Calls With Brick Walls where you have one picture on the front and the backside is different.

Andrew W.K.: Yea I never thought about that, but yes that’s a good observation. It’s something obviously very basic, you know there’s one way and there’s another way.

AWKMusic: Do you remember the release dates of AWKGOJ and Party Til You Puke?

Andrew W.K.: I think the albums have the dates on them, I believe that Party Til You Puke was 1999 and AWKGOJ was 2000. That sounds right to me, if not it would be like 1998 and 1999. But I think it was 1999 and 2000 because I Get Wet came out in 2001 in the UK and in 2002 for the rest of the world.

AWKMusic: So is that when you recorded it or is that the actual release dates, because I always thought it went AWKGOJ and then Party Til You Puke after.

Andrew W.K.: Oh really?! OK well you know, you could be right, I don’t remember that. I do remember an interesting story with the Party Til You Puke LP after they had just been manufactured. For some reason we had all the copies, like my share of the 12” inches, sent to my parents house. I remember that they were all going to be recalled because the whole album cover was going to be changed to be “Steev Mike” and say “Steev Mike – Party Til You Puke”.  In the end it didn’t end up happening which of course was a huge relief and all for the best. Hmm… that makes me think that might have been after I had moved around and started working with Island even. It’s very tricky for me to say, my sense of time as maybe you’ve heard isn’t the best. I remember lots of events very clearly and details about all these experiences but as far as what happened when and which is first is difficult. Especially at that time because things were very, very condensed. There was a lot happening over a very short period of time, which makes it seem like a long time had passed but it could have been only two months.

AWKMusic: Yea, it does seem like that time was jam-packed, I mean you were touring very soon after or even before I Get Wet.

Andrew W.K.: Yea, yea the touring and the touring didn’t stop. That was the other thing, we really didn’t get off the road until 2005.

AWKMusic: So did the CD and the 12″ come out the same time?

Andrew W.K.: No, no they were definitely separated for sure. For example I remember on AWKGOJ, we never really did any promotion for it. That is what is odd about it, we didn’t make any posters that I remember, there wasn’t any promotion and I didn’t do any interviews. Not that I had any idea or any expectation that I would do any of those things. The thing I remember very clearly when we put out Party Til You Puke is that we did really awesome posters, we did interviews, we did my first interview ever. It was more “out there” and that may have just been Pete Larson taking more initiative and reacting to any feedback we were getting from Girls Own Juice. But it’s very weird, I always thought it was Party Til You Puke first and then Girls Own Juice. But I don’t know, I really don’t know, the dates on the releases would be the only way to tell.

AWKMusic: OK my last question for today, can you tell me about this 4 Track Promo? [shows picture]

01 Cover

Andrew W.K.: Those are midway mixes, they sound different than the other versions right?

AWKMusic: The only one that sounds different is “FreeJumps”, its version is exclusive to this promo.

Andrew W.K.: Well “Free Jumps” we had originally been working on for I Get Wet with Scott Humphrey who was producing the album. I have actually just reconnected with him after not having seen him since 2001. Which was awesome and he’s doing great. So he was the producer and he was working on that, but we just didn’t put the song on I Get Wet and I said “I’ll save that for the next album”. We had a lot of songs that we didn’t put on there, as you’re aware.

So that was just my publishing company sending out a rough sampler of some songs that were in the works, to get people excited. They do that from time to time. It’s a bit unusual because as you’ve seen, these versions get out there and it’s kind of confusing and for some artists who care about that kind of thing, they could be really upset. Like why would you release this rough version!? But I was OK with it and I’ve usually been OK with releasing multiple versions of things and people hearing demos because I like to hear that stuff from people who’s music I like. I understand how people have this thing about only putting it out when it’s ready, but I’m never ready to put out anything anyway! But there is a beauty in all that roughness, you know like when I go back and hear things that I thought were terrible and never wanted to release, but now they’re exciting for me to hear. If I liked an artist I would be happy to hear anything that they did, just for fun—why not right? I would understand the difference between that and their finished and polished album that they would release. I think most people are that smart and they understand that. So yea that was just a rough mix.

AWKMusic: Yea I figured there was a pretty easy explanation for it. I’ve found that most people that come to AndrewWKMusic.com are collectors so they understand that this is a B-Side or this is a weird promo thing. I’m sure some people who come are looking for something else but I think the people who stick around are collectors and are trying to find anything and everything–they’re nerds pretty much. [If you’ve read this far you’re a nerd]

Andrew W.K.: That’s the best and I’m very grateful to anybody who cares about something or likes something that much because not only is it wonderful and it allows me to continue doing this directly, but also because that’s the kind of person I can relate to the most. That’s been one of the best things, I don’t think every performer gets to experience the kinds of people that happen to like what I’m doing.  They are usually people that I would just get along with very well anyway and have common interests with anyway. When you put out into the world the thing that you’re most excited about and interested in, and are able to express what you like in the world, in general through your work. Then the people you end up meeting, that like it, usually are people that are into all kinds of the same stuff or at least even the same head-space that you are in. Over the years that’s the thing that I’m probably most grateful about is the people I get to do this with are people I really enjoy.

I remember the whole Kurt Cobain crisis, where he hated his fans. How could you? I think that was the main problem that he had. He had set this whole thing up in his mind about who the kind of person he wanted to have like his music and then when people he didn’t want to hang out with started liking it, it just destroyed it for him. I try to take the exact opposite approach, that was the big impact and big influence that Kurt Cobain had on me. Which was to do the exact opposite thing when it came to this. I want to do something that allows me to connect with people that I would otherwise never think I would like. Then we find that we have this common ground or this common enthusiasm. That head-space allowed me to go out there and meet the best people in the world.

AWKMusic: Well I’m glad you took that approach because we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

Andrew W.K.: As you’re aware I’m extraordinarily grateful for what you have been doing with the site. You know, there have been other sites but you have stepped it up and for the long haul. It’s been tremendous for me and for every other fan, and even for the other people who ran the old fanpages. Where you can help pick up where they left off or use what they already contributed like AWKShare.com. It means so much to me and I always want to be able to give you information or help keep it going. If nothing else it’s a great service too. Because you have stuff that I don’t have and I can go to your site to find out about stuff that I didn’t know about, and that’s just awesome. You’ve really proven yourself over the long haul and I’m just very thankful.

AWKMusic: Wow, well thank you I appreciate that. Thank you for giving me a good reason to do it. I think it’s so cool of you to do this, a lot of musicians are untouchable so this has been really fun.

Andrew W.K.: And believe me I’m aware of that and actually I have respect for people who do that, because I understand.  But that’s just not what this thing is. It’s just like the difference between people make horror movies and people who make Disney movies. Disney movies are a different vibe and this has a different vibe. It’s not about being separate, it’s not about making people feel distant, it’s all about partying, it’s all about getting together, that’s the whole thing. It all really works and that’s why this is the way it is.

End of Part 1

Stay tuned for part 2 of 4 – coming later this week!

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Andrew W.K. 9-11 Speech

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On the one year anniversary of 9-11 Andrew W.K. performed at the 40 Watt in Athens, GA. That night he gave a rousing speech commemorating the event and encouraged the partiers to have a a huge fun night. Ten years later AndrewWKMusic remembers that gem of archived audio and encourages you to check out the entire show. For a quick preview of that night, here is the track I Love NYC.

A Chat With The Designer of Andrew W.K. I Get Wet

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The designer of Andrew W.K.’s “I Get Wet” is simply credited as “S.S.” but here at Andrew WK Music we’ve come to know him as Scott Sandler of “Mr. Scott Design Inc.”. He was gracious enough to give us some fun bits of info about his experience while working on the said project. Here’s his report.

tumblr_kx6s36FefQ1qzlk58o1_500S.S.: In 2001 I was working in-house at Island/Def Jam Records. The creative director at the time approached me with a new project, an artist that went by the name Andrew W.K.. I listened to the record and was blown away! It was a new sound with no pretension.  It was just fun!


The first time I met Andrew he came to the art department to meet me and go over the artwork. He was very particular and had a clear vision of what he wanted the visuals to look like. He drafted a thick manifesto of rules that would apply to any artwork related to his releases so there would be continuity. In a nutshell, all his records would have a striking cover which would act as the money shot and the rest of the cd package would be simple and not too designed out. It would be laid out very stoic with a white Times New Roman font with a justified center on a black background – ALWAYS! The idea behind this aesthetic was to be reminiscent of classic 12″ LP’s. The cover was the the only visual and the back usually had lyrics and that was it, simple and timeless.

I didn’t agree with how simple he wanted it at the time. I felt he was an artist you could really have fun with going over-the-top on his visuals.  However, it was his record so I wanted him to be happy with it. Keep in mind at the time that this was his first major release. In retrospect, after seeing “The Wolf” and other releases of his since, he really did stick to the script and the payoff came through in having continuity throughout all his releases. So now when a new Andrew W.K. record comes out you know what it is right off the bat, they have a look.

I have to give him a lot of credit, most musicians that I work with aren’t that “hands-on” with the artwork. They are trained musicians and don’t understand or aren’t too interested in the art side of things. Also, before a release happens they have so much going on and so many fronts, that they can’t deal with meeting with the art director too much. Andrew made the time.  It was so important to him.

AndrewWKMusic: It makes sense to me how involved he was on the project. From what I understand Andrew is quite the artist himself, for example I believe he painted the skull on his first EP “AWKGOJ”.

S.S.: He has a very playful side that comes out in his work, but he has an equally intense side pulling the strings and pushing the machine forward. I have never worked with a musician of his like before or since. He’s truly dynamic and admirable.

The cover was shot was by Roe Ethridge and the idea of Andrew having the bloody nose was their baby. I’d love to take credit for that but unfortunately I can’t. What a striking image. The label got scared that Walmart and chains alike wouldn’t stock it with such a visceral image so we ended up having to put a black sticker on the outside of the shrink wrap to hide it for those stores. That was good thing though because people wanted to know what was going on under the sticker. It built mystery.

11 Other

All the inside photography was shot by Danny Clinch and I was able to attend that shoot. It was a fun day at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. We had to clip the back of Andrew’s jeans so they would look tight enough, an old rock star trick.

That record was a fun time and was a great window into the life of a unique artist on the rise. I have so much respect for Andrew, he was a delight to work with.

AndrewWKMusic: So why was the actual CD art changed? I noticed on your mock-up that it’s different than what we have now. Were there any “pressed” like that one?

S.S.: Like I said I didn’t agree with all of Andrew’s design choices at the time but felt strongly that he should get the artwork that he wanted, the mock-up I posted is my version. My versions don’t usually veer too far from the published version, but it really is my only venue to show my work as I would’ve liked. The version on my site has never been published.

AndrewWKMusic: Why were you not involved on the next album? Had you left Island at that point?

S.S.: Andrew was nice enough to approach me to join him for “The Wolf”, but at the time I left Island Def Jam to open my own studio and the creative director as I remember wasn’t too interested in sourcing that one out, so it unfortunately ended my reign with Andrew.

AndrewWKMusic: Did you choose to be credited as “S.S.” or was that just applied to you?

S.S.: I didn’t choose the credit “S.S.”. Andrew appointed it to me. I think he thought it would be fun to have folks on his team use a “W.K.” format.

AndrewWKMusic: By the time the album got to you, do you remember if it was the “final” version of “I Get Wet” or were they demo tracks at that point?

S.S.: I believe I only ever heard the record as the published version.

Scott Sandler
Mr. Scott Design Inc.

Website Changes

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If you’ve visited this site and have been getting a lot of Page Not Found Error 404, than we apologize. Measures have been taken to eliminate this problem. You should now be able to browse easier with minimal issues in that regard.

Insights With Andrew W.K.

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Blow Your Bone

“Blow Your Bone” was the original title for the album “The Wolf”. The album name became widely known by an advertisement for a telephone company which featured not only the “Blow Your Bone” album name but also the album’s cover art (see pic below). Before Andrew W.K.’s second studio album was released its name was changed. It is only a switched title, contrary to popular belief that it contained a different track listing. However, like many studio albums there were songs that were recorded but never made it onto “The Wolf” album. Again, there is no difference between the track listings of the two different album titles.

The title “Blow Your Bone” clashed with the emotional vibe and personal feeling that came through on the album. Also, the music was too strong and dense to have the intense title of “Blow Your Bone”. Andrew wanted the title to be very different from “I Get Wet”, so it was named “The Wolf”—it had power but was also plain and boring.

While in an airport Andrew had a flashback to the “Wolf Slicer” magazine (issue of 3) he created when he first moved to NYC. The word “Wolf” from the magazine’s title popped into his head and that’s where he got the second album’s final name.

62nd Sex Change

“Visionaire No. 53: Sound” is a fashion publication and organization. He was asked to be a part of the publication, but the track had to be 60 seconds long. He likes to create sounds and sound FX but not necessarily “songs” all of the time (which comes from the previous noise bands he was in). His goal sometimes is to just take people to a different place. He wishes he would have put it on the “Mother of Mankind” album and will perhaps release it on something else in the future.

I Get Wet Documentary

A “making of” type of documentary was being filmed for the album “I Get Wet” when the camera and a bunch of video tapes were stolen.

==Previous AWK Bands==

Ancient Art of Boar / AAB

Jaime Morales came up with the band name and was in the band for its inception. Andrew later changed the name of the band to “AAB” when it became a solo project of his. However, the solo project had the exception of Aaron Dilloway who was also in the band for the release of “She’s a Perfectionist” on a cassette (only) for Hanson Records.  The solo project lasted from about 6 months to a year.

Lab Lobotomy

Lab Lobotomy was the first band Andrew put a lot of effort into and formed while in High School. Originally the band was named “Labotomy” but changed it after realizing it was spelled wrong, even t-shirts with the misprinted name could have been made. Band members included Jaime Morales (guitar), Alex Goldman (trumpet, guitar,vocals) and Allan Hazlett.

Artists Against Apartheid

Artists Against Apartheid’s “Unity + Peace = Strength” was a spontaneous recording session late one night in 1997. It was recorded in the first apartment Andrew lived in on his own in Ypsilanti, MI. After a “Harry Pussy” concert, that band came over to Andrew’s apartment (the connection was through Tom Smith who had previously recorded with the band in Miami) and started jamming. Other people who participated and who were involved in the recording was Twig Harper, Aaron Dilloway and Andy Roach. Aaron Dilloway suggested to Andrew that he start recording what they were doing. With Andrew’s previously setup recording equipment they captured the said album. Adris Hoyos (from Harry Pussy) can be heard throughout saying “give me something to ride on man”.

The Beast People

Members include Aaron Dilloway, James Twig Harper, Nate Young and Andrew Wilkes-Krier on some releases. A 10″ was released on Hanson records that Andrew participated in. That 10″ was recorded mostly by Aaron Dilloway in Andrew’s soundproof closet.


Members include Steve Kenny (drummer) and others. There is one song entitled “Freejumps”, which then turned to into a full fledged band (this was often the case was such bands). No actual releases.

Galen Via Hercules

One release

The Hercules

Andrew plays drums

Isis and Werewolves

Steve Kenny was in this band

The Most Amazing Andrew W.K. Discography!

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Our discography page is undoubtedly the largest Andrew W.K. discography that’s ever appeared on the internet. On top of that we just gave it a major overhaul, check out the updates which includes: pics for releases, detailed updates in every section and entirely new sections added. More detailed, accurate and “official” info will be integrated into the list in the coming weeks. –We’ll let you know when that happens, so stay tuned! In the meantime check out the discography page.

Andrew W.K.’s First Show… Ever?

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(Click to see all photos. Photo credit: Daniel Cairns, last photo -Gregg Roberts)

We’re reaching almost as far back as the vaults go on this one. Check out these pics from the “first” Andrew W.K. show with the full backing band “AWK”. They played at the London Highbury Garage on the 23rd of October 2001.

Here is a description of the show:

The show was Andrew crammed into a venue of 30 die hard fans and several hundred press waiting to see the man they had heard and read about in the last few months. The night consisted of no support band and Andrew doing a 45 minute set hours after doors opened. Andrew gave a hectic jam packed run through of songs of his albun “I Get Wet” plus a few older songs. Andrew still played I love New York just dedicating it to the people that died in the twin towers disaster saying “I think this song is more relevant now than it has ever been!” and by the crowd reaction I think he was right. You would have all suspected that Party Hard would be the one that got the crowd going tonight well you would be wrong, the crowd loved Party Hard but it wasn’t to the encore starter I Want Fun that the crowd ignited like someone had stuck a firecracker up their backsides.