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Interview: Andrew WK - 10.29.03
 

Andrew WK

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Andrew WKRoze: You have a new album called, The Wolf. Can you tell me a little bit about the album?

AWK: Ok, it's umm 12 songs that are I'd say half of them are brand new and the other half are songs that were either written before or during the first album, I Get Wet, so I've had them for a while. I've been working on them ever since just trying to make them better and I don't think I felt 100% sure of the songs at first when I first was writing them and that's why I didn't put them on I Get Wet. I just felt like I needed to work more. Plus I wanted I Get Wet to be a very strong and straight forward album to the point album that was very clear and concise. These next 12 songs are also very clear, and also very to the point and work well together. I think now I'm better at singing a little bit and I'm better at writing some of these words. I'm just glad I was able to work a little bit more on these songs now on The Wolf. It was good to have a little patience with them. I gained some confidence and some strength from being able to tour a lot and meet people that like this music and be able to know there are people that do. Because the first album was made without any of these things being known. I didn't know if anyone was going to like this music at all because this music didn't even exist yet. Once it came out, all my hopes of people liking it and all my hopes of having a big celebration with music and people enjoying it came to reality. And all those lyrics "we" and "us" I wrote those before anyone obviously was around. I wrote most of those lyrics completely alone hoping that there would be other people out there that liked the music and felt the way I felt about it. I've been fortunate that there are people out there that love it or feel strongly about it. And now that gives me the strength and the determination that allows me to make another album that will not only make them happy but to also thank those people and say "thank you very much for liking this album." So that's kind of the feelings I have. Musically there are things that are different. Some of the songs are slower and some of the songs are faster. There's more melody in the singing. But I didn't set out to make it different, it just kind of wound up that way. Any song I write I always just sit down and try to write the best song I can. It's not about being different or experimenting, it's just supposed to be good. I just want it to be enjoyable. We're building a collection of songs here.

R: I know you're going to be personally calling some of the people who are buying your album...

AWK: Yeah I'm trying to do that.

R: And I know you've been known to be really close to your fans. I was wondering why you think it is important to be close with your fans?

AWK: It's not something I think is important in general. It's just something that is important to me. Meaning that if other bands or singers don't do that, that's fine and I don't think any less of them. It's just something that I do and I don't really do it to make a point. It's not really an idea, it's just something that feels right to do. It's not something I am doing by myself or for myself. and I care if other people like it just as much as I care if other people don't like it. It's important to me that people know that it's just not about me. It's something that I am making for US to enjoy. And us is not an exclusive or private group, it's THE world. I consider US to be all the people on the face of the earth and I'm gonna try to get through all of them one at a time one way or another for as long as possible just keep working at it showing people that this is something they can love. And when someone does choose to take part in it I want them to know that I appreciate them and I thank them. This music is not made by me and for myself. This music is made by us and what we feel for everybody. That's why it's imporant to me when people like it because that was the whole point was to bring a big group of people to celebrate using this music as the song to sing together and if someone takes the time and the effort and invest their energy, their money or their belief in this I want to let them know that I value that and they're going to be thanked for that. I don't know if I'm going to be able to talk to everybody or not but I am going to just try to talk to people and let them know. It helps me do better and feel better about what I am doing and gives me strengths to overcome challenges.

R: You just shot a video for Never Let Down in NY. What's the premise of the video and when are we going to be able to see it on TV?

AWK: The video is very simple. There is no story, there's no concept meaning there's no idea about what it really it is. There's no trick. I really like videos like that but I feel that I am not good at thinking up those things. So usually our videos are just us playing the songs on a stage or at a party or at a house. But this one is just me sitting at the piano singing the song and nothing else really happens just because I want the focus to be on the singing and on the music and on the melody. Just focus on that and there doesn't really need to be a story or a concept. I tried to make it really basic and straight forward. That should hopefully be out in a couple of weeks.

R: You also released a single for Tear It Up and it was an enhanced disc with songs and videos on it. Do you guys have plans of releasing a full DVD?

AWK: Absolutely! That's something I would really like to do I hope before 2004 ends. So sometime in the next year and a half we're just going to get it all together. I'd like it to be about an hour or hour and a half long. The DVD that came with the single was just for fun and it was very short. I really would like to do a very long, maybe like a documentary at parts, and some live footage. There's also a video we gave away in Japan as a free disc cause that's a really fun and cut footage from Japan of what's going on over there.

R: So you grew up playing classical piano and you started out in a band called the Pterodactyls, right?

AWK: That was one of many bands I was in. I was in that band for about one month playing drums when I was 16.

R: What do you think inspired you to start making music as a living?

AWK: I never said to myself "well you've been doing bands, now you've got to stop doing that and try to make money at it." It was after just continuation and just the same things that were making me play in whatever band when I was playing drums in it or when I was in it for a month or a year. It was just because I liked doing it. And I actually never thought of it as something I was going to do all day long everyday. It was something I knew I would do my whole life. I didn't expect it would be the only thing like it is now. I thought maybe I would go to college and still play in bands, still play piano and still make songs or maybe I'll get a job doing who knows what. It wasn't that I said I wanted to do this as a living it was just something that I was always did while I lived. And it just ended up taking up more and more time and more focus until that became the main source and fortunately enough money is made from it that I can survive and don't have to get another job I would still be able to do this no matter what and I would always have it and always will. When you learn music very young, I was very lucky to have those piano lessons when I was like 5 and did those for years, it just becomes like a second nature thing like reading, walking or riding a bike. Once you start doing it, it doesn't occur to you to stop you're just doing it whether or not you're realizing it. You've got music in your head or you hear songs as you're walking down the street or you play some piano or you play in a band or you listen to some CDs that you like. It just becomes part of what you do regardless of the rest of your life. And it was only recently that I decided this was the ONLY thing I wanted to try doing and focus 100 percent on only doing this and see what would happen. Fortunately I was able to have things go in a way that would allow me to do this 100 percent of my time.

R: You're very young and you have a lot of time ahead of you to keep doing what you're doing. What do you think are your long term goals with this?

AWK: You pointed out that I am very young and I think that is true so I still think it's very very new. And I think it's very easy to think that because I am so wrapped up in it everyday it's easy to think that "Oh we've made it. Everyone knows about this."_ but that doesn't mean anything and nobody knows about it._ That's kind of how I think about it. I mean certainly there are some people out there that know about it but we barely just showed up on the face of the earth. So I intend to spend not months or years, but tens of years doing this, proving this and showing people that it does exist and seeing where it takes us. And that's my long term goal, is just to continue. I don't have anything specific. There's great things I would love to see happen like play to twenty thousand people. But those are things that will happen or they won't. My main goal and my main satisfaction will come from just not stopping and continuing to play and make songs and do whatever I can to do this to the fullest extent on a daily basis. And it's really easy and amazing to think about things ten years down the road but it's a lot easier said than done. So right now I am just taking it one day at a time. And the only thing I am really focusing on right now is today. And what we should do today and responsibilities we have to fulfill. I think if I spent too much time thinking about what we haven't done yet, or what we need to do, it might be a little discouraging or a little overwhelming. I try to stay in the moment of what we're doing so I can apply my energy there. That's what I think is going to end up making it possible to continue on for a long period of time.

R: What is your motto in life? What advice would you like to give to everyone?

AWK: That's a hard one. I don't really have one motto and I don't really know if I am in a position to give advice. Why should they listen to me? But things that I've learned really good advice... two really simple words: Stay Strong. I really like that and it seems to help me out. But overall advice is to I guess ultimately make your life as enjoyable as possible. Try to be strong in a way that allows you to be weak on one hand, and try to be strong in a way that allows you to enjoy or find pleasure in many things. When I'm being a weak person I will have trouble enjoying things. I think a really strong person is a person who can find pleasure in many many things. Don't be afraid to care, don't be afraid to be passionate or to believe in things. Don't stay hopefull and full of excitement about what you get to do.

R: Who is your best friend?

AWK: I don't really have one best friend. I think ultimately I like to think that I am my own best friend, and my own worst enemy. Because it's me who is going to be able to ultimately support myself the best and at the same time hurt myself. It's me who is going to make myself feel okay and feel strong and comforted at the same time that I can make myself feel horrible. So I like to think that the end of the day that it's me, deep down inside, that no matter where I go or what situation I am in I always have myself to turn to for strength or comfort.

R: You toured on Warped Tour this summer and that's a predominately "punk rock" tour but you had a lot of success on that tour and a lot of people came out to see you, why do you think you have so much success in the punk community?

AWK: I don't know. It's really taken me by surprise and I've been so thrilled and so thankful and honored because I came from playing in punk bands and listening to punk style or whatever you want to call it. I think that at the end of the day if it doesn't sound like other punk bands or not, it still has an energy and a passion that maybe those people can relate to. It doesn't ask someone to change who they are or what they believe in, in order to like our music you don't need to stop like other bands. It's really open. We just ask you to enjoy it. It's really free and I think it gives people freedom to say "I like punk music but I also like Andrew WK"

R: What do you do when you're not partying?

AWK: I'm pretty much like anybody else. I have a lot of responsibilities I have to meet so I try to just get those things done. I don't want to mess up and I don't want to blow this opportunity. I'm not sure what you mean by partying but to me the word party, and the reason I choose that word in all these songs is because it's such a simple word that everybody knows. It's very straight forward and familiar. At the same time it was so packed with meaning and so full of energy. It captured celebration and enjoyment and pleasure and fun. A festival of life. It's open, it doesn't ask anyone to do one certain thing except to be excited. That's what a party is. It's you doing what makes you happy and allowing others to do the same.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 5 of 5
05:55 PM on 10/29/03
#2
311evan311
Salad Fingers
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i seriously love that man... so positive... if only everyone thought like him...
07:07 PM on 08/06/04
#3
em0_stars
Count Me Out
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this guy helped me turn my life around
08:51 AM on 05/16/05
#4
XthroughmyeyesX
dropped it like it's hot
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Originally Posted by 311evan311
i seriously love that man... so positive... if only everyone thought like him...

Agreed. Totally one of the nicest people I've ever met and talked to. Influential in the most positive way.

I saw him two years back or so and before and after the show, me and my friends chilled out with and his band and it just totally fuckin' rocked haha.
03:07 PM on 02/12/06
#5
whatever?
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God I love Andrew He's a musical genius

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