scene: With a new album out, The Wolf, and a new tour, should we expect the same straightforward rock as before in concert, or will there be anything new?
Andrew W.K.: I think that no matter what, it will be a pretty straightforward rock show. The room is there for people to do what they want with their own self, and that’s what’s going to make it cool, exciting, and that’s what could make it not straightforward. But at this point I don’t think we need any gimmicks.
It’s not really just a concert or a spectator event. The show doesn’t stop at the end of the stage, it’s more like a celebration of a room of people who show up at the same time to have a good time.
You started out touring solo with a keyboard and a beatbox. Have you found that any of that carried over to your new format, in your writing style or your performances?
That music that I was writing at that time is a lot of the same stuff that we are playing now. The materials weren’t really affecting songwriting, they were affecting the playing. Those songs were always meant to be played with a band.
I noticed that you started music at a very early age with classical piano. Has any of that impacted your music?
I was really young. Classical was the training. That doesn’t mean you have to play Rachmaninoff, it just means you learn the scales and the theory and what not. I’d like to take piano lessons again. I was doing a lot of stuff but I didn’t really understand what I was doing. Lately I’ve had breakthroughs as to why things are, musically, and [having that understanding] I would love to get back to the piano.
Your seriousness towards partying and having a good time, and praise of partying hard as a means of life; do you think that it promotes substance abuse, or that maybe people put on your music to drink or do drugs?
Sometimes it’s OK if they do. I’m not here to preach. If you’re asking if [“Party Hard”] is for straight-edge people, absolutely not, and I don’t anticipate it that way. I know lots of people, though, who don’t do drugs and still get the same feeling from the song. That’s the beauty of this music. It’s not really demanding, it’s set up for you, for you to do what you will with it, rather than you conforming to it.
I am totally thrilled at the idea of someone saying, “It’s Saturday lets put this music on to go to nightclubs, or its Monday morning, lets put it on to go to work.”
In a letter you wrote to a fan, you said to listen to your song, “Never Let Down” 10 times in a row, then not at all for a whole day after that. The next time it was listened to, there would be an extra rush. Do you really believe that?
Yeah, when you know a song a lot, there’s something special. You don’t have to listen to it, you just know it, anticipate it and feel it. That’s a point we don’t get to often, because we hear it once and we don’t let ourselves get beyond it. The songs are based on a melody that has been arranged, it’s not on a groove that you can just kick into. Once you get to the point where you know what is coming up — that’s great. It’s like when you are in the grocery store starving, picking out what you eat, and you get extra pleasure out of knowing what it is you are going to eat. Or that first bite out of a hamburger that you have been dying for. There is nothing better than that first bite.
How do you take fans’ reactions?
I am definitely affected and take it seriously if someone doesn’t like it. It does bum me out, I’m not going to lie. I don’t pretend that I don’t care. People criticize that I’m too sensitive. Just because the whole point is to make music for other people, so I feel like if someone doesn’t like it, I can sit down with them or meet them and maybe I can change that. Or maybe not, but I always like to think that. The point is to try to get more and more people like it, not just those who like it already.
“Make Sex” is on the new album because people asked. That’s a song that had a previous released recording, and people kept asking me to put it on the new album, so I did.
I get confidence and strength from people believing in this. I didn’t expect people to feel the same thing that I have for it. The way I feel about it is all-consuming, and it takes over my life. The music itself, the notes fill me with enough adrenaline to last the whole day.