Going back to Those Gold Soundz: The Church of Andrew W.K.
Issue date: 9/3/10 Section: Focus
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When Andrew W.K. burst onto the hard rock scene, presumably out of nowhere, around the turn of the millennium, most people took him to be a short-lived novelty with a proclivity for simple, anthemic choruses, a huge sound, and an unnatural obsession with partying. His debut, 2001's I Get Wet, was met with severely mixed reviews, while his follow-up The Wolf was largely ignored and his third album Close Calls With Brick Walls was only available in Japan until earlier this year. His music is infectious, energetic, and almost impossibly fun, but it never resonated with the hip set, nor did it top the Billboard 200.
Still, Andrew W.K. has developed a powerful cult following, with nearly 45,000 fans on Facebook and 75,000 followers on Twitter. And if not solely for his music, it's because Andrew W.K. may very well be the most genuine rock star on the face of the Earth right now. And he is dead serious about partying.
His tweets may be the best way to get an idea about the Andrew W.K. philosophy. He offers daily tips on how to further the party experience, like a sort of rock and roll "Bible-quote-of-the-day." The party tips range from near self-help mantras, like "You're actually even more amazing than you think you are," to the just plain weird, like "Rinse and gargle with Mountain Dew. Then spit it into a magazine and throw the whole mess in the bathtub."
These two sides of Andrew W.K. are what constitute his immense appeal outside of his music and can be further explained and justified by some of his unorthodox ventures. As far as weirdness is concerned, he opened up a successful nightclub in downtown Manhattan, has released albums of piano improvisations based on classic cars and Gundam Wing instrumental covers, and hosts Destroy-Build-Destroy, a children's show on Cartoon Network. He's worked with artists as diverse as Wolf Eyes, Lee "Scratch" Perry, and Baby Dee, he once performed at the Gathering of the Juggalos, and once toured with only his piano and a string quartet.