Andrew W.K. is many things. Since partying his way onto the scene in 2001 with his debut album I Get Wet, he’s been a larger-than-life icon dedicated to one thing, and one thing only: partying.
He’s expanded his roles from rocker to TV star to motivational speaker over the years, and recently he announced plans for yet another wild endeavor: his own political party, appropriately called The Party Party.
Despite being busy with his new political aspirations, Andrew took some minutes out of his day earlier this week to speak with us about The Party Party, his particular life philosophy, reflections on hanging out with Lil’ Bub, pizza and more. Enjoy the chat below!
You made an official statement about the Party Party online, but for anybody who might not have seen it and in your own words – what is the Party Party, and why is it important right now?
Andrew W.K.: Well first of all those were my own words in my statement, just to clarify in case there’s any confusion about that. Other than that, the timing seemed right. It’s something I thought about doing in various ways over the years. There was a lot of encouragement and support from my fellow partiers and people that believe in this shared party philosophy, and the party gods made it very clear that this was the right time.
So I followed their orders and I must say in this past week since we announced the Party Party last Thursday, March 31, the response has been absolutely unbelievable. Just way more enthusiasm and positive support than I had ever dreamed.
As anybody who uses the Internet knows, it can often be a wasteland of negativity, from Twitter and Facebook to social media in general. Is it a challenge for you to maintain all that positivity amid all that?
Andrew W.K.: Yes and no. I understand very much the impulse to complain and criticize, that is a natural human instinct. I have it as well. Anytime we have the ability to express ourselves it is understandable that those initial, perhaps, critical impulses come out.
I think having that power to speak your mind is very attractive, and very tempting. It takes a little bit of restraint in order to hold back some of that negativity – but negativity isn’t always bad.
We need both negativity and positivity, and in a strange way even negativity has a sort of transcendent positivity, meaning that dark and light together are a positive phenomenon, a good thing. So I’m just contributing my specialty, which happens to be partying.
And even being negative can be a party sometimes. But I’m always trying to bring out my own best, keep myself going, cheer myself on, and that’s how this party mission started.
I was just trying to feel better about life, and wanting to focus on things that made me feel better about being alive and it turns out a lot of other people feel the same way and we’re in this together. I’m just one fellow partier and we’re standing shoulder to shoulder trying to make the world a partier place.
Your message definitely seems to be taken to heart, because as you said there’s so much online buzz about it. You were on FOX News again recently, how was that?
Andrew W.K.: It was great to be on FOX News again, I can’t believe they have continued to have me on. But I feel like it’s a great opportunity to spread the party message, and I hope someone watching out there is able to relate to it, or that it offers them something. And even if they don’t like it or don’t relate to it, I hope that it confirms their own positions.
I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but I hope we can at least respect each other’s humanity and always keep that in the forefront of our mind. That the one thing we all do have in common is that we’re human beings and we’re all in this together – whether we like it or not.
I was listening to your podcast about frustration and how sometimes it can make you want to ball up your fists, stomp your feet and so on. That has a lot to do with what you were just saying about how negativity can also be a positive thing.
Andrew W.K.: You can harness it, absolutely, that’s exactly right. These feelings, before they manifest as an emotion or a mood or a state of mind…at their purest inception they’re just energy. A kind of physical energy, a kind of mental energy, a kind of spiritual energy, and a type of vitality.
Maybe it’s energy that allows us to live at all, to keep our body in a state of living. If we can harness it, transmute it into something useful, it can be some of the strongest energy of all. We’ve probably all had experiences where something that made us very angry actually really drove us – and if we’re able to use it as a drive toward something good, it’s hard to say that it was even ‘bad energy’. It was raw energy.
That’s what I want to do in general, contribute a type of raw energy or take the raw energy that’s there and amplify it, ride it toward goodness.
And that same energy, the ‘goodness’ you speak of…that’s been consistent with you and your whole persona since I Get Wet came out 15 years ago. You’ve always been about positive motivation, positive attitudes and all that.
Andrew W.K.: It’s just what I feel I’m meant to do. It’s a great privilege to be able to offer that in my own small way. I think everyone hopefully is offering some version of that to the human story that we all share, and partying just happens to be my particular contribution.
And ‘partying’ doesn’t have to literally mean ‘partying’, right?
Andrew W.K.: Well partying literally means ‘partying’, but it’s a very vast word, on the surface very specific and literal but within it there’s a lot of room for very different things, that’s for sure.
And now it’s led to your new political party formation. Now that it has attracted so much buzz and blew past the petition requirements for being recognized, what’s next for the Party Party?
Andrew W.K.: Well, now we can see if we can really get the State Department to approve us and give us our formal, official party standing. That’s a whole other undertaking, but to have this reaction, this response again really exceeded my expectations but it’s truly been mind-blowing and exciting. Now we have to see how far we can take it.
Last week I just put out the invitation that I wanted to invite people to this Party Party, and now that we’re here we get to decide where to go, what to do, what to make it be. It’s a collaboration at this point.
So it’s mutually evolving then.
Andrew W.K.: Exactly. Like anything, I think being alive on the planet Earth is a collaboration. It has to be. It’s a group effort, and the more we realize that as a strength rather than a hindrance to our own individual success – our individual success is completely tied up, for better or worse, to everybody else.
So we have to acknowledge that as much as we can and work together toward the total liberation of the total spirit. And one way or another, even if we contribute in the smallest way toward that, we are contributing to the destiny of the human race.
What’s next on your schedule, whether related to the Party Party or otherwise?
Andrew W.K.: Just partying.
I am only a servant of the party gods, and I do whatever they tell me to do. And in one way that is always stressful because I never really know what’s going to happen next – I don’t have a plan other than just to be available, to show up everyday and do their bidding.
And to know that their will is my will, but that’s also a great privilege to be of service to them. For better or worse, that’s what I’m here for and that’s what I’m meant to do.
What was it like partying with Lil’ Bub, a bona fide internet celebrity in her own right?
Andrew W.K.: Talk about raw energy and power, Lil’ Bub…she is just radiating some kind of essential life force. Even just seeing a photograph of her, of course, is enough to communicate that to people all over the world. She’s a perfect example of something that brings people together from all different walks of life.
They all can believe in this transcendent joy just streaming out of this cat, this living creature. And getting to work with her on multiple occasions was an incredible privilege and I felt it.
She’s also extremely soft. She’s softer than…it’s a kind of softness that’s difficult to describe. All cats, I guess, are soft, all animal fur is soft and appealing. I’ve held a chinchilla before, it was difficult because they’re frisky and wild creatures, they don’t like to be held, but that of course was very, very soft.
But touching Lil’ Bub was almost as though your hand wasn’t touching anything. It was so soft it kind of exceeded the very sensation of touch. I can’t speak highly enough of her and I’m so glad that so many people have been so moved in this indescribable way by this cat.
And that should give us hope. That isn’t something to take lightly. I know people don’t, but a lot of people also just think, ‘Oh, whatever, it’s a cat photo on the internet.’ But it’s not just a cat photo, it’s a feeling, a real presence.
And in many ways, then, Lil’ Bub can exemplify exactly what you’re all about with your message.
Andrew W.K.: Well that’s a great compliment if I can achieve that, I’m representing that as best I can every day. It’s a challenge because I am only a human, I’m not a super creature like Lil’ Bub. It’s a great team effort, I have many people doing it with me, that’s what allows it to happen. I could never do it alone.
What’s the best pizza topping?
Andrew W.K.: You know what, I was thinking about this because there are people out there who either don’t eat cheese, or don’t like cheese…and you can have a pizza without cheese and it can still count as pizza.
So I guess in a way, the best pizza topping is a positive pizza mindset. That you kind of top the pizza, no matter what is on it, you ultimately top it with your own attitude. And that’s what makes it so satisfying and so joyful is what you ultimately top it off with when you consume it.
Any parting words of wisdom for our readers?
Andrew W.K.: Never stop partying. And I’m saying that to myself as well, that’s what my mind. We constantly tap into deeper levels of resilience and strength, and we can summon it from within us but it’s definitely coming from somewhere else.
I’d like to think in a way it’s coming from you and your thoughtful questions and support, I just want to keep this going and anyone that gets any feeling out of this, out of my party offering, my Party Party philosophy, anything you get out of it – remember that it’s already there inside you. If you are inspired by something, that thing isn’t giving you that inspiration. You’re giving that thing the power to be inspiring because it’s already there for you.
So always give yourself credit.
For more on Andrew W.K. and his Party Party, visit the campaign’s official website.