Andrew W.K. chats everything Andrew W.K.!

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I’ve spoken to this next guy before but this interview stands out as my favorite so far. Andrew W.K. is an icon. Not only as a musician but as an inspiration to many. He does a weekly radio show as well as touring the country playing shows as well as speaking at seminars, spreading his untouchable energy. I was able to grab a few minutes with him post performance in Cambridge where he had just played a sold out keyboard set. It was a pleasure to just watch Andrew’s contagious energy during the interview and I think it’s one of my favorites I’ve done as yet. Read on!

I know it’s been a while since you’ve played Boston in a headlining position from what I believe, correct me if I’m wrong.

I mean, I don’t know how long. I’m not actually really sure.

Well you said this show was really good, a good vibe. How did the show go?

I had a very fun time! I mean I enjoyed myself. I enjoyed playing keyboard. I’ve always loved playing these songs more and more as time goes by. Tried some different dance moves tonight which is always challenging but usually rewarding. Tonight was definitely on the rewarding side. There was fatigue. There was adrenaline. It was a dynamic experience for me personally. There was moments of failure. I had sort of a moment of I’d say mental failure at one point. I just sort of couldn’t think. I could only exist but it only lasted for maybe five, six seconds so that was good but it felt strange. There were moments of fear when I was watching Blake over there doing some of his moves. It was also inspiring and most of all, I was just very moved and very pleased at the other people that came to be here. I mean they wanted to be in that room and gave of themselves. So all that really matters to me is if they enjoyed themselves. I mean I could enjoy myself very much and it could still not necessarily be a very good evening for someone else. Or I could have a nice time doing some dance moves with someone else maybe thinking it was of very poor quality. So that’s always the risk. You hope that people enjoy themselves and felt like they had a memorable, invigorating time. What I would like more than anything is people to leave with some kind of feeling of inner power. That they actually can retain so maybe even tomorrow when they get up, assuming they go to sleep, that it stays with them. They can refer to it and hold onto it. Then it’s not something necessarily that we made or created together here tonight but maybe reinvigorated what was already in them. In each other. Reminded ourselves of that good feeling and maybe it won’t be as difficult going forward to keep close to it.

I know you play the Mixtape Festival tomorrow as well.

Yes, that’s correct! It’s an after party related to the festival.

Related to the festival and you have a lot of solo dates coming up in September and October. Is it going to be the same set up as the show you played tonight?

Yeah, largely. I mean we have a variety of shows coming up. Some full band shows. Some shows like tonight’s, a solo show. Also some lecture events. Just speaking with no music. So yeah a good blend of different events. Different nights, different days. I mean I think some of the events are daytime. Should be fun. It’s always sort of a variety of contrasting qualities. Hopefully it all one way or another, my goal and I don’t always meet it, is to get to that feeling. Even in what we’re doing right now. It’s to try to get to that feeling of pure energy.

And obviously you’ve been keeping very active over the years. You know, you do the inspirational speaking, you play your music but do you have maybe something coming out soon? Like maybe a spoken word kind of thing or maybe even a music album or do you think that’s something you’re going to hold off on doing?

I would like to do a new album for sure. I’m familiar with people who do spoken word and I feel like that’s a much more artistic, almost poetic skill. Talent. That I don’t possess. I just do more like talking. Like a seminar or something or like an interview but I do my radio show every week. That’s kind of how I think about it. I do my advice column writing but I’d love to do a new album. I’d love to do all kinds of things but I have to wait until I’m assigned those next events. Not events, the next undertaking. It will be presented to me and I’ll do my best to execute it at a high level.

Perfect then I wanted to ask you, obviously you do have a lot of fan interaction. Kind of giving advice on your Facebook and you have the radio show. You’ve kind of always been really present to these kids. How do you think that’s maybe helped you keep your longevity as an artist?

Well with all due respect to young people, a lot of these folks are not even kids. They’re like older than me. They teach me a lot of things. It’s more of just a team effort. I feel like it’s a constant pep rally and if you go to a pep rally, there could be a ring leader of sorts. There could be a rabble rouser. A master of ceremonies but even that person in their effort to conjure up pep is getting a lot of energy back and they’re being pepped up as much as they’re doing the pepping. So I feel it’s like a very mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship where we are cheering each other on in life and I am learning from people that are my elders and from people that are younger than me. So I’m not really here to teach. I have no authority that way. I’m only here to encourage and be encouraged because it feels great to go out there in the world and have those impulses and maybe those very quiet small and potentially fragile parts of yourself bolstered by other people that share those same qualities in themselves. To have those parts brought out and exposed and then empowered and strengthened so they don’t have to be as fragile. To bring out the best in each other. That’s my hope.

Okay then maybe to end it off, you have announced a lot of dates. You have lectures, you have full band shows, you have solo shows. You’re keeping very busy. You have your radio show every week but what can fans be looking forward to?

Yeah the shows! I mean there’s a lot of different things but I usually just let them happen instead of announcing things too much in advance. There’s good stuff in store though. I really feel like it’s not in my control and I’m happy about that. It’s just surprising to me as to anyone else. I just try to follow the will of the larger forces at work and live up to their expectations of me. Which usually are far beyond my own expectations of myself but that’s again bringing out things in each other that we didn’t even know we were capable of. That’s when things get really exciting. So I’m just another element in a much larger scheme. Not leading the way and not even being so bold as to chart it but just to follow the path as it unfolds.

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