Interviews: Andrew W.K. Reveals All
Following on from our sneak peak on Friday, we bring you the full and exclusive interview with everyone's favourite partier Andrew W.K.
Following on from our sneak peak on Friday (which can be read here), we bring you the full and exclusive interview with everyone's favourite partier Andrew W.K. As well as addressing recent mind control and actor claims, he also reveals a new album is in the works...
With regards to your online statement and the mystery surrounding Steev Mike, why do you think people have such an issue with you working alongside a person who prefers to use a pseudonym? They’re not exactly rare within the music industry…
“I don’t know. If I look at it from my perspective it seems crazy. If I look at it from someone else’s perspective, the perspective of someone who doesn’t know what I know or wasn’t there when these things were going on, I can see how they feel. It’s like there’s information being hidden from them, which there that is, but the confusion is to assume that it’s sinister or that there’s a bad reason for it being kept secret. Some people just like privacy; I’m not one of those people and that’s why I’m in the position I’m in. Some people just don’t care about, I guess, getting that kind of fame, I don’t know… That’s not really what I’m interested in, I’m here to do what I do and that’s to try and make people find a sensation within themselves that makes life not only worth living but truly enthralling. As for as the people I work with, I can’t really speak for them. There’s a reason we’ve agreed not to tell people who’s who and that’s something I agreed to a long time ago. I could never have imagined after all the crazy stuff that’s happened to me over the last 10 years that by signing this confidentiality agreement or by signing a record deal that people would wonder what I was doing because I signed away the ability to talk about it. I didn’t think that having to keep secrets would become a problem and it really wasn’t for many years, but from the get-go there were people who were very sceptical and unfortunately that scepticism and cynicism, coupled with this secrecy that wasn’t meant to have anything to do with that, meant people kind of ran away with that idea.”
So what you’re really trying to say here is that the confidentiality agreement you signed isn’t anything sinister?
“The problem with ‘sinister’ is that that’s the funniest thing about it. This is all about bringing light and goodness and power to people, so for there to be this idea that the end result or the main goal of what I’m doing is sinister or malicious is always the most frustrating idea. Whatever I’ve ever done, ultimately the end result is to try to liberate people. The idea of partying and celebrating is very powerful in connecting people to that sense of energy and ability and joy that we all have within us, that’s really all I and those I chose to work with are interested in.”
There are also claims that Andrew W.K. has been a series of actors and that you’re not the Andrew we were first introduced to. You’ve also spoken about this in some of your motivational speeches. Can you confirm / prove that you are Andrew Wilkes-Krier if needed? Do you have identification?
“This is unrelated to the idea of me working with people or the accusation that I was being controlled by people. To answer your question very literally, yes and no. I can prove that I’m Andrew W.K. as easily as I ever could, but how it related to what you asked, I know what you’re getting at but I can’t really answer that as clearly with a ‘yes’. There’s a harder part, it should be a very easy ‘Yes, I’m Andrew W.K’, but you asked me that in a trick way so it’s harder for me to answer that.”
Even if the actor claims were true, why should the fact that you’re spreading a positive message be a problem?
“Well I don’t think it is and I’m very fortunate. I’d like to think that everything we’ve talked about so far is still a very minority view amongst my fan base, friends or anyone I’ve ever liked. I appreciate you addressing this and giving me the chance to say that if people would see through to what is really going on, not just in this case but in everyday life, just focus on what you can tell is right and good, you’ll clear your mind of the lies.”
Do you know who’s behind the claims?
“I’m very aware of how a lot of them surfaced. Several specific colleagues that were friends, and I wouldn’t call them enemies now, had several different disputes. I’ve moved on and I’ve worked with different people throughout my career, some of those people and the way we stopped working together wasn’t too amicable and they lashed out. How they chose to do that was what stirred up a lot of the confusion because they took up these ideas that I was a fake, which they figured would be the most humiliating revelation about me for whatever reason. I don’t think a lot of people particularly even care about that idea. Not to say that people shouldn’t care about my real person, I don’t think that them revealing me as being somehow authentic or not authentic really has much to do with what I care about anyway. When it first really came to a head in 05, I was able to keep going and I’ve been able to renegotiate with some of the people since. What’s going on now is the unfortunate effect of snowballing, where people believe what they saw or what they heard or what they read enough times that is starts to become fact. Then again, I’m just grateful that I still have enough reason to keep going and enough clarity to see through to what really matters. All of this stuff just makes you stronger in the end, I have to believe that otherwise what’s the point in doing it?”
As for folks claiming that you’re “controlled by a satanic force”, are these claims more hurtful than they are funny?
“Again, I think this is misinterpretation, a misunderstanding of ideas or motivations, and there’s been a lot of confusion regarding religions and beliefs and ethical and moral structures, so I think this is just a case of people misreading my intentions. Sometimes when you bare freedom to people or the idea of freedom or you work to liberate people and really illuminate people, there’s a possibility that those who try to keep people in the dark don’t want you around. Sometimes I feel that those labels, like calling someone evil or saying they’re Satanic, that’s done to distract from a much darker force that’s fighting against the people who’re trying to bring joy and good vibes into the world. So, I think it’s a case of the opposite.”
Do you think that some of this negative press is doing you a favour? Your name is getting out there more and you’re now in a position to defend yourself…
“What happened earlier was the result of a very focused effort by a very small number of people, that is now done, in the past and resolved. No one had anticipated this kind of delayed reaction or overreaction, this was something that was initially supposed to be very personal and people weren’t even supposed to be aware of it. At this point I think we’re just trying to role with it, I mean I’m still trying to figure it out and as far as having an opportunity to speak, I guess it’s good. There’s so much to talk about so I’m always trying to find a new way to answer old questions, this is a good opportunity to do that and it’s interesting in that way. I’m past the point of taking things personally and I don’t think of it as being about me at all.”
‘Close Calls With Brick Walls’ is finally out over here in February…
“Yes, I am very excited about this.”
The album was released in Japan back in 06. What’s behind the huge delay over here?
“A lot of it was semi-related to what we’ve been talking about in this conversation. It’s incredibly exciting because I’ve wanted this record to come out worldwide since I made it, which was back in 05. It took all of 05 and 06 to record and it came out in 06 and only now, four years later, do I have the real ability and infrastructure to release it.”
Now that it’s able to come out over here, can it be released in America too?
“Yes, and that’s really what we were able to resolve. Through an unconventional series of steps and manoeuvres which I will credit my manager for coming up with, we were able to reposition ourselves with the label in England. I remember the last time I spoke to you, I had just put out my solo piano album and that was the first album I released on the label Skyscraper Music Maker – a label which we set up over there. It was the first time I’d had my own label since doing Andrew W.K. and was the first time I’d been completely free of constrictions. However, after I put out ‘55 Cadillac’ it was seen that I’d released this record and gone to great lengths to set up this label in London so that the album could be imported to every other country. It didn’t exactly work as, I don’t want to say hoped, but maybe as we had thought initially. Nevertheless, we then renegotiated and now we can do it, it’s a great thing. We’ve got to change the name of the label but it’s a very exciting thing for me to be able to release not only ‘Close Calls With Brick Walls’ but this entire other album of material that I never thought would get heard, ever.”
What have you changed the name of the label to?
“Skyscraper Music Maker is the name of the label that released ‘55 Cadillac’, so that’s the same. What happened was, and it all comes down to credit, when we released ‘55 Cadillac’ certain people weren’t credited because they weren’t involved with the recording. As I said, that was the first album I made completely on my own, it’d been in my mind for years to release a piano album. What ended up happening, based on the contracts and various decisions we’d made over the years, the people who weren’t being given credit had to be given credit. An easy way for them to get credit is for them to have their name on the label, that way whatever I put out they automatically receive credit for. They saw that as a reasonable solution and dropped all the other complaints they had against me and my current manager for the ‘55 Cadillac’ release. That really simplified things and I’m fine because my main concern is getting the music out.”
Are you going to come over to promote ‘Close Calls With Brick Walls’ before you do Warped Tour this summer? Will it be treated as a brand new record?
“I’m going to be doing as much as I possibly can and I’m also recording another album. Ideally there’ll be some shows before Warped Tour and there’ll certainly be many shows after which will take us all over the world. I’ll certainly be in England as much as possible. I look forward to coming back for much, much more.”
When can we expect the new album to drop and do you have a working title or any working song titles?
“I do have some notes that I’m working with here, nothing to be shared yet but I really do appreciate you asking. There are songs with the word ‘party’ in the title though!”
The album ‘Close Calls With Brick Walls’ / ‘Mother Of Mankind’ is out on February 22 on Steev Mike.