Andrew W.K. is a person who needs very little introduction, but it is a challenge to shorten his list of credentials. The musician, writer, motivational speaker, television and radio host, venue owner, record producer, almost diplomat, world record holder, generational icon, and god of partying is gracing the citizens of the Queen City with his relentlessly positive presence this very evening at Neighborhood Theatre. Currently out on the road on a solo tour, he was kind enough to field some questions from the Collective to help you pre-game for the party tonight.
How is performing solo different for you than playing with a full band? Does it take more to keep the party going?
All it takes to keep the party going is my keyboard and the spirit of joy. These solo shows are entirely keyboard driven, and since all of my songs have always been written on keyboard, it’s a chance to really play them true to the way they were first created. I’m a piano player before anything else, and this show really focuses on that side of the music. It’s still very loud and high energy, just electronic based keyboard versions instead of guitar based versions.
You are a relentless beacon of positivity. How did you first adopt your party mentality, and how have you been able to maintain it for so long in a world that might not seem to want to party all the time?
I’ve actually been a very negative person for most of my life. But that negativity has been my motivation for living a more positive life. Like many people, I realized relatively early on in life that we can put effort into developing a mindset that will give us a more empowered outlook and understanding of life. I’ve always struggled with bad feelings and wanted to dedicate as much of myself as I could to something uplifting and joyful. That’s how this party mission began – to celebrate life and get deeper into it by developing the strength to fully experience it.
What is your history in playing shows in the Carolinas? Any good party stories?
I have a lot of good memories of our first shows in that area. I had never been to that part of the country before I started touring and doing this music, so it was incredible to go there for the first time and find so many energetic people ready to party with me. Being able to keep coming back after all these years, and still see so many of the same party friends, is just incredible. I can’t believe that any of this has happened, but even more than that, I can’t believe that it has continued to happen. I don’t take any of it for granted.
You’re a busy guy. What’s next on your agenda after this tour?
Just partying. That’s all that’s ever on the agenda.
Are there any records that have come out recently that you like to party to?
Anything and everything that’s high energy or intense. I believe in the inherent value of all music.
Would you be so kind as to honor us with our own, exclusive Andrew W.K. party tip?