I just consider myself a person: one who’s focused on this feeling of excitement and energy. I’m looking at the world and saying, ‘this is a good experience and this has the potential to be a good experience for all of us if we want it to be and focus on it.’
BY WILLIAM LENNON
There’s no one in music quite like Andrew W.K. Dressed from head to toe in good-guy-white and pretty much always donning a goofy smile, he’s the reverse image of the garden-variety gloom-and-doom metalhead. Andrew’s bafflingly affable persona makes him an outlier amongst fellow headbangers, but it’s his seemingly bottomless supply of party-starting energy and relentlessly positive outlook on life that has made him both an icon and an enigma…as well as a magnet for conspiracy theories.
Andrew W.K. will be in Chicago this New Year’s Eve to rock a special show at Thalia Hall and while it’s sure to be an amazing time, it’s worth noting that he’s always as ready to “Party Hard” offstage as he is during one of his faithfully frenetic live sets that serve as high-octane testaments to the limitlessness of human possibility. Sometimes that means speculating on Nicolas Cage as a vampire or just chilling out to a rerun of Friendship Is Magic, and the other day it meant having a chat with the good folks at Chicago INNERVIEW.
Chicago INNERVIEW: So my first question is about your being a sort of jack-of-all-trades…
Andrew W.K.: Whoa, hold on! I’m actually only a jack of partying. There’s a lot you can do within that, but I’m not a jack-of-all-trades. I’m very poorly skilled when it comes to most things.
Chicago INNERVIEW: Fair enough. But what inspires a musician to start a column in the Village Voice or to become a regular guest on podcasts and radio shows? Do you consider yourself a musician or a writer or a public speaker first?
Andrew W.K.: I just consider myself a person: one who’s focused on this feeling of excitement and energy. I’m looking at the world and saying, ‘this is a good experience and this has the potential to be a good experience for all of us if we want it to be and focus on it.’ It’s all one effort to use any means I have access to [in order] to conjure up that feeling and spread that excitement.
CI: You’ve got a new My Little Pony-themed shirt on your website. Are you a fan of the show? You’re a known associate of the Bronies. [Editor’s note: ‘Bronies’ are adult male My Little Pony fans, for real.]
AWK: I really liked the original toy and series…They had really appealing shapes and personalities, but back then it was really geared towards girls. With the new Friendship Is Magic version, people are finding the courage to get into the show when they’re not only older than the target audience, but sometimes not the same gender as the target audience. I think that’s just great. People should enjoy whatever they enjoy, as long as it’s not hurting anybody. And loving ponies doesn’t do anything but bring more joy. The Brony community has been very nice to me. They’re strong individuals. They’re not easily swayed in their joys. I mean, I played with dolls a lot and most people said it was fine but some people said, ‘you’re not allowed to do that because you’re a boy.’ And I always thought that didn’t make sense. I can relate to that feeling.
CI: There are a number of conspiracy theories about you. I think it’s safe to say you’ve already said your piece on them since you’ve spoken publicly regarding this a number of times, so I thought I’d ask you about another pervasive celebrity mystery. True or false: Nicholas Cage is a vampire.
AWK: Well first thing, I really like his acting a great deal. I think he’s fantastic. Never been disappointed with anything I’ve seen him do. But I don’t believe he’s a vampire in the traditional sense. I mean it’s possible that he may have consumed human blood. Most of us have. At least our own. Whether he’s done it with the intent of prolonging his life and causing harm or using it as an empowering potion or elixir I don’t know. I doubt it. Because it’s not very healthy. I am familiar with people who consume blood as a ritualistic…uh…sort of self-empowering…‘meal.’ But I haven’t heard that Nicholas Cage himself has done it. I’ve heard people mention it, but I don’t think it’s likely. It is possible. Anything’s possible. These are intriguing ideas. You can consider possibilities that seem to defy common sense and reason and logic…I believe it’s healthy to allow one’s mind to entertain those ideas and follow them through. With most of them, there’s no harm in considering even far-fetched possibilities. I like to live in a world of possibility.
DECEMBER 31 @ THALIA HALL
9:30 PM LISTEN