Andrew W.K. has stood the music industry’s test of time without compromising the 2001 qualities he trended before Twitter was even the fad. The media phenomenon didn’t need the help of a hash tag to attract worldwide attention; all he needed was his positively untamed personality meshed with punk-pop melodies.
The iconic Andrew W.K. elements created his debut album, “I Get Wet”, which dropped November 19th 2001 via Island Def Jam Music Group and produced the hits, “Party Hard” and “She Is Beautiful”. The head-to-toe donned in white rocker hosts the Cartoon Network show, “Destroy, Build, Destroy” and is a frequent guest on the Fox News late-night program, “Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld”. Since the release of his debut, W.K. has kept afloat within the music industry with his collaborations with Matt and Kim, Soulja Boy and Weezer’s River Cuomo. He also co-produced Lee Perry’s album, “Repentance”, which received a Grammy nomination in 2009 for “Best Reggae Album”.
W.K. is bringing the “I Get Wet” past into the present with his “I Get Wet” 10 Year Anniversary Tour, which kicks off March 3rd in Vancouver and travels across the U.S and overseas to England. Not only is it the first time in seven years that he is headlining a tour, but it will also be the first time W.K. is playing the “I Get Wet” album in its entirety with a full band. You can head on over to his official site to get the “I Get Wet” tour itinerary and to purchase tickets.
Check out our interview below with W.K., where he discusses the “I Get Wet” journey from 2001 to 2012 and gives you, Shockya readers, the lowdown on his 10 Year Anniversary Tour from the opening acts to the tracks he is most looking forward to playing live.
Does it really feel like 10 years since the release of “I Get Wet” or does it seem like yesterday?
No, it definitely doesn’t seem like yesterday, maybe a week and a half ago, but not yesterday. Definitely a little bit longer than that. At the most, it feel likes two weeks ago.
Are you as proud of the album as you were in 2001?
Ya, I have always been pleased with the way it came out. It’s a funny thing about music or any work you have done that it is always changing as much as it stays the same. My ability to appreciate it or criticize it or find different aspects of it is always changing and that has been an interesting part. It’s fun to be able to play the same song and find new aspects to be appreciated about it. So to me, it’s something that I like the more and more I go on. Since it was the start of my whole career in many ways, it is something I am very grateful for and have a lot of respect for. I don’t know if sometimes I think of it as my own creation. It is just this strange phenomenon occurred onto itself. I was one of the people that helped bring it about, but I am just glad that I got to use some of the power and that it has kept me going for this long.
If “I Get Wet” was released for the first time in 2001, do you think it would have been perceived differently? or maybe it would have fit better in the 2012 market?
That’s a great question. It’s hard to say. I think about that actually quite a bit with all kinds of songs, not just songs that I’ve written. What if a new song came out back then? What if an old song came out now? It is a fun thing to think about. Without any certainty, it is difficult to say, how music would be perceived at different times. At the core of all music that I really like or respond to, is a really strong feeling. If that strong feeling is there, it could come out in anything. It might sound different; it might be different styles of production or delivery, but the core of an exciting song will always get a reaction some way or another.
The one thing that is different now is in the early 2000s when we first started, it wasn’t really considered cool to talk about partying and having fun in that celebratory way. Now 10 years later, pop culture has really embraced that idea of partying. There are a lot of songs more on the floor and dancey with that sort of revelatory attitude. Maybe in that way people would like it even more now and I guess, in a way, they are. It seems the longer this has been around, the more it has kept on building in one way or another.
What about with touring? What went into headlining a tour in the early 2000s compared to now?
The shows are pretty consistent. The people I have been playing with are more or less of the same group. We have definitely stepped up and gotten better putting on the show on our side. Maybe the big difference now is that with the change in the music industry. Performing and playing shows in general have become more important and more valuable because it is something you cannot download. The value of that experience has become more sacred, considering that the value of a physical copy of an album isn’t as cherished as it used to be because of the digital stuff, which is good. It is exciting that people have even more love for live shows these days. No matter how you go about it, you can’t really download that kind of experience. Well, maybe someday…
What are some preparations for your headlining tour starting in March?
Well, the good thing is that I have toured with my band quite a bit on all kinds of tours, playing different shows. They just weren’t headlining. The last tour we did was exactly one year ago in Australia. Then a couple of months before that we did a US tour where we weren’t playing a headlining set, but we were performing. Then we did the Warped Tour that summer as well. A couple of months ago, we played in St. Paul, Minnesota. So, continuing to play has helped us stay lubricated and tight. Sometimes not playing makes the band better and better, like you don’t know what you got till it’s gone. You appreciate and absorb all the experiences that you’ve had and then you come back and it’s tight and even better.
We’ll definitely be rehearsing and practicing. We’ve never played this album or any album, like “I Get Wet”, all the way through. We’ve played all the songs on it one time or another, but never in order like that. So, that’s going to be a real new and fun challenge as well.
Is there any track in particular off “I Get Wet” that you are looking forward to playing on tour the most?
Probably some of the songs that we haven’t played as often or recently like the song, “Don’t Stop Living In The Red”, which is the last song on the album. I really like that one a lot. There’s a song called “Got To Do It”, which we haven’t played in a while. I am really looking forward it; it’s a different kind of tune. Other than that, I think we play the rest of them pretty much all the time.
Do you have opening acts with you on the tour?
We are going to bring some bands, but we haven’t confirmed officially the band that is going to go on the majority of the tour. There is a great group called Nardwuar and The Evaporators. We are going to play the first three shows with that group in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada then in Seattle, Washington and then in Portland, Oregon. We are just about to confirm and announce a band for the rest of the tour. We have a lot of amazing bands offering and wanting to be on the tour, which was really surprising and meaningful to me. I wish, in a way, we could take out all the bands, but I am trying to choose a band that will provide some kind of contrast in every way, like with the sound, the performance, and the show so that it makes a real dynamic and an exciting night for the audience.
What are your plans after the 10th anniversary tour finishes?
Well, I will continue recording my new album and getting ready for more tours as the year continues. It’s the matter of getting this new record done and out, but other than that, my only plan ever is just to party very very hard.
by Lonnie Nemiroff