No one can party harder than Andrew WK! With a new album under his belt he will be bringing his full band to Australia for a long awaited tour. We spoke with Andrew ahead of the tour as he shares his excitement to return to the land down under.

SCENEzine
Firstly huge congrats on your new album You’re Not Alone, it turned out awesome. You must be stoked with it?

Andrew WK
Thank you that’s very kind of you to say. I’m really happy with it and really appreciate all of the hard work and effort that so many people put in to making it possible

SCENEzine
With there being a number of years gap between albums was it a strange feeling releasing an album with the different ways people consume albums now? Since streaming seems more popular than CD sales these days.

Andrew WK
It seemed shocking similar to me. The parts that are new or different overall are quite exciting. I love the instant access that people have to music now. Myself as well as a listener I love being able to think of any song I could ever possibly want to hear then nine times out of ten I’m able to listen to it in a matter of seconds. It’s hard to overstate the immensity of that achievement. I think it’s one of the greatest things we’ve done with computer technology. It’s definitely had a positive impact on the world but I don’t know if it’s had an entirely positive impact on the music business. On the phenomenon of music itself it’s nothing but good.

SCENEzine
Our favourite track from the album is “Music is worth living for”. Was that song created around the chorus?

Andrew WK
That’s a great question. That song began as a chord change on a piano as most of the songs I’ve written do. Then it was refined with many different layers added and stripped, until it glued itself together. The feeling of the chord change was a particular emotional tone. I was trying to recognise what that feeling was and give a description of that feeling. The feeling that the music itself gave me was one of extraordinary gratitude and faith in music itself. So I tried to be as blunt and direct as possible in worshiping music as a force and power because that was the feeling I got from the melody itself before there were any words.

 

 

SCENEzine
It seems on the album just as powerful as the songs are so are the spoken word elements. It must be a massive feeling knowing you can touch so many people lives in a positive way through the words you say?

Andrew WK
That’s a very kind thing to say. I hope people are getting something of value out of this. I certainly go through my moments of doubt with life in general. Even with those motivational speeches on the album I really wasn’t sure if I should include those. But there was a deeper instinct that said I should. The way I really found clarity in moving forward with them was imagining if I was the listener would I want to hear these words said to me. I absolutely did want to hear them. Those words I said in those motivational tracks are what I said to myself throughout the recording process. Those were the inner pep talks that I would return to, to keep myself going and focused. It was interesting at the very end when I recorded those motivational speeches, it was done at the very last second. I ended up just saying to the listener the same stuff I had been telling myself, to keep going when I was struggling.

SCENEzine
You must be excited to play these new songs live in Australia soon?

Andrew WK
Very excited. We haven’t played as a full band in Australia since I think 2009. This band has been playing together in various forms for eighteen years now. This is the best we’ve been. All that practice and partying has paid off. We are excited to give the audience the show we’ve put together after all this time. I think we are on a higher level of partying then we ever have been before.

SCENEzine
What was it like getting to play Big Day Out in Australia?

Andrew WK
That was the last time we were there as a full band. It was incredible. It is bitter sweet by the fact that big Day Out no longer exists. So we feel even luckier that we got to take part in a legendary music festival. We had heard about it for years before we ever got to play. The year we were invited we we’re blown away by everything about it. We had been to Australia twice before that but never to play festivals. Everything about it was impressive. It really set the bar for how a festival could be. It was so well organised but it wasn’t overly organised. It was a free wheeling, fun loving, kind hearted atmosphere. We were really disappointed when we heard it was no more but felt really lucky we got to take part while it existed.

SCENEzine
I managed to catch you live in Toronto Canada back in 2015 at Riot Fest. The festival was also one of Motorheads final shows. Did you know Lemmy very well?

Andrew WK
No but like anyone I admired him tremendously on so may levels. His incredible musicianship, his completely unique vocal and bass sound. The devotion and dedication to his vision, his incredible wit, he was extremely kind with a generous spirit. He is still someone that I think about all the time in terms of well if Lemmy could do that then I can do this. Not that I could pull it off but if he was able to commit then I can try to commit. It was his commitment that was so inspiring. No matter what he gave everything he had. He was one of a kind. I don’t think there ever will be anybody that has that unique spirit that he possessed.

SCENEzine
Every year it seems many people want Andrew WK to be playing Riot Fest. Have you noticed this big ground swell of Riot Fest love for Andrew WK?

Andrew WK
It’s been an extraordinarily unusual situation. Ever since the first year they invited us to play the festival they had us back every year after. I don’t even know what number we are on right now. It could be six years in a row. That’s almost unheard of for a festival to book the same act every year. They’ve made us by their own generosity a tradition, we are very thankful for that. It’s a really well done festival.

SCENEzine
Lastly what’s the feeling like when you play “Party Hard” live?

Andrew WK
It’s a difficult feeling to express. Fortunately the song itself sums up the feeling more than I could ever describe. It’s the feeling that life is worth partying about.

(interview by Christian Ross)

 

 
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