Andrew W.K. is a punk rock Mr. Rogers. Whether or not you care for his amped-up music, his wisdom in op-eds, tweets and banter is a refreshing relief. What he has to say is more than the music itself.
W.K. (short for Wilkes-Krier) is back on tour to support his latest album, You’re Not Alone. As when he started with his 2001 debut I Get Wet, his mission is to preach the importance of partying. Not living life like it’s an out-of-control, no-responsibilities rager. It’s about positivity with acknowledging the downsides of life, such as depression, mortality and sadness.
The message of partying has gone deeper than the positive mental attitude (PMA) the Bad Brains sang about in the 1980s and the mental strength metal-tinged hardcore bands in the 1990s expressed. He’s remained focused on giving an open-ended idea of enjoying life.
“It’s my humble attempt to create a worldview, or perhaps more accurately, an attitude that needs to be empowering and helpful as possible,” he says. “Now, all attitudes and worldviews have shortcomings. They’re all open to interpretation and also distortion. But with partying, the attempt was to have a worldview that was so vast and so flexible that it wasn’t almost a worldview at all. An attitude that was so overarching that it could contain within it all sorts of other attitudes.”
W.K. made his views public through a number of articles for the Village Voice titled, “Ask Andrew W.K.” Whether it was confronting anger issues, trying to see the bright side of things, finding one’s passion or putting up with a bad job, what he had to say was always lengthy and filled with healthy perspective.
“The main point I thought was to see if it was possible to celebrate existence as the ultimate kind of trip and a positive experience,” he says of the partying stance.
Trees was the first place W.K. played in Dallas when he toured off of I Get Wet. He’s played there a few more times and will play there again on Friday.
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”It’s always been a reliable place to party,” he says.
For the road ahead of him, it’s not ending in the near future. W.K. and his wife, Cherie, don’t even have a permanent residence. They travel so often with W.K.’s work (whether it’s for shows, speaking engagements or officiating a wedding ceremony), but they don’t travel every day. He has a good variation on the “Wherever You Go, There You Are” mentality.
“It’s hard to say what defines a home,” he says. “They say, ‘Home is where the heart is,’ and my heart is in my chest. Wherever I am, I suppose I’m home.”
Andrew W.K. and the Son of Stan play Trees on Friday, Sept. 21. Tickets are $20.