A Chat with Andrew W.K.


The ultimate party master, Andrew W.K., is bringing the rave to Fountain Square Musical Festival on March 26.

Picture from Facebook

Picture from Facebook

Most famously connected to Indiana by his appearances with the legendary Lil Bub on Animal Planet’s music video “Star Party Animal,” W.K. and his whole band will head back to Indianapolis for the first time in almost three years.

W.K. talks about playing the festival, working with Alice Cooper on HBO’s “Vinyl,” and giving advice for following the party gods.  

The Campus Citizen caught up with Andrew W.K. during a phone interview before the Fountain Square Music Festival later this month.

What made you decided to play at the Fountain Square Music Festival [FSMF]? Is it because of your connections with Lil Bub who will also be appearing?

They actually reached out to me. I don’t actually know if that’s what made them ask us to play. But that’s certainly possible. You know, because of Lil Bub’s home state connections. I’ve been very fortunate to work with Lil Bub several times. All I know is that they asked us and we’re very excited and said yes without having to think about it.

When did you first start working with her? How did that relationship blossom?

I first worked with her for a holiday video that I taped several years ago and I heard of Lil Bub – the first time I met her was at that taping and we filmed a special holiday greeting and also asked for people to support their local animal shelters and as well as considering adopting a pet if you were looking to get a pet. Go to a shelter and also get you pet spayed and neutered if you can and just general good will towards pets. And it was a privilege to work with her on that video and I enjoyed meeting her dude, a gentleman named Mike. And then a short time after that Mike and Lil Bub invited me to participate in their Animal Planet TV special and that was a great pleasure. I got to be part of the show and make a song with them. I was asked to write the foreword to Lil Bub’s first ever full-length album. Yeah, I’ve just been popping up in her world for quite sometime now and it's always a great experience and I’m very thankful to be asked so many times to work with her.

Picture from Facebook, Andrew and Lil Bub

Picture from Facebook, Andrew and Lil Bub

After the rave of “Star Party Animal,” I know people would love to see you make an appearance with Bub at the fest. Is this going to happen?

Oh, I don’t know but I look forward to seeing her and at least get to look into her eyes.

What should the audience of FSMF expect to see from you and your band? Any surprises up your sleeve?

We always come with a focus on partying and giving it all we have for our set. This is the first time we’ve played in Indianapolis as a band in a while. In several years so to me it’s a great return. I have really good memories of every time we’ve been in Indianapolis or Indiana in general. I have family from the area. My brother went to college in Muncie. We’re just going to give it everything we have and play our hearts out and I hope that’s enough.

Are you working on any new music for 2016? Will we get a sneak peak?

I don’t know that we will be playing any new songs. I don’t like playing songs that people aren’t familiar with. But I am always working on new music and hopefully there will be a new album someday soon and I’m always at the mercy of the party gods. I follow their orders for the most part. So when they tell me to make the new album then we will make the new album.

You recently just worked on HBO’s “Vinyl” and meet Alice Cooper in the process. How was it sitting down talking to a legend after covering “I Love the Dead?”

I was able to participate in the recording of a song for part of the show. I had the chance to meet him before but didn’t really take advantage of it on different tours and things like, I was always aware that he was very friendly and his reputation was pretty great, approachable and very easy going. And I was very happy to have a more official reason to meet him and talk with him for this project and he was exactly how I imagined and very gracious and very willing to talk about his life, his adventures and his thoughts on things. You know, just nothing but incredible stories and it's really one of the rare examples of a true pioneer in the field who lived to tell about it and is very open to sharing his accumulation of life.

Picture from Facebook, Andrew W.K. and Alice Cooper

Picture from Facebook, Andrew W.K. and Alice Cooper

Has covering song influenced you to make more music with or covering other legends?

Oh, well again you never know. It's just a matter of being asked. It’s a song that I’ve liked for many years, long before I ever dreamed I’d get to meet him or dreamed I’d get to be involved with anything like that. That was a song that I really liked so it was especially meaningful that out of all the songs that I could’ve been asked to contribute to, it was that one. But again, I just follow the will of the party gods and whatever destiny they have for me. I don’t make plans really or seek out to do anything in particular except for what they want me to do.

How does one go from a musician, to owning a label and bar, being an author, a motivational speaker and being on TV?

Just follow the omens, do what you’re asked to do, show up and try to do your best. I never set out to do any of those things in particular; I just set out to party. And these things came along the way. No one is more shocked or blown away than I am that any of this has happened. I don’t take any of it for granted. I still can't believe that I’ve had a chance to be part of these various adventures and I just try to do my best with these opportunities and hope for many more.

Do you have any advice for the locals of the music fest?

My advice would be to just not stop. Just put everything you have into everything you do and enjoy it. Enjoy it and have faith that what’s meant to happen will happen. And don’t be afraid to follow those opportunities into uncharted areas. Sometimes what you’re meant to do will almost surprise you or even kind of upset you because it will be so different than what you imagined. Stay in touch with that deepest, truest, part of yourself that is easy to lose track of. Stay in touch with that. You don’t need to tell other people about it, you don’t need to really work too hard at it just let it emerge and follow where it takes you. Please keep partying and stay close to joy.