eFestivals talks to Andrew WK before his headline slot on the Giant Squid stage.
Are there any more festivals this Summer in the UK for you?
I have one tomorrow, London's Vision Festival, and then I go to Poland for a festival.
What is your most memorable festival memory?
I was reminded of it today coming in... as you crest the hill and you see the whole festival laid out I saw the rides. I really like amusement rides, thrill rides, carnival rides... I remember very clearly at either the Reading or Leeds festivals, we played those close together, it was the first festival we ever played really, we decided that night after our show it would be really good and we went on all the rides we could. It was one of the greatest memories I have of anything, cos I really love rides.
Is there a festival that you want to play that you haven't yet?
Sure, all of em!
You've been in a band since a young age, with early bands like Kangoo, Stormy Rodent, Sucking Coeds... can you remember how many bands you have been in?
Well that was with the same group of friends, so we would change our name or someone new would add and would come up with a different concept. I dunno, really hardcore bands that I worked on for a good amount of time... probably about six. Ones that maybe were not as intensive, maybe about twenty or so.
Do you change your set for a festival crowd compared to your own gigs, and how do they differ to you?
That is a great question. No we don't really change it too much. We hope that there are people there who are excited to see you, and are specifically want to see you, but then you also do take into consideration the fact that most of the folks might never have seen you and you try to do your best for them but I don't know that I've ever changed... I mean it may be like a shorter set as we might not have as much time, so you try to give all you can right there. Each ones a bit different.
You spoke at the Oxford Union with your message "Andrew W.K. and The Philosophy of Partying". How did that go?
A great privilege, I felt very lucky, I'd never gone to University or college so just to step into an environment like that is very thrilling. It was actually a great conversation to also meet many of the great students there and all their works that they are doing. We talked about being alive and having fun.
You are writing a column for 'The Village Voice', but have experience of this, for example with the UK's Front Magazine. How did that come about?
Ah yes. Thank you for being aware of that. That's a very good question. They did a feature; I was a big fan of the magazine first of all, I really liked it, digged the photographs in there and they did some kind of article about me one time... I was just thrilled that they had any idea who I was, so I wrote them and thanked them, and then they said well perhaps you would like to write some writings for us and it happened. I had a little experience with that because I had also had an advice column for ten years every month in a magazine in Japan where I gave advice to young people so all of that experience did help me with writing and learning how to type and spell a little bit which has led me to where I am now. Which is also leading to me writing my first book about partying. It's nice when life is able to create a step that leads to another step and then a skill that leads to another skillset.
You co-hosted the Kerrang Awards in London this year with Anthrax's Scott Ian. How did that go?
It was tremendous. Again a great privilege. Scott has hosted it many many times, so he is very experienced; I felt very lucky to have someone by my side that had been so masterful at this event. I had hosted a few events before so I was able to get to have as I was saying a previous experience that added a skill there. It was great, I mean some people there I was very excited about them attending, and gave a lot of great awards to a lot of wonderful folks and it was actually very well organized and everyone was very nice. You never know, it could have got crazy but it got crazy in a very good way though.
So apart from music, you have been in TV programmes, been a music producer, made vocal instructional DVDs, wrote a Kit Kat ad jingle, own a successful nightclub, hold the world record for the longest drum session, and came out as a Bronie.
Yes, the My Little Ponies.
I take it you like to keep busy!
Yeah. Well it all just pops up. You have one chance, as far as I'm aware, at being alive and you wanna try and do as much as you can and have fun and when someone asks you to do something fun it's very easy just to say yes and do your best at it. It all falls under the realm of excitement and fun, and I'm entertaining myself as well; it's important for me to keep entertained in order for me to entertain other folks.
Your latest album release was in 2009, you mentioned the possibility of releasing an album last year, are these live dates a taster of that?
Yeah, but things came up. Great things... I was asked to tour with Black Sabbath, so that set our recording plans back. Then Marky Ramone from The Ramones asked me to be his new singer, so then that kinda set things back... and many other things like that; TV stuff and other kinds of things and the book, but that's what's great. I never planned any of those things but I basically turn myself over to destiny and I figure where it's taking me; wherever it's pulling or pushing me I will go and do it. But with that being said I have still continued working on new songs and a new album and I wanna get it done as soon as I can but it will happen when it's destined to happen.
Thank you. What is the name of the book?
It's called the Party Bible!
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