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Why Andrew WK Is 'At The Mercy Of The Party Gods'

20 August 2018 | 11:01 am | Brendan Crabb

"As much partying as I've done, I still have a long way to go."

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To be greeted with anything else from Andrew WK (real name Andrew Fetterly Wilkes-Krier) other than the man in fully-fledged, earnest zen party philosophy-spouting mode during our scheduled interview would be a letdown. Thankfully, he doesn't disappoint.

The multi-instrumentalist hard rocker, television personality, advice columnist, motivational speaker and all-'round party authority is a walking sound bite. He rarely misses a beat in conversation and is enthusiastically quick off the mark in responding. It's off-kilter but instantly endearing. "I'm partying very hard. I'm very thankful that life is partying with me, and I will continue to try and be worthy of it," he explains by way of introductions.

Case in point - he's pseudo-flirted with politics via an anti-political organisation, The Party Party. Actor Alec Baldwin recently claimed he would win the Presidency if he ran against Donald Trump, does Wilkes-Krier believe he could defeat both of them? "I would never want to be President; I'm only the president of partying," he says instantly. "And even that, I'm still sort of an amateur. As much partying as I've done, I still have a long way to go. So I've had this lifetime, and maybe two or three more lifetimes to just perfect this quest before I would move on to something as daunting as that."

Although even he pauses to reflect when quizzed about the media darling status he enjoyed early on. Upon the release of 2001 debut, I Get Wet - adorned by that unforgettable album cover - he was championed by plenty of high-profile, trendy publications as the future of rock and other such fawning descriptors. More than 15 years later, The Music inquires as to what he learned from that experience.

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"I don't know if I've taken away any sort of overview observation from any of it. To me, it's all something that's still going on. I don't know. I didn't expect any of that and didn't necessarily ask for it. I was very happy to have any assistance in promoting the power of partying, and that's what I continue to do. I remain thankful to anyone who helps me get the word out."

This year's You're Not Alone, Wilkes-Krier's first proper album in nine years, reinforced that his mission statement of self-confidence and positive mental attitude remains as potent as ever. "All I can think now is when you're partying very hard, time goes into a vortex, and I just feel very lucky that I got out at all, and I got an album out at all. I extremely hope that the next album doesn't take that long, but I'm at the mercy of the party gods, and at the mercy of I suppose reality. And as much as I try to assert my will, I still have to follow this party path where it wants. But I can also say looking back, I wouldn't change any of it. I wouldn't change any of it. I don't regret any of it; even the most brutal experiences over the past decade have all been extremely valuable in a variety of ways."

The latest LP also incorporates his motivational speech interludes; the life-affirming mantras perhaps making Wilkes-Krier the Tony Robbins of the happy hedonist outlook, if you like. "People have had questions about this party phenomenon, and I've felt compelled to try and answer them," he explains.

During his travels on that circuit, some addresses have taken place at prestigious universities; surely college students wouldn't need advice on partying, though, it's suggested in jest. "That's a very good point, absolutely, that's correct. I think, as someone who never attended college, I was always really excited to have the chance to go and participate in the college experience, I suppose as a representative of partying. I'm very lucky that of all the things that I would get to do in the college atmosphere. Being a promoter of partying has been a really unexpected [role], but fun one.

"My dad, he was a college professor, he recently retired. And I think no one was more surprised than he was that not only did his son not go to college, but then he was invited to speak at colleges about partying. [My parents have] always been very supportive, so I think in one way they can't complain because if anyone set me on this party path, it was them.

"They're the ones who started me off with piano lessons, they're the ones who encouraged my interest in the arts, the creative pursuits of life. And they're the ones who left things quite wide open for me so that I could follow this unlikely path. They're definitely surprised, and continue to be very supportive... Out of all the blessings that I've somehow found myself lucky enough to receive, my parents are probably the biggest blessing."