Last night musician and party messiah Andrew WK stopped into the Newsroom for a free-form discussion about sports, depression and, of course, partying. He also told us a bit about his forthcoming book, The Party Bible, describing it as “a handbook, a guidebook, a game book — it’s an offering and it’s not a story and that’s why it’s really hard to write, because I have to try to make it really good.” (Just how hard is it to write? Check out the trailer). Above, watch the full q&a — and below, read some select thoughts about channeling Joey Ramone, mourning Lou Reed and being himself for Halloween.
On sports: “I think sports are a way for us to play out our more competitive feelings and our sense of strife and have a very clear, focused enemy. That’s probably the most profound breakthrough I had over the last 15 minutes.”
On the phoenix: “It’s a great bird, a very grand bird — a bird that should be appreciated on many levels, for it has risen from them ashes and has found its way through many generations, many different incarnations and many different times. So… birds are cool!”
On depression: “How many people have exercised and have been sore? Okay, well, that’s most people. So if you exercise your brain, if you exercise your soul, your spirit, you’re going to be sore there too. And we’ve been told for a few years now that that’s not a good feeling. That’s absolutely a good feeling.”
On positivity: “It’s not so much a question of is the glass half full or empty, it’s is it made of plastic or actually made of glass, and is that glass imported or not?”
On going as Andrew WK for Halloween: “I tried to create a version of myself that I thought was the coolest version of anyone — and uh, he was pretty tall, he a had a little bit broader hips than most people would have which was interesting because I always imagined initially that I would have slim hips but this guy had sort of balloon hips and a pretty tidy midsection — pretty tidy! strong rib cage! strong rib cage! solar plexus, the petituatory, it’s all there. And I just decided that it would be more fun to be him than me and then I became him. And here I am! hahaha!”
On whether to stay in or go out: “There’s no harm in not going out — you don’t have to go out. You could stay inside, you could rest in the bed, you could rest in the bathroom, feed your head. You could stay in a very enclosed space and find as much inspiration as anyone else would in the rat race. It’s up to you.”
A poem (we think)
“Self-awareness is the key
And everything stems from that to a degree.
If you’re able to appreciate that you’re not dead
Then you can rest well even when you’re in bed
And if you’re able to find something to appreciate
You can hopefully find some person with which to mate
Ain’t life great?
It’s a strange thing
It’s the closest thing to a diamond ring
Just don’t get too hung up on a means to an end
Get hung up on the road
And to which way it bends”
On money not being the key to happiness: “You could die happy having brought someone into a higher state of experience vs. brought someone into a higher rent.”
Regarding the audience member who was told he wasn’t depressed enough for a depression study: “The best experiments you can do would be with your own mind, on yourself. Try saying your name in the mirror for an hour. That’s a good experiment. For real. Try that once, it’s only an hour. [Pauses] It’s not that great, actually.”
The first lesson in The Party Bible: “Don’t die, that is the first step. I’m a firm believer in that.”
On Lou Reed: “I was obviously, like so many folks, just a huge fan and very sad that he died but he’s one of those folks that it doesn’t feel like he’s died and it probably won’t ever feel like he’s died, and that’s testimony to the legacy that he’s left behind, the work that he’s done. It’s very fresh — we’ll be thinking about it for many weeks if not months before we fully fathom that he’s not actually here. At the same time it also reminds us to take note of the folks of that same generation that are still here. Whether they be Chuck Berry, or Angus Young or Bob Dylan or Martin Scorsese, there’s a lot of masters out there that are working and still producing and performing and I think that Lou Reed would want us to appreciate the people that are here and doing stuff as much as we want to investigate and appreciate his great contributions. “Waves of Fear” is one of the greatest songs of all-time, it’s one of my favorite songs of all-time.
On singing Ramones songs with Marky: “The singularity of someone like Joey Ramone is so profound that all it can do at its best is remind me that I’m a singular person, that you’re a singular person, that each person counts — and at its worse it can be extraordinarily intimidating and overwhelming.”
On drumming for 24 hours: “It was taxing, it was tiring but it was also very easy because I was in a retail store and they had sunglasses (which made it very easy), food products including chips, peanut, bread, sauce — and you wouldn’t think that sauce would be that important but I’ll tell you what, when you’ve eaten a lot of chips, nuts and bread, sauce is tops. It’s tops! It’s tops!”