Since he first burst on the scene in 1998, dressed all in white with a face full of blood, rocker Andrew W.K. has been a source of wonderment and controversy.
And conspiracy theories. Just google his name, and you will unleash a barrage of odd half-facts, far-out stories and strange posts. Andrew W.K. has been accused of being everything from a government spy to an extraterrestrial to even dead.
But whatever the bizarre rumors, the singer behind the anthems “Party Hard,” “It’s Time to Party,” “Party Till You Puke” and “Party Party Party” really only wants to do one thing. Andrew W.K.’s world tour, aptly called “The Party Never Dies,” brings him to the Rock & Roll Hotel Thursday. On the eve of that show he discusses all those crazy internet rumors, wearing white after Labor Day (he wears it year-round) and why the party must go on!
Question: After all these years do you still “party hard”?
Answer: I would like to think so. In some ways I’m partying harder than ever. That is ultimately the goal: increase one’s ability to party at an ever-increasing rate and with ever-increasing intensity.
And just when you think you’ve partied as hard as you possibly could, you surpass that. But only the “party gods” can really determine or judge my party ability. They have the last word.
Q: Will the party ever end?
A: At death? Yeah. The physical ability to party will be drastically reduced. Although … having your body rot, that still counts as partying. In a way that may be the greatest party of all.
I don’t know how consciousness will be preserved beyond that. Some people seem to think that at death the party really gets interesting. We’ll see. But if I end up partying with the worms and enriching the soil, or perhaps polluting the soil, that’s a party as well.
Q: What can people expect when they come out to see this tour?
A: It’s my full rock ‘n’ roll band of guitar players, drums, bass, myself, keyboards. Everything we can put out there on the stage.
I’ve done all kinds of other tours: solo tours with just a keyboard, tours with a string quartet, the lecture tours, DJ-ing. Even throughout all those [tours] my band stayed together. That’s meaningful to me.
Unlike any other area of work, there is this “X factor” where other people’s will has to be involved. I can make music by myself and enjoy that very much, but in this business you’re depending on other people. And it doesn’t matter how badly I want someone else to like it, they have to decide to give it a chance., decide to take me in, take what I’m offering and to care about it.
You can’t be self-made in this business. I feel very lucky we have a chance to go back on the road and do a new album.
Q: Is there a new studio album in the works?
A: Yes. We are still fine-tuning the mastering and mixing over this next month. It should be coming out in a matter of months, although there is no release date set yet. No title yet. But it is imminent.
Q: Why do you think the D.C. show was the first date on the tour to sell out?
A: With all due respect to that venue, it is a very small venue. So that makes it easier to sell out. When people realize it is a smaller venue, they realize the likelihood of selling out is higher, so they are more motivated to get tickets while they still can.
That is a great venue. D.C. has been consistently reliable for us. There are a lot of partiers there.
Q: There are so many crazy rumors and stories about you online. What is the most bizarre thing you’ve read about yourself?
A: I don’t dive too deep. That’s another one of those things: Careful what you expose about yourself to yourself, because it can be as stimulating and encouraging as it can be debilitating.
The strangest? That I really don’t exist. That is about as strange as you can get.
Q: Why did you decide to bring the bloody nose imagery back?
A: It never went away. We just didn’t use it when doing the children’s program [“Destroy Build Destroy”]. But they never had an issue. Obviously, if they were working with me at all, they were very open-minded.
[The blood nose image] is my logo. I like consistency. So people can say, “Oh, there’s that bloody nose guy.” And they can find me in the midst of all the offerings out there.
Q: How did you come up with your uniform look?
A: That came about from trial and error [of] seeing photos from shows where I noticed I didn’t show up too well when I was wearing all black or darker colors in general. But [I showed up best when] I wore white jeans, which are good because they are durable, and white shirts worked.
It was also that it was easy to assemble.
Q: How many white T-shirt and jeans sets do you take on the road?
A: On the road I take two or three pairs of jeans. They will sometimes split. White T-shirts I take five or so. But those are easy to come by on the road. You can buy white T-shirts in any truck stop or drug store.
I do Fruit of the Loom shirts and Levis jeans.
Q: When you’re not working, do you wear anything but white?
A: Yeah, depending on the situation. For a funeral or wedding I like to conform to the respectful, understood dress codes. I don’t like to stand out when I’m not working.
I tend to try to wear what will attract the least amount of attention or be as visually quiet as possible.
Andrew W.K. plays the Rock & Roll Hotel Thursday.