Party king Andrew WK shares with Sound Dessert his insights on life, Lil Bub and yes, partying. I caught up with the musician, reveler, and sage, at this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest where he was delivering a motivational speech on the Yellow Stage later that afternoon. The interview gets personal, especially when Andrew WK reveals the one thing that’s currently missing from his life:
Sound Dessert: Fun Fun Fun Fest broke down the ‘science of fun‘ with the help of Bill Nye. How would you explain the ‘science of partying’?
Andrew WK: I am not very well educated in science and for this I am not proud, although I’m not that ashamed either. It has not been an area that I have chosen to spend a lot of time, largely because there are already so many very skilled and devoted masters.
I think the ‘science of partying’ is trying to find value in the less tangible but no less real experiences that happen inside of us. When I say inside of us I don’t necessarily mean in our neurons and synapsis and in the physical or chemical processes, but in the more elusive sensations and experiences that result from those chemical processes, because the really interesting part isn’t necessarily the chemical proceses themselves, but why we would even have the capacity to have those chemical processes in the first place.
Life is an incredible miracle and no one really knows exactly what it is, and maybe the ‘science of partying’ is being excited about that in a way that encourages and embraces mystery, in a humble sense. Maybe not ever being able to figure it out is part of some very important fundamental riddle that keeps us searching. Maybe the search for truth is the truth.
[I’ve learned from Lil BUB] that a creature can be softer and more cuddly than you’ve ever imagined.
SD: Speaking of science and fun, you collaborated with Lil BUB on her Science & Magic album.
AWK: Yes and I really admire Lil BUB’s balance of those two disciplines, science and magic, but Lil BUB is not a person, so she has this insight that we can all learn from. I certainly have learned from her.
SD: What have you learned form Lil BUB?
AWK: That a creature can be softer and more cuddly than you’ve ever imagined, because I’ve never felt a cat that soft before.
Also if you’re allergic to cats, like I’ve always been, you won’t necessarily be allergic to Lil BUB. I was very afraid to pet Lil BUB because I thought I’d break out in hives and have all the other allergic symptoms I’ve had from other cats, and yet I didn’t. I took that as some kind of real sign of her unique powers.
Lil BUB changes the feeling of the space that she’s in, and you can see it! She has a force that infiltrates in the best way and makes people feel better than they did before. So that is a gift, it’s very inspiring.
SD: You’ve been working on a new Andrew WK album as well.
AWK: I have been working on an album for quite some time. Fortunately there’s been good headway there so hopefully it will be coming along soon, but I am at the mercy of forces largely out of my control, which I have turned myself over to – at first begrudgingly, but now more willingly – and when the conditions are right the new album will no doubt take place.
I think that no one ever actually needs advice…
SD: You’ve spent decades giving people advice, most recently with your Village Voice column. What have you learned about humanity from bestowing said guidance over the years?
AWK: I’ve learned that I’m probably no more qualified to give advice than anyone else, and even more so, I think that no one ever actually needs advice. I feel like the process of asking someone’s advice is a way to think through the problem yourself.
I think that’s what we’re getting most of all from advice or dialogues like this, is a confirmation of our own instincts. It’s nice to know that other people are thinking the same things, feeling the same things, are going through similar experiences, but I actually do believe we all each have the answers to our own problems if we have primarily, the courage to look within and be very honest with ourselves.
I hope most of all, what I’m encouraging people to do, is to remind them that you can be your own advice giver, or whatever you need from someone else. You actually do have those powers, because no one knows your life better than you do.
SD: You’ve had a lot of different jobs, and pursued many different avenues over the span of your career. What’s something you haven’t done yet that you’d like to pursue?
AWK: Well there’s many, many things. One thing I haven’t done yet is – there’s a special ice cream dish that’s served in a restaurant called Colonial Café, called the Kitchen Sink. It’s an ice cream sundae that’s served in a miniature kitchen sink complete with plumbing.
It’s large but not so large that you couldn’t actually eat it. I think it’s very important for those of us who aren’t necessarily competitive eaters, or people that have extraordinary appetites, to have a dessert that is just large enough to be slightly outlandish but still able to be consumed.
For years now I’ve been biding my time and waiting for that perfect moment to eat a Colonial Kitchen Sink.
Featured image by Jackie Lee Young