Party, party, party hard with Andrew W.K.

By Jordyn Marcellus

Andrew W.K. knew he finally hit the big time when he met face-to-face with one of Canada’s most notorious celebrity interviewers — Narduwuar the Human Serviette. Even before the famously nerdy journalist approached him for the interview, W.K. had admired him for years.

“I saw his videos in 1997 or ’98 on a VHS copy that a friend of mine lent to me,” says W.K. “I was just completely blown away; I had never seen anything like this. I had never seen anybody with this flavour — it was just this entirely new flavour.”

W.K., whose biggest hit was “Party Hard” off of his 2001 debut LP I Get Wet, has spent the years since working on numerous different projects. After a contractual dispute that prevented his previous two albums, Close Calls with Brick Walls and The Japan Covers, from being released, his music will again be unleashed upon North America with the all-piano instrumental album 55 Cadillac.

But even with all of his relative success, including motivational speaking performances and creating his own record label, W.K. explains that meeting Narduwuar ended up being an important milestone in his career.

“When I first met Narduwuar, I considered that a real significant moment,” says W.K. “Now I’m getting to do a Narduwuar interview, just like all these legends I watched — from Snoop Dogg to Nirvana and whoever else; now I [got] to do one. It wasn’t so much that I arrived into a circle of entertainers, but I felt like ‘now I [get to be] interviewed by Narduwuar.’ “

Not only did Narduwuar end up influencing W.K.’s view of his own success, he also helped to shape W.K.’s performance in the press. Ever since he watched the VHS tapes as a high school student in Michigan, W.K. has met many people influential to him as a musician on the path his musical career has taken him.

“There was just many times in my life where things that I’ve been interested in or liked or been a fan of or things that I have wanted to have happened,” waxes W.K. “Some days they have ended up happening in some way, sometimes in a really different way than I expected, sometimes when I never would have expected.”

The professional relationship between Narduwuar and W.K. came to a head recently with their newly released split 7″ inch record A Wild Pear. Side A features W.K. and his band covering two classic Canadian punk tunes, while Side B offers the Evaporators, putting up a slab of original music and then proceeding to cover ’60s Quebec rockers Les Hou-Lops.

For W.K., this is just another way to appreciate the trajectory of his career.

“When things happen that you wanted to happen, out of respect for that, I want to try and do something,” says W.K. “Out of respect for the possibility for dreams coming true, no matter how big or small they may be, it’s nice to acknowledge them in a symbolic way. That’s what this split 7″ means for me.”

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