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Andrew W.K.

Andrew W.K.


The letter "W" is symbolic of a world of strength and unity - the shape of 2 arms locked in unyielding power.

"K" represents the consumption of the universe. The continuous symbol of greater than, less than, always level.

Allegedly born Andrew Wilkes-Krier in Palo Alto, CA, Andrew W.K.'s family moved to Michigan when he was four. Growing up, Andrew played piano but later switched to drums joining several long forgotten Punk and Metal bands.

At 18, he left Michigan in the dust and moved to New York. Once there he began circulating demos. Though not quite Beck's "two turntables and a microphone" Andrew played shows along the East Coast armed only with a CD player, keyboard and microphone.

On Bulb Records, Andrew W.K. released his debut EP "Girls Own Juice" in '99 and "Party Til You Puke" a year later. Once again he hit the road opening for the Foo Fighters. But figuring the "one-man band" thing had gone as far as it could Andrew W.K. formed a group with guitarist Jimmy Coup, bassist Greg R. and drummer Donald "D.T." Tardy. Two additional guitarists were added: E. Payne and Sergeant Frank.

Debut full-length album, "I Get Wet" (with the bloody nose cover), released in '01, featured "Party Til You Puke," "Party Hard," "It's Time To Party" and "Don't Stop Living In The Red" (see a theme here?). Andrew W.K. soon got tagged as an '80s Metal revivalist. "We Want Fun" was used in the '02 film and major gross-out hit "Jackass." Following extensive touring, the "Wolf" LP arrived in '03.

So far, so good. But what came next was just flat out weird.





Andrew W.K. ran into a dispute over his name/image. Some people claimed the singer was actually James Edward Andrews, not Andrew Wilkes-Krier.

"I wasn't allowed to use my own name within certain areas of the U.S. entertainment industry and we were in a debate about who owned the rights to my image, and who should get credit for 'inventing' it."

The legal action was apparently initiated by Steev Mike, listed as Executive Producer and Creative Director of Andrew W.K.'s first album.

There were vague rumors that Andrew W.K. was nothing more than a hired actor (a one man Milli Vanilli). Or that the real Andrew W.K. no longer existed. Or Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) was somehow involved - in a cover-up.

Wait. It gets better.

In '05, Andrew W.K. began working as a self-help, new age motivational speaker and made several university appearances. This work would lead to a radio career a decade later.

More immediately, as if to prove he was the real deal, Andrew W.K. put out a live-concert DVD entitled "Who Knows?"

The '06 set was quickly followed by studio effort. However, the ongoing legal spat meant that Andrew W.K.'s third album, "Close Calls With Brick Walls" was initially only available in Japan and Korea (different packages for each market) before achieving a worldwide release.

Things took an even more peculiar turn when Andrew W.K. came out with an '08 album of J-Pop songs, "The Japan Covers." The tracks were originally marketed as 30-second ringtones then repackaged in their complete versions. Andrew called the set a "gift to the Japanese people, for all the incredible warmth and kindness they've given me over the years."

The next year, another Japan-centric covers package dropped, "Gundam Rock." The album consisted of music from the Gundam anime TV series to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

There was also "55 Cadillac," a collection of improvised piano pieces (back to his one man band days). "(It's) the sound of a piano being played by a free man - nothing more, nothing less," stated Andrew W.K.

Having his more mainstream material re-appear in 'greatest hits' packages led to an appearance on the '10 Warped Tour and the release of "I Want To See You Go Wild" off "Close Calls With Brick Walls."

Talk of a new album in '12 fizzled but Andrew W.K. did land a weekly two-hour radio show that discussed "what it is to be alive - a celebration of life itself." The show, which premiered on 05/02/15, was on Glenn Beck's radio network.

Andrew W.K. Discography

Albums:

2001 I Get Wet
2003 The Wolf
2006 Close Calls With Brick Walls
2008 The Japan Covers
2009 55 Cadillac
2009 Gundam Rock

Amid all the confusion, and who knows what else, Andrew W.K. is a true party animal. "I Get Wet" comes off sounding like a Poison/Ratt update with grittier vocals and synth pads. Andrew W.K. slams through several anthems and does it with considerable verve. And that's the show.



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