Andrew W.K. bringing ‘positive’ tour to Proud Larry’s Tuesday

Published 12:10 am Sunday, October 30, 2016


Rocker Andrew W.K. has always embraced a party. Since his 2001 debut album, “I Get Wet”, W.K. (whose surname is Wilkes-Krier) has sang and shouted at length about starting a party and not letting anyone or anything hold you back from having a good time. With song titles like “Party Hard”, “Long Live The Party” and “Party Til You Puke,” W.K. doesn’t mince words when it comes to celebrating.

But now, he’s hosting a party of a different nature. Last month, the musician and personality began a speaking tour entitled “The Power of Partying Tour” which he has been touting as “a nationwide rally for the human spirit”. This tour finds W.K. visiting every state to spread his message of positivity. On Tuesday, he arrives in Oxford to speak at Proud Larry’s.

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In an election year, W.K. ponders as to whether or not the term “party” takes on a different meaning.

“A very wise childhood friend of mine pointed out recently that the word ‘party’ is based on a root word that initially meant separation, as in partition, and didn’t necessarily mean to celebrate or rejoice in the way that I use the word now,” W.K. said. “Now I think is a time, perhaps for all human beings, to separate themselves from all the other circumstances that keep us apart and come together in the midst of so much calamity and confusion.”

W.K., who claims that working and partying are one in the same for him, wishes for attendees of his speaking tour leave with a renewed sense of hope.

“Hope in a very real way is based on a kind of enthusiasm despite circumstances and trying to transcend a certain type of rationality,” he said. “It’s something that I’ve been craving in life for as long as I can remember and trying to get a sense of clarity as well.”

Similar to his music career, W.K. says he never planned on becoming a motivational speaker.

“It never really occurred to me in a sense of ambition to try to get into giving speeches or lectures and it never occurred to me to become a professional musician, these were things that just presented themselves,” he said. “These were chances that just sort of came up and I tried to embrace them and look at them as a real gift and an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted.”

W.K. is known for his frenetic, over-the-top rock concerts that feature t-shirt cannons, back-up dancers and pizza-shaped guitars. While his speaking tour promises to be more subdued, he says that the lectures take a different kind of toll on his body.

“When doing these speeches, it’s more of an emotional strain rather than a physical one,” he said. “So rather than spending the hour head-banging, high-kicking and fist-pumping, there’s more of a soul hangover the next day. Rather than my body being sore, my whole mind is sore. The mental soreness is really a small price to pay.”

In 2017, W.K. plans to return to music with his band and release a new studio album. His last album was released in 2009 and he hasn’t had a world tour since 2012. On the delay, W.K. says that he’s not one to plan anything and he likes to stay in the moment.

“I gave up trying to make plans, because all the ones I would make would fall apart quickly,” he said. “Something much better than I had planned would usually come in and take its place. I turned over all control to the party gods and I just try and do what they want me to do.”

W.K. will take the stage at Proud Larry’s (211 S. Lamar Blvd) at 9 p.m. and tickets for the event are $15.