Andrew W.K.'s mind is cluttered with random thoughts and ruminations. A year and a half into the creative process and Mr. Wilkes-Krier's still in the thick of it; the man whose music has come to epitomize the term "party anthem" continues to generate compositions for his third album, the as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2003's The Wolf. But first, Andrew's got to get his head straight and stop thinking about birds.
"You can point at a bird and say, 'I know what that bird is. That's a blue jay.' Well, sure, that's a kind of bird. But do you really know that bird?" he asked. "Do you know it inside and out? Do you know what it has in its stomach from what it ate that morning? Do you know what it just saw over the course of the day? Do you know where it was born? And let's say you've studied the bird since it was born, and you knew all of that — do you know what it has thought about its experiences? And even if you did know, the split second you pointed at that bird and said 'This bird is this, I am identifying it, I know it,' that bird, in the next second, has lived that much longer. The bird's slightly changed its physical and chemical composition. So then you'd have to know it again. You'd have to constantly re-identify and re-study it. And that's sort of an endless state."
Right. Philosophical musings aside, Andrew's serious about not letting his thoughts infect the typically jovial tone of his festive, careless jingles.
"I often try to remove myself and my own thoughts from the making of the music, or at least have a good amount of skepticism about what I think, and take it all with a grain of salt," he said from the New York studio where he's been embroiled in the album's pre-production. When he's ready to start tracking the disc, Andrew said producer Don Fleming (Posies, Screaming Trees) would join him. "Inasmuch as I can never separate myself from myself, I want to at least humor that possibility in making this music and in doing things in general, and try to question my own take on things and often try to remove myself from the process. So, yeah, I think about all these things. But not when I make music."
W.K. claims to have at least 18 songs written, with another 10 in various stages of completion. His own album's also been interrupted by side production gigs; he recently finished To Live and Shave in L.A.'s forthcoming record, Noon and Eternity, on which he also performed. W.K. said he'd written more for this album — which he hopes to have in stores before the summer, either preceded or followed by a U.S. tour — than he had for 2002's I Get Wet and The Wolf. But Andrew doesn't feel much like nattering about what his new album's going to sound like.
"Why would you want to expect anything?" he wondered. "Wouldn't it be equally or perhaps more exciting to expect something that's impossible to expect? I've really enjoyed being able to see movies, listen to albums, look at pictures and anticipate the experience of it — to really be excited to look, hear it, see it, whatever it is. What will really excite me is when I can almost expect not to be able to expect anything. It's like when you go see a movie and you're like, 'I have no idea what this is going to be like.' It's not so much focused on not knowing what it's going to be, as it's about giving something the benefit of the doubt."
Andrew said fans can look for tracks such as "I'm a Vagabond," "I Want to See You Go Wild," "I'm Not Going to Bed," "Pushing Drugs," "You Will Remember Tonight" and "Kicks and Bricks" to make the cut. The latter two tracks can be accessed through W.K.'s Web site. Before he can release the LP, Andrew needs to align himself with a record label, having severed ties with Island Records more than a year ago.
Andrew also has a DVD on the way. "Who Knows?" is set for a January 24 release and will feature live footage shot over four years on the road, as well as behind-the-scenes footage, an Andrew W.K. fan tribute, outtakes of Andrew performing "I Get Wet" and "additional footage of Andrew's antics," according to his reps.