Andrew W.K. Parties Hard And Gets Wet

Small-town guy comes out of nowhere with inescapable combo of pop, hair metal, aggro.

Who the hell is Andrew W.K.?

He's a classically trained pianist from small-town Michigan turned death metalhead who discovered confectionery pop and hair metal and decided to throw together a bunch of songs that combined all of his musical interests into one single, energetic project.

Oh, and he likes to party — a lot. Just about every song on his debut album, I Get Wet, features the word "party," including "It's Time to Party," "Party 'Til You Puke" and the first single, "Party Hard." The latter explosively sums up the simple Spinal Tap edict as eloquently uttered by keyboardist Vivian Savage: "Have a good time all the time."

The song begins with an electronic voice saying, "When it's time to party, we will party hard," before bursting into a euphoric anthem that's part Def Leppard and part Ramones with a dash of KMFDM for aggro cred. To Andrew W.K., partying hard isn't just about getting the spins and passing out — it's also about changing the world.

"This may be the first time in the history of the human race where everyone is unconditionally accepted and invited to be a part of something. And what we're having is a human party," said Andrew W.K. from the corner of a bar in Manhattan's Lower East Side. "That means every person on the face of the Earth — all ages, races, colors, sexes — are invited to this without question."

The dynamic video for "Party Hard" was directed by Alexander Kosta and features the singer getting ready for a night of partying, then flailing across a stage as beads of sweat spray from his bobbing head. The shots are intercut with scenes of him headbanging in front of a huge red glowing sign that reads, "Party Hard."

Andrew W.K. will follow "Party Hard" with a video for "She Is Beautiful," a song about overcoming his crippling fear of talking to girls he doesn't know. He decided to write the song one night after seeing his dream girl at a Los Angeles party and being too scared to introduce himself.

"I regretted it for weeks and weeks," he said. "That's happened a lot with me in the past. All these girls I knew in high school wouldn't talk to me, and I didn't have the courage to talk to them. I went through life with this feeling of wanting to take charge, but I'd be continuously too scared to talk to a girl. So with that song, I decided to throw away all my ego and pride and anything that could be crushed and just go for it. And since that time, things have been better. And I hope that song will help someone out to bring up the courage to make that move too, because they deserve to."

A video for the song was shot recently by Kosta, and this one is a little more conceptual, involving Andrew W.K. running through a huge house, rocking with a microphone that's attached to an endless spool of mic cord. As he leaps over furniture and sprints from room to room, he passes clones of himself playing bass in the elevator, piano in the living room and guitar in the basement.

Of course, in the middle of the mosh frenzy, he stops in the kitchen to make a protein power shake. 'Cuz you gotta eat right when you wanna party hard.

Look out for our feature interview with Andrew W.K., which will premiere on next Thursday.

—Jon Wiederhorn, with additional reporting by Gideon Yago