It’s an egalitarian environment at the Warped Tour.
Everyday the lineup changes. The set time, a half-hour, is always the same. It might not seem fair for Andrew W.K. to follow the same rules as the relatively unknown acts on the popular punk-pop tour.
But after chatting with the laid-back New York singer-songwriter with the platinum-plus background, it’s easy to see it’s no big deal.
“I don’t like life to be the same every day,” W.K. said. “I don’t want every tour to be the same or every show or every album to be the same. I’m fine with change.”
W.K.’s eclectic life reflects his words. The charismatic W.K., who is normally clad in white t-shirt and trousers, likes to juggle. W.K. somehow manages to have a cartoon network program (‘Destroy Build Destroy’), runs a Manhattan club (Santos Party House) and he even put out a book of advice (‘I Will Change Your Life’).
“Variety makes life interesting,” W.K. said. “I like challenges. I like to live in the moment.”
The latter is perhaps what makes W.K. most intriguing. His latest album, ’55 Cadillac,’ is in the moment as any recent release. The disc is loaded with SSPIs, which is W.K. speak for Spontaneous Solo Piano Improvisations.
“It was a blast making the album because I just followed my gut,” W.K. said. “I just followed what I feel.”
That’s the opposite of what the record industry is all about. The music business is about a carefully, calculated plan, which doesn’t move W.K.
The eloquent W.K., 31, could play by the numbers and churn out upbeat, party rock ala his breakthrough album, 2001’s ‘I Get Wet’ but he has been compelled to try his hand at avant-rock.
“I could play it safe but I would rather move out of my comfort zone,” W.K. said. “After the success of ‘I Get Wet,’ I could take some chances since I established myself. I like being nervous. It’s more fun that way. It’s more challenging. It would be like a regular job if I just made ‘I Get Wet’ over and over again.”
W.K. makes for a good role model for those a decade younger in Warped tour bands. “I think that every band should just do what they want to do,” W.K. said. “They shouldn’t follow a template that some other band or what a label thinks they should do. Being a musician is about expressing yourself. You have the opportunity to make a statement and have a really great time. You may as well make the most of it. You can say what you want about me but I think I’ve done that. I’ve taken a few chances and I’ve grown so much since “I Get Wet.’ I want to grow some more”