With the formation of his Party Party, Andrew W.K. has announced he’s going into politics. Is he punking us all, or is he headed for the White House?
HI ANDREW! SO WHAT’S THE PARTY PARTY?
“I’ve been planning this for a long time. It launched on March 31, and it wasn’t until a couple of days afterwards that people started asking if it was an April Fool’s stunt. That was my fault – I didn’t think of the date – but it’s just a coincidence. It kind of makes sense, though; sometimes things in this world are so foolish that only a foolish response is appropriate. So if people think it’s an April Fool’s joke, that doesn’t bother me, as long as they’re still able to receive the spirit of it. The most important thing is that people are partying.”
WHAT’S YOUR MANIFESTO?
“We’re trying to transcend politics. We don’t actually want people to abandon their existing political affiliations or even question those, we’re simply trying to improve the quality of energy surrounding the whole political sphere. That’s the only part I felt like I could contribute to, anyway. I don’t have a political agenda to promote through this – I just feel like that would lead to more fighting. Debate is healthy; we want to allow people to continue to think for themselves, but do it in the spirit of an inclusive celebratory mindset.”
HOW ARE YOU QUALIFIED TO BE PARTY LEADER?
“In 2012, the State Department invited me to be the US’s cultural ambassador to Bahrain. We went through six months of vetting and background checks to meet all the requirements, booked the flights and everything, and at the last second they cancelled because someone higher up – maybe even Hillary Clinton herself – didn’t like the photo of me with the bloody nose. It was such a disappointing and frustrating experience. However, what was encouraging was the incredible support that people showed me initially when it was announced, and even more so when the State Department cancelled the trip. I became a bit disillusioned after that. For me, being associated with the US Government in a formal capacity and being an ambassadorn would have been the crowning achievement in my whole career in partying. I have been on talk shows, I’ve spoken at Yale and Oxford University, and I’ve been invited to places by people I never would have expected. I don’t know who could vouch for me as a good political leader – I would never want to assume anything like that. Maybe my mom? She thinks this is crazy, but that’s what she usually thinks.”
IS YOUR CAMPAIGN VIDEO JUST A PARODY, OR IS IT FOR REAL?
“I produced it with Playboy, and they’re really the only people who jumped on board early on without any hesitation. They gave me total creative control and didn’t ask me to compromise on any of my ideas. Those people appearing in the video with me and telling their stories are the parents of the people who helped to produce the video. I tried to deliver the concept in the most relatable way possible and no, it isn’t supposed to be cheesy at all!”
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH MAINSTREAM POLITICS?
“The tone of politics is so demanding. It’s as though people are required to have an opinion on every single thing, and not only have that opinion, but push that opinion out into the world and onto other people. We have to constantly defend it and receive others’ opinions. It can become overwhelming very quickly and isn’t very enjoyable. It’s easy to want to tune out and become disillusioned and fed up. So the Party Party is simply a way to try and change the texture of this thing called politics so that we can enjoy it more.”
WHAT’S THE REACTION BEEN LIKE FROM EXISTING POLITICIANS?
“Some people who work in politics have said this is dangerous. I was surprised by that reaction; I didn’t really push them too much as it was only a couple of people who seemed offended by it. They said it would encourage young people to disengage, but I want to do the exact opposite of this. We didn’t see things the same way, but these are also people that think listening to loud music and doing anything different to what they’re doing is irresponsible. So it was a long shot to think we’d see eye to eye, but I was interested in hearing what they had to say. I thought, ‘This is exactly why we need more partying, because of that kind of mindset.’”
DO YOU EXPECT METALLERS TO VOTE FOR THE PARTY PARTY?
“I’d love it if metal fans got involved. I don’t know why they like me, but I don’t question it too much. When I first started making this music and decided to play in major keys, I said, ‘Well, that’s too bad, I’m never going to be able to participate in this metal world, they’re never going to like this.’ But a lot of people who like heavy metal like all kinds of music; they’re quite open-minded despite what people think when they stereotype a metal fan. Some of the angriest music is made by the nicest, gentlest, happiest people. Maybe my music to metal fans is like a little brother or a kid. The theme song for the Party Party already exists – the song that gave rise to everything I do is Party Hard. I haven’t asked any other musicians to get involved, but everyone is invited. Anything is possible!”
HOW WILL YOU MAKE THE PARTY OFFICIAL?
“Getting the Party Party recognised as an official political party involves a huge amount of paperwork and signatures and levels of approval that could fail at any point, based on the feelings of the US Department Of State. It’s very hard to imagine us getting approval at any level, let alone at federal level. But at the same time, I never imagined it would get anywhere near the level of positive response we received. So I’m more optimistic than I’ve ever been before. Now people are responding to the Party Party, we get to figure out what we want todo. It’s not my party, it’s our party, and the collaborative spirit is definitely part of the party spirit. I am extremely interested in what people have to say and what ideas they might bring to the table. We’re trying to promote a pure, energised enthusiasm that people can apply to whatever issues are important to them.”
WOULD YOU CONSIDER BRINGING THE PARTY PARTY TO THE UK?
“At the moment, the Party Party is in the US, but who’s to say we can’t start a UK branch? It’s a team effort. I want us to all be our own politicians more than anything else. It doesn’t mean we can’t support those that are in office, but I would like to take the power away from these distant removed people that we put so much weight on, that often want to be given that much power, and take it back to ourselves.”
WHAT SHOULD POTENTIAL VOTERS DO IN THE MEANTIME?
“I know from my own experience that we get so wrapped up in what other people are doing that we forget what’s going on inside us right now. How can we solve the problems of the globe when we haven’t even figured out how to be a good person yet? I’d like us all to work on that. To me, that’s more important than any political issue – getting a handle on our own integrity and being the best we can be.”
FOR MORE ON THE PARTY PARTY, VISIT: WWW.THEPARTYPARTY.US