Categories: Arts

Andrew W.K. is living a boy’s life

Ever since he blasted onto the rock scene with his symphonic metal masterpiece “I Get Wet” a decade ago, Andrew W.K. has been living the charmed life of a big kid in a candy store.

Any zany impulse that hit him, he acted on. Wanting to take his album’s uplifting energy further, he became a lecture-circuit motivational speaker and also doled out advice on MTV2’s “Your Friend, Andrew W.K.”

To sharpen his piano skills, he released an album of classical instrumental improvisations, “55 Cadillac.” Instead of seeking the perfect New York nightclub, he created his own with three partners — the top-rated Santos Party House. 

“Hey — time flies when you’re having fun,” says W.K., a still-squirrelly 33, who’ll perform “I Get Wet” note for note on its 10th anniversary tour in San Francisco this week. “And having fun was certainly the goal of that record.”

For its mammoth ELO-meets-Motorhead anthems (from “Ready to Die” and “She Is Beautiful” to the flagship smash hit “Party Hard”), the composer multitracked every sound to amplify its electricity.

“Like electric guitars and keyboards, multiple drums and a million people singing instead of one. It was a feeling of euphoria, ecstasy that I had experienced at times, and if there was a way to recreate that feeling all the time, I figured that that should be my mission,” he says. 

But nothing, however, unleashes his boyish exuberance like “Destroy Build Destroy,” a kooky Cartoon Network show in its third season.

Wearing his usual stage uniform of white T-shirt and white jeans (Levi’s has sent him so many complimentary pairs, he just rented a sprawling storage space to house them all), he oversees two competing teams of tweens who quite blow up machines, then reassemble shattered parts to make deadly, but winning, contrapions.

“It’s just a dream come true for me,” W.K. says of the series. “What better outlet to use skills of explosives, energy and lots of screaming than a game show for kids? The location is beautiful — out in the desert where you can create, say, a 500-foot fireball — I’m surrounded by this incredible team of 100, including Hollywood’s best pyrotechnics-effects people, with 10-year-old kids running amok and me screaming my head off through a bullhorn, from a Russian tank. It’s just surreal.”

He also has grown giddy over Cartoon Network perks. “At Comic Con last year, I got to meet the creators of both ‘Adventure Time’ and ‘Regular Show!’ And the gentleman who was the original voice of Lion-O on ‘Thundercats.’ Now that was incredible.”


Andrew W.K.

Where: Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Tickets: $25 to $27

Contact: (888) 929-7849,

SF Examiner
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SF Examiner

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