Categories: Performing Arts

Andrew W.K. puts on his DJ hat

Like Alexander the Great before him, New York Renaissance man Andrew W.K. is almost to the point of weeping because he has no more worlds to conquer. He launched his campaign for global domination back in 2001 with his wall-of-metal masterpiece “I Get Wet,” then marched on with the instrumental piano album “’55 Cadillac,” a side career as a motivational speaker, his own live-action Cartoon Network show “Destroy Build Destroy” and the New York nightclub Santos Party House. Working on his upcoming autobiography, he’s also penning a weekly advice column “Ask Andrew W.K.” for the Village Voice, and hosting his own radio show for Blaze broadcasting.

You’re actually making a DJ appearance in town this week. When did you start spinning platters?
Well, with all due respect to the real DJs out there in the world, I would never formally call myself a DJ, even when I’m DJing. There’s so much more art and craft to it that I haven’t developed yet, so I would only humbly say that I’m doing some kind of DJ semblance, something sort of resembling a DJ set. But when my friends and I opened Santos Party House, one of the things that I was personally most excited about was getting to DJ there, and also learning from all the great DJs we have there every weekend.

What are some bumbling mishaps you’ve had in the booth? Like dead air, maybe?

That is definitely the most common mishap that I imagine a lot of people deal with in their early DJ days. And you just have to say, ‘Uhh…sorry about that!’ And having a microphone helps, because you can fill up those spaces. But there’s no better way to learn than to be forced into an awkward situation like that, where you have to come up with something. So you can say anything that shows your sincerity and your humility in that moment, and that bonds you to the folks in that room even more.

What’s the craziest ad-libbing you ever did?
I was invited by Black Sabbath to be their opening-act DJ for their 2013 North American tour, and they really wanted me to play my favorite heavy metal songs. But there were a couple of times where I had technical problems, and I had to figure out something, quick. So I would shoot T-shirts into the crowd, or I would remind them how exciting it was that – in just a matter of minutes – Black Sabbath, the greatest heavy metal band of all time, would be taking the stage. It’s never going to be a pretty situation when those little flubs happen. So it all depends on how you ride them out.


Andrew W.K. (DJ set), Useless Eaters (live)
Where: 1015 Folsom, 1015 Folsom St.., S.F.
When: 10 p.m. July 3
Tickets: $20
Contact: (415) 431-1200,

Tom Lanham

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