When New York metalhead Andrew W.K. conjured up his majestic wall-of-noise debut “I Get Wet” in 2001, it proved to be the gift that kept on giving. A virtual unknown at the time, he rocketed to pop-culture prominence with the exuberant disc and its flagship chant-along anthem “Party Hard.” He quickly parlayed his winnings into moonlighting gigs, among them: DJ, classical keyboardist, Big Apple nightclub impresario, radio host, advice columnist, reality-TV series host and hot-ticket motivational speaker. It had been so long since he released an epic rock album — 2006’s uneven “Close Calls With Brick Walls” — he began to doubt his abilities to make another. But that changed with his 2018 magnum opus ”You’re Not Alone.”
What monumental things have occurred in your life lately?
Just this album. Just being able to finally get this album out after so many years. But you have to realize that — not only are you not in control, but that it’s a wonderful thing to relinquish that control, or that illusion of control. I realized that I never allowed myself to believe the possibility that all things will end, and could end at any time. Once I had accepted it, it was horrifying and very, very frustrating, but also liberating in a sense. So I exhaled through the blowhole of my soul, and when I inhaled, something came in and took over in a good way. And this time I didn’t fight it.
How do you write a celebratory anthem in the decadent Trump era?
Beneath the daily circumstance of any particular time, there’s another aspect of what it means to be alive that is completely crucial. And we can’t completely immerse ourselves in that inner life without losing touch – a totally irresponsible way. So we realize that there’s a deeper level, and we have a relationship that is uplifting and gives us hope. Because now isn’t the only time that’s ever been, this too shall pass, and everything that came before has led to this and also passed. But it’s all part of the human psyche – people have always felt like they’re on the precipice of some final calamity. But humanity has always figured out a way to continue.
Einstein supposedly had a closet full of identical suits. Have you got one filled with your signature white jeans and T-shirts?
Sure, yeah. And I don’t believe that Einstein was the first nor the last to approach things like that, because it is a uniform in the truest sense, because it’s a consistency that allows for energy to be put into other endeavors. It’s like Santa Claus or something — this is how you locate this person and what they’re offering.
IF YOU GO
Where: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 6