There's more to Andrew WK's ignoroid rock than you think
ANDREW WK at Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor West), Tuesday (March 19). $10. 416-870-8000.
the bruising bombast of andrewWK’s I Get Wet (Island) has left music hacks split on whether the album’s ignoroid party anthems are the work of a shrewd postmodern huckster or a hedonistic headbanging dullard. Tough call. After hearing Andrew WK (known as Andrew Wilkes-Krier to Detroit cops) blabber on in gruesome detail about why he reluctantly had to settle on dousing his face in pig’s blood for the I Get Wet cover shot when bashing his nose with a brick didn’t produce an adequate flow, I’m leaning toward the latter .
Yet listen more closely to I Get Wet and you’ll find it isn’t the simple-minded throwback to the numbskull fist-shakers of Slade, Quiet Riot and Twisted Sister it’s been off-handedly dismissed as.
First off, Andrew WK doesn’t go for any wanky guitar solos, which immediately sets him apart from the vast majority of hair metal. And amidst the good-time hollering on tunes like Party Till You Puke, Party Hard and It’s Time To Party, he’s subversively slipping in references to killing with unsettling frequency. What’s up with that?
“It’s just a fantastic, powerful word, “kill,'” explains Wilkes-Krier evasively, “that hard “k’ is one of the best sounds you can make with your mouth as a singer, like, (shrieking) K-I-I-I-L-L-L-L. I want to create the most basic, physical reaction in the listener.
“It’s all about the truth, and within that there’s the good, the bad and the ugly as well as happiness, sadness and anger. I need to harness all those feelings to do something good.”
That it takes Andrew WK 20 minutes to bullshit around his obsession with death makes it easier to understand why he required seven expensive recording studios to create 12 whomping anthems about cutting loose. The stories that he was spending over a month on getting a drum track were apparently no exaggeration.
“Some people seem to think re-using a 30-year-old drum sample is adventurous and cool,” he snaps, “but I don’t. I wanted to use the most advanced technology available to make the biggest and most exciting music I could. If that means taking two days to record a melody line or spending two months editing drum sounds, I’ll do it, because that’s the way I work.
“I spent thousands upon thousands of hours recording this album so that it would sound like it was done in a week. My goal wasn’t to frustrate or confuse people, but to deeply satisfy them with what they want to hear. I just want to make everyone feel good about themselves.”firstname.lastname@example.org