It’s been three years since professional party starter Andrew W.K. dropped his last record. But don’t think the New York-based rocker has been sitting around nursing a hangover. W.K. is busier than ever, and is dabbling in a litany of new genres and media including classical music, television and business entrepreneurship.
He says the 180-degree turn from his hard rocking past is exactly the point.
“Sometimes doing the opposite of what you’ve done is really exciting.”
First up is a brand new split seven-inch EP with Narwuar The Human Serviette’s band, The Evaporators. W.K. has been a huge Nardwuar fan for years and calls the EP a dream come true.
“I was really worked up to meet him, just to get my chance to do a Nardwuar interview,” he says of their first meeting. “I had never had an experience like that because I had never been star-struck by an interviewer before.”
The two have since become friends, which led to the EP that finds W.K. covering two Canadian punk classics: “Oh Canaduh” by Subhumans and “Don’t Sell Hot Dogs Tonight” by the Leather Uppers.
A new solo piano improvisational record titled ’55 Cadillac is also in the can and the first week of September. Continuing his desire to flip the script, W.K. says the album was created as a reaction to the laborious writing and recording methods he used on his first three records.
“The records I made before each took two years to make. This took two hours,” he says.
If that’s not enough AWK to keep you satiated, he’s also making a move to television. Destroyt, Build, Destroy is a new Cartoon Network program where groups of kids creatively destroy something like a car, use the scrap parts to build something new and then creatively destroy that object as well.
“It involved all the things I wanted to do, hosting, a high energy atmosphere… it involved something I’d never even seen before — which is kids and 500 foot explosions in a competition show. So it just seemed perfect.”
The first episode aired down in the states on June 20. No word yet on when it might air here in Canada.
Finally, W.K. has founded his own record label, Skyscraper Music Maker, and signed three new artists: Aleister X, Bad Brilliance and Cherie Lily.
“Me getting to contribute to what they’re doing is just the best,” he says. “It’s my favourite music in the world and I get to work on it.”
All three artists have EPs in the works but their first material for the label can be found on the promotional release Damn! The Mixtape, Volume 1. A second edition is due later this year.
Though he’s firing on all media cylinders at the moment, W.K. stresses that he’s not trying to promote cross-promotional synergies for the Andrew W.K. brand.
“It’s not like the TV is to get the music out there and the music is to get the TV. It’s all to get this energy out there,” he says. “There’s many ways to do it. I used to think that music was the only way. But it turns out music is just an extremely good way. There’s a lot of other really good ways, too. Really powerful ways to create this feeling of possibility, to remind people that they’re free.”
This story originally appeared on Chartattack.com