Power to the partiers10/5/2016
Music and politics make for strange bedfellows. It’s a double-edged sword, with the outspokenness of musicians like Ted Nugent and Beyonce endearing them to half their fanbase and alienating them from the other half.
Party enthusiast Andrew WK wants to shift the focus away from the partisan elements and toward what truly unites us: partying. He’ll be speaking about his proposed Party Party on Oct. 28 at the Temple for Performing Arts.
“The best achievement I can hope to bring about through the Party Party is nothing other than people feeling good, energized and optimistic,” WK said during a phone interview. “It can be accomplished without our political party being officially recognized, because it will be recognized in our hearts and souls, where the feeling dwells anyway.”
Make no mistake, WK is trying to make the Party Party an official thing. He’s currently collecting signatures to get the party recognized by the State Department (which will require 100,000 signatures in WK’s home state of California alone).
His Des Moines appearance is part of a 50-state tour by WK to talk with the people. Talk is the key word here. If you’re hoping to see him perform “Party Hard,” “Party ‘Til You Puke” or “It’s Time to Party,” you’ll have to wait for another show. His speeches will be high energy, but sans music.
“It’s me speaking extemporaneously, then there will be an hour for a Q&A, but a Q&A will go both ways,” WK said. “There will be questions from me for other folks who are there. Then it goes into a hangout session as long as the venue will let us stay and talk to one another.”
And, yes, he realizes that something called the Party Party fronted by a long-haired musician who wears all white (he volunteered that he’s willing to wear a suit if need be). But people who are willing to write him off for that reason might not be buying what WK is selling.
“For better or worse, the folks opposed to these ideas or methods of delivery or the packaging or association with the word ‘partying’ or rock music probably aren’t working for this anyway,” WK said. “There’s probably not much I or anyone can do. They probably have what they’re looking for and are fulfilled in that regard.
“But what blew my mind is that after the initial announcement, the reaction was way more positive than I had anticipated. It showed me I wasn’t alone in these feelings. People from across the board and even outside the U.S. seem to be searching for this particular flavor.”
Following this tour, WK plans to head back into the studio to work on a new rock album (assuming a write-in campaign doesn’t sweep him into office). He’s working on it already, but he’s excited about having some time on the road to give him perspective on the music. He’s anticipating more ideas to come with him as he meets with fans on the road.
But until then, he wants to chat with fans about politics and is stressing that he’s all about positivity, not partisanship.
“You don’t need to abandon other allegiances or your interests in politics or culture,” WK said. “You can be what you want and still be part of this party. You don’t have to censor any other part of yourself. I don’t necessarily think the most important aspect is to have this be on the ballot. I just want to reach members of the human race.”
Joe Lawler is a music writer who has probably interviewed your favorite band. And your least favorite band.