In October, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing musician and motivational speaker Andrew W.K .for my radio show on WSOE 89.3 FM, “Rock N’ Roll Revival”. I had first heard his music in the fourth grade, when his song “She Is Beautiful” was featured on the soundtrack of the 2003 Freaky Friday remake that starred Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis. I have distinct memories of downloading the song to my iPod Shuffle and listening to it on the bus rides to elementary school, humming along as I headed off to a day of fractions and silent reading time.
Needless to say, I was more than thrilled to have landed the interview after being a fan for (literally) half my life.
The week leading up to the interview bought several late nights in the library, pouring over anything and everything Andrew W.K. related I could find. I had never interviewed anyone before, let alone a celebrity, and I wanted to come across as original, professional, and well-researched. As I continued to scour the corners of the internet, I discovered that the Andrew W.K. I had known of all these years-the musician-was only one side of this incredibly dynamic and multitalented artist.
Andrew W.K. is an incredible humanitarian. He has such a high degree of compassion that one often does not find in the average person, let alone a super cool rock star. For example, in the early 2000s, he had his own television show on MTV2 entitled “Your Friend, Andrew W.K.” On the show, people would write in with issues they were currently facing, and Andrew W.K. would go visit them and help them work through their troubles. Though the show aired a decade ago, he informed me during the interview that he still stays in touch with the individuals he helped on the show. This displays a level of care and connectivity towards not only fans, but humanity as a whole, that I personally have not seen any other artist possess.
Andrew W.K.’s immense dedication to helping others later transcended from the screen to print. He has authored advice columns on The Village Voice, where he helped readers tackle topics such as religion, depression, and overcoming bigotry. His writing can also be found on Vice, where he has penned raw and refreshing pieces about overcoming pain, pressure, clarity-and bread. Most artists inherently have an interest in the human experience, as it is what fuels their work. However, we seldom see this acted upon in the form of direct and sometimes personal outreach. This is precisely what makes Andrew W.K. so special, he’s the hard rocker with a huge heart. This unusual but delightful combination is what makes him, in my opinion, a living legend.
Andrew W.K. has been successfully gracing the spotlight for about fifteen years, and recently finished a motivational speaking tour across all fifty states. He did not at all need to make the time in his busy schedule to be interviewed by a college girl with a radio show that aired in the middle of the day-but he did. Not only was that so meaningful to me, but spoke volumes about his incredible character. Being able to interview such a distinguished and admirable individual was an absolute honor, and it was something I will truly never forget.