"Hello there, my name is Andrew WK and I am a professional partier."
I caught up with the one and only Andrew W.K. before his show Friday at the Crofoot Ballroom. He grew up, and learned to play music, in Ann Arbor. His family still lives there and his father is a law professor at the University of Michigan. He cares about Detroit. He's also a rock star, professional partier, a motivational speaker and he authors an advice column called "Ask Andrew" that is published every Wednesday in New York City's "The Village Voice"
Detroit has gone through some tough times lately. Who could be better than the "King of Partying" to ask for a little advice on maintaining the right attitude through everything?
I’ve had a lot of things not go my way lately.
I’m really down in the dumps about being broke.
On the computer, I read people saying bad things about me.
Lots of my old friends are moving away and there aren’t as many visitors as there used to be.
When the negativity builds up, I sometimes forget about all of the positive things about me.
How do I keep my head up and have the right attitude through all of this?
First of all, thank you again for asking me your questions and turning to me in this tender and sensitive moment. But I got to say, just on the plane flying over here, there was a front page cover story on in-flight magazine about Detroit bouncing back, how it is a model city in terms of redevelopment and a new era. Not only that, all around the country and even the world during my recent European tours, I see people excited about Detroit, looking at Detroit not only as a model American city but perhaps a city for a new era in general as a global city. And I must say, years ago when I actually still lived in Southeast Michigan and had a lot of friends living in Detroit, my band practiced in Detroit, there always was a sense that it was a city of the future. Even at its worst, there was something very futuristic, optimistic and hopeful even in its most bleak moments. That there was a sense of true possibility.
And beyond it having a lot of history, beyond a lot of great businesses, beyond of course beautiful architecture and an incredible just structural center. It's the people of this land, of this entire region, that really gave it the power that it has. It continues to build upon. So, I don't even think I need to cheer you up. I say, like you said, just remember what you already got and keep it going, because it's happening. All that hard work and perseverance is paying off. Now is the time to double back down, and, I would say, actually congratulate yourselves on making it through probably the hardest times of all. It's all uphill from here in a good way.
Congratulations and keep partying.
Watch the bonus interview here for more from Andrew about Michigan. He talks about this area having inexplicable magic and he wishes that he could bottle it, but he also thinks Vernors and Faygo perhaps has already done that.
ClickOn extra: More from interview with Andrew W.K.