Andrew W.K.'s Party Party: A Primer on His Political Movement

Nina Ottolino
Andrew W.K.

When party rocker Andrew W.K. announced his formation of a new political party earlier this year, he didn't exactly help his case for legitimacy by naming his organization the Party Party and announcing its formation the day before April Fools' -- but he nonetheless states that his intention is sincere. The musician-positivity philosopher, who has penned the thoughtful Ask Andrew W.K. advice column in the Village Voice, will have the chance to field questions from potential constituents during the Power of Partying Tour, a 50-state speaking tour that begins Sept. 15 at Chicago’s Revolution Brewing Tap Room and ends Nov. 30 at Providence, R.I.’s Columbus Theatre. (For more information about tour dates, go here.)

Andrew W.K. Gets Political, Forms The Party Party

The motivational-speaking tour will contain “a generous Q&A portion, which is not only a chance for the audience to ask questions of me but for me to ask questions of them and really open it to pure discussion,” says W.K. “After that, we get to hang out and meet one another and spend as much time as anyone cares to spend with me. It’s a pep rally. That’s the best way I can describe it. A pep rally for the human spirit.”

The point of the tour, according to W.K., is “to discuss partying itself and how that mind-set, a party philosophy, can be applied to everyday life.” Billboard has prepared a primer to explain what role that perspective plays in the Party Party.

Why W.K. Got The Party Started

The current election was a major motivator. “There’s this great idea of unity that comes with a party but it’s also times, as we’ve seen, a great sense of division and a lot of drawing of lines in the sand,” observes W.K. “I wanted to see what I could offer in terms of inclusive, unifying spirit, and this seemed like a very right time.” Unlike other political affiliations, “this is a party that you can be a member of in your heart and soul and not necessarily give up your allegiance to any other political principle. This is meant to be inclusive, and I would really be happy to see all kinds of people with all types of beliefs, all types of allegiances, party together.”

Mission Statement

W.K.’s goal is to improve the collective mood. Whenever he has wrestled with a problem, “it was very hard to summon up the type of energy to address those problems when I was in a bad mood. That doesn’t mean that there’s not time for anger, there’s not time for frustration, there’s even time for despair and dismay, but at some point we have to come out of those feelings and transmute them into something that gives us a sense of capability.” The solution? Start “from a place of pure gratitude, of celebrating the fact that we exist, even with all our problems, and look at these opportunities as really a chance to grow, that we can’t save the world in a bad mood. When we try to do that, we tend to just fight and a lot of people die.”

Naysayers Are Welcome

Not everyone is fond of W.K.’s party philosophy, which doesn’t necessarily shy from debauchery if said partier believes the situation warrants it. In 2012, after a year of planning, the U.S. Department of State nixed a trip that W.K. was going to take to Bahrain as an official cultural ambassador, having decided that choosing him as a representative was “a mistake and not appropriate,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. W.K. says of those who feel he’s promoting irresponsibility, “Some people really enjoy interpreting things in that way, and sometimes they're right … But if you are looking for a certain thing you tend to find it, so if someone wants to look at what I'm doing and see it as bad or as irresponsible or as dangerous, I'm sure they can find all they need there to interpret it that way. If someone wants to look at is as helpful and it makes them feel good and is motivating, I'm sure they'll find that. I hope that I offer everything, in a way.”

Not Official? Not A Problem

Even if the Party Party fails to become official, “we’re just going to bypass that entire system anyway,” he declares. “Because if the end result is an improvement in our individual and collective character, our ability to respect one another, our ability to work together and most importantly our ability to party together, then we don’t need the State Department. We don’t need to be on a ballot. We’re our own president. I want each person to feel like they can be the president of their own life. The government can’t fix our problems for us, no matter how badly they want us to believe they have that power, no matter how badly we would like to think they can. The hard work of becoming a good person can only be done by you. By me. One at a time.”

Ready To Serve

If the Party Party is eventually recognized, W.K. will follow “the will of the party God” and lead it if needs be. “If that’s really what my destiny was, the destiny of this set of ideals, then I would be a fool not to follow,” he says. “It would be my obligation, it would be my privilege, to follow through on that.”

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