In Defense of Partying

Reason TV's Nick Gillespie sat down to talk with Andrew W.K. about his life's work and his unabashed libertinism.


Musician Andrew W.K. has been called "the great unwashed rock star" and "the great god of partying." His best-known songs include "Party Hard" and "We Want Fun." In June, he lectured at the Oxford Union on the topic "Andrew W.K. and the Philosophy of Partying." He delighted a generation of children as the host of Destroy Build Destroy, a live-action Cartoon Network series in which teams of kids compete for the right to blow up each other's creations. He's a regular on Fox News' late night show Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld and an advice columnist for The Village Voice. In October, Reason TV's Nick Gillespie sat down to talk with Andrew W.K. about his life's work and his unabashed libertinism.

Q: What's up with the party?

A: Out of all the things I could imagine spending my time doing, I figure if I was going to devote myself to a mission, or dedicate my life to a cause, it should be an enjoyable one. And partying was the most fun thing I could think of-and also that other people could relate to.

Q: Were you walking down the street and almost got hit by a falling safe, or something?

A: Full of piñatas and party favors?

Q: Yeah.

A: No. Unfortunately. That would have been much more dramatic, but also painful, so I'm glad it didn't involve injury. No. I moved to New York when I was 18…I decided not to go to college and moved to the biggest city I could think of and try to do something big. From that emerged a lot of confusion, a lot of disappointments, a lot of dead-end jobs and sort of oddball experiences. Then at one point I got this idea that I could cheer myself up and maybe cheer other people up. That was really the reason I wanted to do something fun.

Q: Were you in a depressed state?

A: Yes.

Q: What was the nature of that? A kind of coming-of-age dislocation? A chemical imbalance?

A: Probably a mixture of all of those things. Anything that felt bad, I experienced some version of it. It never got overwhelming, where I couldn't function at all. But it was just a lot of anger…I realized there were times I didn't feel like that-I felt quite good. And I wanted to figure out how I could feel like that more of the time.

Q: In one of your Village Voice columns, you talk about how the very nature of partying is to provide a life-saving release from the constant pressure to "take things seriously." You talk about partying as an end in itself. This is radical and subversive in an age when you're not allowed to smoke anymore, you're not supposed to do drugs, you're not supposed to exercise too much or too little, you're not supposed to have fat, or not trans-fat, or not carbs, no gluten.

A: I would say-now, this is from my perspective, being in the middle of the party, and attracting and certainly hanging out with a lot of people who are also into partying-it seems that most people are relieved to have someone tell them it's OK. That they have been fighting against these kinds of pleasure themselves, they've been wanting to engage them but been made to feel very guilty about it. It's just such a great release for all of us, to be able to say: "Hey, I'm thinking about this stuff too. I'm doing this stuff too, and I'm actually enjoying it and not feeling bad." If I can be a role model in that way-I never thought I would be a role model for anything-but a role model for fun, I can do that.

NEXT: Glenn Greenwald: "A real subversion, not only of privacy, but of democracy itself"

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  1. OT: Reason likes to whine about people being prosecuted for social-media threats, but this case shows that prosecutors aren’t going to make a big deal about it.

    “Prosecutors said they will not charge a [teenage girl]…after she posted online pictures of herself dressed like Adolf Hitler and tweeted about bombing Jews….

    “”In multiple posts, the girl donned a Hitler mustache and swastika. In one image, she gives the Nazi salute in what appears to be a State Police hat. The picture is captioned, “1944: crematorium crew.”

    On the same Twitter account, the user uploaded a picture of young Orthodox Jewish families outside an Italian ice shop with the caption, “perfect bombing time.”

    “In another tweet, the user wrote, “I really wanna drive around Lakewood and run over every Jew with my car.””

    What’s that you say? She got preferential treatment because her dad is a sergeant in the State Police? Get out of here with your paranoid selves:

    “The teen, who is not being named because she is a minor, was not given any special treatment because of her father’s position, [prosecutorial spokesman Al] Della Fave said.”…..ailyNewsTw

    1. When I was a teen, one of my friends was always getting caught with pot, by a cop. He never went to jail. I wonder if it’s because the cop was his dad?

      1. This is the kind of paranoia and anti-cop attitude which is ruining our country!


        1. You know, it’s difficult when hearing that statement to differentiate whether it was probably said by a boot licking conservative or a boot licking lefty. It has all the worst of both in it.

    2. How is that a crime anyway? Just because the DA made the right decision based on bullshit doesn’t make the decision wrong.

      1. Yeah, those don’t sound like very credible threats.

    3. Wut? Are you on drugs or something?

    1. Sir, this is a *libertarian* comment board – there is only one appropriate libertarian party song:

      (you don’t have to click to find out what I’m referring to, do you?)

      1. No. Just no.

        1. Two of favorite things put together. Although I haven’t seen a quaalude in forever, used to eat them like pez. Have Sriracha on hand always. I actually like the Chili Garlic stuff better.

          1. I like Louisiana hot sauce better. I put that stuff on almost everything.

            1. Bruces, Trappys, or Crystal?

              1. The original Louisiana. I have a big jug of the Franks now though, and that’s pretty good also. Crystal is good and Trappys. I’ve never tried Bruces.

                1. I’m a big fan of Franks. I like the garlic and it doesn’t have any non-essential ingredients.

        2. ICP spin off? Still better than Beastie Boys:)

        3. Who took that video of the Libertarian Party convention?

          1. ALTERNATE JOKE: I always wondered what a cosmotarian cocktail party looked like.

  2. I remember late teens (barely:)) buddy of mine asking me what I wanted to do with my life and I replied “have fun”. Answer bewildered him but 30 years later that’s still my attitude. Party Hard is a fun tune.

    1. I once worked for a company who had a CEO who came up with the brilliant idea of having meetings standing up. Seriously. Dumb fuck got canned a few weeks later.

      1. All meetings should be held standing up, outside.

        This makes them shorter.

      2. Wait, why? With the limited context he sounds like a fucking genius. Meetings should be held standing up while balancing teacups on your head. All of them. All the time.

        Guess how many meetings you’d have, and guess how long they’d last? Exactly.

      3. “Most meetings are social street lamps attracting the unproductive moths in an organization”

        1. “Most meetings are social street lamps attracting the unproductive moths in an organization”

          Seriously. People who like meetings are some unproductive motherfuckers.

  3. “Nick Gillespie sat down to talk with Andrew W.K.”

    Are these guy capable of conversing standing up? Seems no interview is complete without a ritual ‘sitting down’.

    1. It sounds better than “Nick Gillespie talked to Andrew W.K while they were both standing in line at Chipotle”

    2. Are you kidding? I doubt they’re even capable of taking a piss standing up.

  4. Anyway, who is this weird fucker in the video? I’ve never heard of the guy. He doesn’t look like an Andrew. He looks more like a Lars.

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  6. host of Destroy Build Destroy, a live-action Cartoon Network series in which teams of kids compete for the right to blow up each other’s creations.

    Never seen it; I’ll check it out, if I spy a chance.

  7. It looks like every google result for “the great god of partying” is the same “Musician Andrew W.K. has been called “the great unwashed rock star” and “the great god of partying.”” line.

    So I’m calling bullshit on that.

    1. Well, someone called him that.

  8. Hillary wants to have gay anal sex in Warren’s mouth.

  9. Is this guy actually a star? Or one of those people that just gets called a star for no apparent reason?

    I’ve only seen him on Fox News (Red Eye). Never seen him mentioned on any other channel, never heard him on the radio.

    1. He was musically revelant over a decade ago. Today, not so much. Nowadays, I record Red Eye for the off chance I’ll see Lori Rothman and/or Ellison Barber. They are sexy as all get out.

  10. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ??????

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