I knew well in advance I was going to talk food with Andrew W.K. during our interview. He’s known for two things: being the King of Partying and loving Pizza. The rock musician is known for his fast paced singles like Party Hard and She is Beautiful, and his concerts are typically a blur of dancing, head banging and of course, partying.
“The pizza guitar!” W.K. laughs, surprised I had picked up that detail from Pitchfork. The guitar has many toppings, and I wonder if W.K. would like it less had it only come with cheese and pepperoni. Apparently W.K. will eat anything on pizza except pineapple. “No more sweet things,” he says, noting that while he used to really enjoy sweets he now prefers spicy.
Pizza is W.K.’s post-show snack for all of his concerts, but he never eats before a show. With the amount of physical activity he does during a performance, he would definitely get sick if he ate more than two hours beforehand. For some reason, drinking is fine as long as it isn’t carbonated.
“I’ve never puked, but I’ve been puked on before” W.K. says, “But it’s not the worst bodily fluid to be covered in. I’d say diarrhea is worse.” He immediately lists off bodily fluids from least offensive to be covered with to the most offensive: “Sweat, spit, then puke, then diarrhea, then blood.” Having been to several Andrew W.K. concerts, I’m no stranger to his comfort with bodily fluids. His most recognized insignia is a portrait of himself bleeding from the nose. With the fan base that likes to gets rough, W.K. insists it’s all in good fun. I start mentally picking out a disposal outfit to wear to the concert.
Thankfully our conversation turns back to pizza. “I tell people this all the time, but Canada has the best pizza,” he says, telling me we have better pie here in Canada than some better known destinations, and he’s toured them all. He asks for my recommendation for after his March 27th show at Mavericks, and I immediately scramble. Ottawa has no shortage of amazing pizza restaurants (Zazaza’s being a favourite), but what was going to be open at 2am on a Thursday night when his show finished? Ottawa was a government town, and one that didn’t cater to the weeknight partiers.
I explain this to W.K., which leads me to my second question: how to get Ottawa to party. Sure, we’ve all got a friend who can party longer than we can. But can they get down as long as Andrew W.K, The King of Partying? I ask him how he prepares for his concerts, looking for pointers. After all, he turns the majority of his shows into giant blowouts, and an intimate space like Mavericks bodes well for that kind of atmosphere.
“This show is different – it’s without my band. I love touring with my band, I love playing with them but this is a different kind of show.” W.K. will be performing solo on stage with a drum machine and his keyboard. The best part for him is that he almost gets to be part of the crowd, which is what really feeds him as a performer. He plays off the energy of the people in his audience as much as they get into what he’s playing.
Maybe that’s the secret to great partying: pay attention to the people around you and feed off their energy. You’ll have to see for yourself this Thursday night. And for God’s sake don’t eat too much pizza beforehand.