Professional party rocker Andrew W.K. has launched his own political party — the Party Party — to much fanfare. While the non-partisan musician and Fox News contributor is still figuring out its place in the political landscape, he is certain of one thing: You’re invited to the party.
Andrew W.K. found mainstream success in 2001 with the release of his album I Get Wet, which included the singles “It’s Time to Party,” “Party Hard,” and “She Is Beautiful.” He has since taken on motivational speaking, producing, and writing on the way to a new venture into politics.
His Party Party is currently seeking recognition from the U.S. State Department, but he says there is no shortage of people interested in joining him.
While it would be easy to write off Andrew W.K. as a dreamer with his head in the clouds, that would be a miscalculation of his intellect and character. The rocker, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and culture commentator spoke with Breitbart News this week for an exclusive interview about his political endeavor, adding he’s a “actually a big fan of Breitbart.”
As the 2016 race for the White House has progressed, conventional thinking has been turned on its head. Enter Andrew W.K., who is the product of an educated and cultured background, and embodies a blend of Western and Eastern philosophies regarding life, love, politics, and of course, partying.
While he has appeared on Fox News Channel’s Red Eye dozens of times since its launch in 2007 under Greg Gutfeld, and has joined numerous other outlets as a commentator, he won’t pretend to fully comprehend the complexities of the American political machine.
He also can’t quite put his finger on what motivated him to launch his own political party — other than a simple desire to help mend fences between the people.
“I learn a lot being around other people who are political observers or participants. Whatever area of life I find myself in, I have a lot to learn. I don’t know if I always have something to offer when it comes to political views and perspectives, but I do think I definitely have something to offer in terms of the overall social atmosphere.”
He clarifies: “What I really have to contribute is partying, and I’m happy to offer that if helps improve the conditions for us all.”
When you refer to partying, I get the feeling you aren’t simply referring to having a few drinks and going wild. What does partying mean to you?
“It’s a celebratory state of mind,” he says.
While he surrenders partying “certainly can include drugs or alcohol,” he doesn’t necessarily condone or disapprove of it.
“The only requirement to partying is partying itself,” he explains. “To be grateful for the things that bring you joy and to be grateful for life itself, and to pay tribute by keeping those things in mind and actively acknowledging them as you go through your day.”
Further explaining that he feels one can party while doing pretty much anything, he says embracing the party mindset is to adopt a philosophy that can allow you to cope with, adapt to, and overcome anything in front of you, which is something he says can be applied both personally and when observing the state of the country.
“Sometimes over-seriousness in certain areas can be a hindrance to life,” he says, “It’s a fine line to walk, between serious and not-serious. We have to use the right mindset for the particular ends we wish to achieve.”
What do you hope to accomplish with your new political party? What has the response been?
“The response as has been incredible. And that’s perhaps the most shocking thing to me. I didn’t expect to get much of a response at all. I actually expected much more of a backlash. I expected people to be offended by this. It has been overwhelmingly positive. In just the few days since I announced The Party Party, thousands and thousands of people have shown so much genuine support,” he said.
“It’s something I thought about doing for a long time. I just think the conditions are finally right,” he continued. “The campaigns have brought people’s attention to the matters at hand and engaged people more than ever. I wanted to find a way to apply my party philosophy without pushing a political agenda. I’m just trying to serve my country in my own small and humble way.”
If you were forced to vote for one of the candidates running right now, who would it be and why?
“I don’t think people really value my opinion on that. No one cares what I think about their candidate. They should just keep thinking for themselves. I’m not an expert on any of the candidates, for better or worse. I’m only an expert on partying,” he said.
“There are things that I like and don’t like about each of the candidates — and things I admire about all of them, especially their work ethic,” he added. “Anyone working to achieve that level of success in politics, it takes an almost inhuman kind of effort. But when it comes to these candidates as leaders? Leading me? Leading us? I think at a certain level we each have to be our own president.”
While he identifies with the values of libertarianism and classical liberalism, his Party Party is all-inclusive and open to anyone who wants to engage in politics, and shares his unique optimism.
“Thats what liberty is to me, it is having the freedom to learn your own lessons from your own experiences in life. We should all be able to learn these things our own way. To find goodness and righteousness from experiences and our freedom, rather than being told what is good and right through someone else’s dogma and restriction.”
Conventional wisdom says Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders shouldn’t be where they are, and yet both candidates have inspired millions of people who are upset with the political elite. Do you think that discord is drawing interest to your cause?
“Maybe so,” he said. “I’m certainly excited about how far both of those guys have gotten. And how far removed they are from the typical politician. They share a lot of similarities. Some of their policies are closer than one might expect. It is exciting. A lot of people are scared of these guys. But anything revolutionary will always have a scary side to it, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
In the end, Andrew W.K. views both Trump and Sanders as men and New Yorkers: “I don’t think Bernie necessarily fits in with the Democrats and Donald Trump doesn’t necessarily fit in with the Republicans. A lot of people are starting to let go of the ‘one side vs. the other side’ mentality.”
“It is constant conflict, constant division. It’s a huge distraction and a huge waste of energy. Its very hard to not take part in discord… That is one of the main things I want to offer with the Party Party: to encourage optimism when people are feeling turned off or disillusioned by the division. I am not encouraging people to disengage; I’m encouraging them engage more deeply and to face these challenges together.”
Do you feel like some of the political unrest is healthy for our democracy?
“I would like to believe that coming together takes effort. It’s never going to be easy,” he said. “There is always pain involved in growth. There is always pain in life. But if we’re going to make it through this, we have to understand we’re all in it together. When you’re going through the hardest time in your life you still find a way to keep going. Something pure and fun and unrestrained that reminds you why you are striving so hard in the first place. That’s when the things we love become more important than ever. Our love for our family, our friends. Our love of music even. Sometimes if you just hum a little song, or dance a little dance, or just smile, it gives you that spark to keep on going. There is a real power there. That’s what partying is all about.”
“One thing I have found interesting during this last year, is that my appreciation and love of the United States of America, with all its glory and complexities, has increased and intensified throughout these tumultuous times,” he continued. “I almost love it more because of its imperfections. That this place exists to facilitate and allow debate and discussion, like what’s going on now in politics — there are plenty of countries on earth where debate is forbidden. And yet we encourage it, and it makes us stronger. Somehow even though it sometimes feels like it’s tearing us apart, we are still holding together because of the brilliant inspiration under which this nation was founded. America is an incredible phenomenon and it’s working. We’re still here. It’s this tremendous achievement of the human spirit.”
Where do you think D.C. politicians get it wrong?
“If I could some sum it, I would say there is an extraordinary lack of partying in Washington,” he claimed.
Where has America gone wrong?
“America hasn’t gone wrong,” he replied. “There is a very large chasm between Americans and their government. Probably a lack of personal moral integrity in the ambitions of many career politicians,” he says. “But I don’t think we are ‘wrong’ or ‘doomed’, we just have a lot of work to do. As individuals and as a country. It’s an intense but exciting time.”
Andrew W.K. also believes in “American exceptionalism,” but said: “It doesn’t have to be at the expense of other philosophies.”
“Western civilization has applied the principles of being free with the most inertia and energy. You don’t have to look very far to see a person in another country who can’t legally be who they are… But I also appreciate all the various contributions that people of the world can add to the human story,” he said. “Some of those contributions show us what to do, other contributions show us what not to do. We have seen time and time again that any attempt to restrain or limit the human spirit ultimately fails. It goes against nature itself. Liberty is as natural as the shining sun. And yet it is delicate and must be carefully nurtured and protected. There does seem to be an undeniable element of destiny and how the values at the core of our country allow for the realization of each human’s potential. I would like to think that’s the destiny of all humanity. For us to be ourselves. And I’m extremely proud of the U.S.A. for leading the way.”
Have you watched the debates?
“I watched a bunch of them, especially at first,” he said. “I think the last few I watched I got a bit burned out. They did get bit more civil but there were too many debates, too many of the same questions, and too many people on stage. Any more than three to four people and you lose the ability to have a meaningful discussion. The town halls are much better.”
Regarding the debates, he added: “There is something ridiculous and amazing in the procedure and the pageantry. I relate most to politics in terms of spectacle and showmanship. It really is a form of entertainment. I don’t know if that’s good or bad — probably a bit of both.”
While politicians squabble about policy, Andrew W.K. is more concerned with ensuring children are fed and that American veterans are not sleeping on the sidewalks.
“I was in New York during 9/11, so I understand and feel the intensity of that fear,” he about Americans’ serious concerns about foreign policy and national security. While he hasn’t yet drafted platform specifics, there is one subject that seems to temporarily halt the momentum of the party train.
“A veteran being homeless is a disgrace. That should be addressed on the first day of a new presidency. It’s a complete disgrace,” he said. “Some of these issues are more complex, but a veteran being homeless or in emotional despair or without healthcare or assistance — that is not complex, it’s just wrong. They deserve so much better. It’s an outrage.”
“Nothing upsets me more than a veteran being neglected or a child without food,” he added.
A lot of people today attempt to shut down others over their own hurt feelings. Would a Party Party be politically correct?
“Hopefully yes and no, what makes something PC or un-PC is pretty subjective,” he said. “What’s offensive to one person is not to another. We know it’s a very slippery slope, but there is nothing wrong with kindness and sensitivity. Still, freedom of expression is one of the greatest found in principals this nation was built on. We should never take it for granted, and we should really be careful about trying to undermine that freedom. I understand each person’s situation is unique, but when it comes to something like limiting expression, making laws based on being offended, or needing a ‘safe space,’ I think our ultimate goal should be to each have our safe space be inside of us. Each one of us is our own safe space. Our mind should be a safe space. Being safe in yourself allows you to go out in the world and encounter it for all it is worth. We can help each other get their. If you don’t like someone else’s party. You don’t have to shut it down. You just start your own party.”
Andrew W.K. also praised new media for stirring the pot and joining the conversation.
“I’m actually a big fan of Breitbart, and I got to be on an episode [of Red Eye] with the late Andrew [Breitbart]. It was a memorable experience,” he said. “We deserve more than just going to CNN or Fox News or the New York Times. What Breitbart brings to the table is very important. It is unhinged, much like Mr. Breitbart himself was. We could use more of that. Being unhinged is underrated.”
In addition to wanting to mend the country through partying, Andrew W.K. is currently working on a new album and his set to begin appearing on Red Eye again for the first time since Gutfeld stepped aside.
“I’m just interested in finding common ground,” he said of moving forward. “Music gives those moments of unification. You can party with someone that you know nothing about. Someone with a totally different background or line of thought. But you can still both appreciate being alive, and you can find common ground in that.”
He hopes to help people find that same common ground when discussing politics. Andrew W.K. says his Party Party plans to organize for meetings in the future, whether or not it receives official recognition from the State Department.
He doesn’t know exactly what those meetings will entail, but he wants everyone to know they’re invited to the party, whether they like it or not.