Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is Andrew W.K a persona that has been played by multiple actors? Marc Maron in conversation with Andrew W.K.

WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 313 - Andrew W.K.
I was once enthralled by an interesting conversation with Party Rocker Andrew W.K on Triple J radio, it struck me enough that I spent several days referencing it in conversations. During this time I was informed by someone who'd partied with the man that he was actually a persona that had been through several incarnations. He was merely a "mask", a legacy that could be donned by alternate actors. A motivational superhero, the proverbial masked wrestler except in plain sight.

As a wrestling fan and someone fascinated with identity this was an intriguing revelation. I wasn't even aware of such speculation, some cursory googling confirms there is credible baggage associated with Andrew W.K's identity. Personally it didn't change anything as I believe its "all real", if anything the hearsay only makes him more more compelling.

Interestingly an American artist I ran with in Barcelona offered the same theory for elusive artist 'Banksy' though I suspect his speculation came from a place of ignorance as he was mispronouncing his name as 'Banky'.

When Andrew W.K later appeared on Marc Maron's WTF podcast I listened to it through the prism that he was a Performance artist. In this light, I've pulled portions of the chat that allude to this likelihood. The episode is a largely typical WTF episode (existential, storytelling) but there was definitely some coded messaging going on. Either it was genuine or some playful improv to perpetuate a myth. Is the "Philosopher of Partying" a persona, judge for yourself.

Referencing "Soul" in relation to love and life
WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 313 - Andrew W.K.
MARC MARON: (22m 30s) I'm a true believer that the "One Soulmate" idea is bullshit
ANDREW W.K: For you?
MARON: For anybody
W.K: Geez Marc
MARON: What?
W.K: I wanna think that it exists
MARON: You're soul is so small it needs to limit itself?
W.K: Its extremely small, of course that's why I try to compensate for the other...
MARON: You're compensating for your tiny soul
W.K: I gave up my soul a looooong -- well not that long ago. About 12 years ago
MARON: To who?
W.K: When I moved to New York
MARON: You did not! You're full of soul. You're all about the soul
W.K: And that's the trick!
MARON: I get that. That IS the trick
W.K: You make them think it. Noooo there's no trickery going on. I'm having fun...
Maron crossing the line and breaking kayfabe
MARC MARON: (1h 04m 50s) Don't subvert your destiny
ANDREW W.K: You can
MARON: I think that what you're talking about is an example of being a creative person and realising your limitations and pursuing the best you can with your talent
W.K: I think you said it very well. I feel very limited so I was pleased to find one thing
MARON:  But you're not that limited. You've developed a theme, a tone and what appears to be a character for yourself
awkward air arises
W.K: Hey now!
MARON: What?
W.K: You see that sign? It says apple sauce. I'm just kidding it says "Applause". Will you flash that sign for me. You know what that is right?
Marc starts clapping and giggling
Remember the better you do, the better Larry does. Ok he's giving me a sign. He's giving me 5 seconds, its exciting isn't it? No no no...
the air normalises
Andrew W.K on his persona and being beholden to it
MARC MARON: (58m 40s) How do you get from this appreciation of the anarchists, the geniuses and the poets. How did you build yourself into what you became?
ANDREW W.K: I can't compete with them. They've already done it, they done a good job with all that they've done. That's just what I do for my own interests. My work that I do as Andrew W.K has nothing to do with my own tastes or hobbies or interests and things like that
MARON: Why is that?
W.K: Umm I guess its just with the agreements I made and the choices I made early on. It's not like its not a dream come true
MARON: What are those agreements though? You've probably talked about it before and I apologise
W.K: No no its the most trivial, unimportant stuff. Its just contracts and business things like that. What I'm saying is that when you know what you need to do and you signed up to do it and you know what it takes and what you've agreed to in order to achieve that. It not like I have a separate life. I don't look at it as a job, a 9 to 5 job
MARON: That is the business
W.K: I feel there's a time and place for it all. The Gods will continue to guide me and my managers, the people I work with in this version of reality will also guide me. I'm patient that's the thing
MARON: Do you have Gods? Do you have them for real or are you saying that?
W.K: Guardian angels, however you wanna put it.
MARON: Do you have them?
W.K: Everybody does. Well I do.
MARON: Well are you a spiritual cat?
W.K: No just pragmatic
MARON: Pragmatic and willing to mythologise
W.K: I can't discount these things with the life I've led. I feel it would be disrespectful to the forces beyond myself, to my mum and dad and my mentors. There are other things at work...
To be honest I was never much fussed on finding the absolute truth on whether Andrew W.K was a construct. I'm just delighted that the phenomenon exists. For those wondering if there's any larger meaning behind it all, Maron and W.K offer some clues in the beginning of their chat.

On art and life being esoteric and "making sense of it all"
ANDREW W.K: (16m) One of the most amazing things he [Professor] said, I don't just think it applies to esoteric thought It applies to maybe life, at least culture. "The fact you don't understand it is the point"
MARC MARON: Right! Cuz its constantly provocative
W.K: Its inspiring thought.
MARON: Exactly
W.K: Thank goodness cuz I felt like an idiot all these years that I didn't get it
MARON: That is very provocative... You spend your life trying to crack some sort of code thinking that, there's part of you that thinks like "I gotta make sense of it". How many times do you say to yourself "I just gotta figure it out
W.K: I wanna know!
MARON: I gotta figure it out. Someone knows!
W.K: Someday its all gonna make sense
Find other Marc Maron posts below:
- AV Club's Nathan Rabin talks about Podcast Culture on Marc Maron's 300th episode of WTF
- Actor, Writer and Traveler Mike White speaks to Marc Maron about Adventure
- Dan Harmon talks Television with Marc Maron on GT4: "Hamburger" Art and living in a "concrete, Orwellian Honeycomb"
- Is Andrew W.K a persona that has been played by multiple actors? Marc Maron in conversation with Andrew W.K.

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