Finally the last old thing I am republishing here. In 2010/2011 I was pretty obsessed with the Andrew WK 'controversy' and compiled a rather lengthy post about it with the outrageously pretentious title "My Advanced Hero: Andy Wilkes-Krier, or The Possibly Contrived Advancement of Andrew WK" which you can read in its mostly unedited form below. I will add that the story seems to have dissipated, though I don't follow 'the news' close enough to tell you for sure.

1.14.10: I do believe that Andrew WK is Advanced (maybe even regardless of all this). My take on the whole muddled situation--Is he really him? Is he playing a character? I think at the beginning he entered into a contract to become "Andrew WK" after the original guy playing the "Andrew WK" character (some unknown entity hired by a bunch of producers/label-people) couldn't cut it. And I feel like what happened was the new "Andrew WK," or the person who we all know to be Andrew WK since 2001 basically, was better than they ever imagined. And he personally made the "Andrew WK brand" really successful. Blah blah blah, several years pass, rumors are circulated... Andrew WK eventually gets out of his contract, makes a deal with the original "owners" of the Andrew WK (or more likely: significantly alters the arrangement), and is now in a position of greater financial and creative control. BUT, as a stipulation, he can still only say so much about his music industry origins. And in a statement released on his website (1.3.10) when he says, "I was never an actor and the partnerships I made with friends, family, and the companies I've worked with have all been to promote entertainment, excitement, and fun - to give people something fun to focus on and to occupy our thoughts, instead of a bunch of fear or negativity," he certainly isn't lying. It seems clear that this talented person is responsible for the success of Andrew WK (whether you want to put that in quotations or not). Like a lot of people trying to break into the entertainment industry (See American Idol, Milli Vanilli, Tiffany, Fall Out Boy, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Radiohead, and more), there is sometimes sketchiness involved at the onset. When real talent emerges though, we shouldn't hold its authenticity, its cultural relevance, and the genuine enjoyment we take from it hostage.

And so now we can all close that chapter of The Internet Rumor Book (Chapter CXII btw). Below you'll find an excerpt from the MXDWN interview, but you should really read the whole the thing.
"MXDWN: You mentioned that you weren’t the first person to play Andrew WK. Has there only been two? Has there been more than two?

WK: Well that’s one of those, more tricky questions, in terms of what I’m allowed to say. I can say is that what I said in the press conference in London, that was 100% true. There were sort of giant leaps and conclusions that some people had come to based on what I said that really is not the case, and whether I am actually Andrew WK or whether I am playing Andrew WK, there should be no doubt about that. I am Andrew WK. I am a real person. As far as whether there’s either been someone else or whether there’s even been another Andrew WK… that’s where I either have to go off the record or answer it by saying, it doesn’t really matter in terms of what has been done, what’s the result, which is the music and that entertainment that I’ve made. The whole idea about the London show was to put an end to that, and it unfortunately opens up a lot more questions than answers." [LINK]

Recently, WK has been hosting some ticketed "Ask Me Anything" at his own NYC rock club, Santos Party House [since closed down]. For the record: I don't necessarily agree with his decision to suddenly become transparent. I always thought these strange rumors added to his mystic. But perhaps coming clean is the Advanced move. I certainly didn't see it coming. Also: Is he eating Cheetos and peanuts together? With a spoon? Now that is fucking Advanced.

UPDATE (1.15.10): Per the man himself's twitter feed, there's this interview w/ his former drummer. And then there's this which I somehow missed before:



To which a YouTube commenter had a (rare) decent response for:


Look, I'll admit this is at least 30% of the reason why I am fascinated by him (and that my analysis above might be off the mark). But if it is all a "marketing ploy," it's working to some degree. We'll have to wait until February to get the "real" answers.

UPDATE (1.16.10): I neglected to link to some of the original internet rumor sources. Both of these are great if not totally fantastical reads:

-The Truth About Andrew WK Blogspot: This guy updated his blog for the first time in years to address the recent developments, posting the following picture which he said he ripped from Andrew WK's own website:


But I couldn't find it myself among the 100s of photos in the AWK Gallery. I did find this super cute one though:


It's that author(JWTRUTHSEEKER)'s second post which contains the real inflammatory accusations though; relating both WK and Lady Gaga (?) to a much greater conspiracy (think 9/11).

-And then we have these other ones which I'll just link to: Who is Andrew WK? [site defunct] | Does Steev Mike Exist? | ANDREW W.K. & STEEV MIKE INFORMATION PAGE | There's others out there as well. This is a regular cottage industry, you see.

And here's a recent interview w/ MTV News:



I might need to rethink my original position stated in ¶-1 of this post. I think I agree w/ this MTV News dude when he says, "I'm not sure we found anything out really but we do now that there really is some sort of mystery at the heart of this thing."

The point is this: Every nugget I encounter just further muddies the whole thing, which in turn really does make me more interested in Andrew WK. SO I am playing right into the hands of this marketing strategy. But to which I would then respond by saying whatevz. Until next time.

UPDATE (2.1.10): Very long interview with Metal Sucks follows the same path, but there are few nuggets. I thought this was telling:
"MS: Right. I’m not trying to put words in your mouth here at all, so don’t take offense, but it sounds almost like you’re saying that you’re advised to almost perpetuate this rumor.

AWK: Saying it like that, it makes it more of a question of whether it’s a rumor or not.

Well, it is. People are saying it. I think the definition of a rumor is that people aren’t sure but whispers are going around.

Well maybe the best way for me to respond is to say I can’t confirm or deny that issue.

The issue being whether or not you were advised to perpetuate this rumor as I stated it?

No, no, no. Whether or not I am Andrew W.K. in a way that was addressed in the lecture.

Got it. So whether or not you are the same guy as on the I Get Wet album?

No, not that. The idea that Andrew W.K. has been . . . the idea that . . . oh man. I don’t know how to say it.

It’s fine. Take your time.

I’m not able to find the right words that I’m able to say in order to put this together. It’s ridiculous. I’m sorry.

That’s okay.

There’s a reason why for a long time that I didn’t talk about this stuff at all and tried to avoid it as much as I possibly could. For years we did, until 2005 it never came up at all. Then there was a bunch of very unfortunate turns of events that we dealt with. It started being something that I haven’t been able to avoid, and it’s been really embarrassing and it’s been infuriating. It’s all my fault, really. I don’t want to look like I’m trying to blame someone or look like a victim because everything that I’m involved in, I got involved in. You know what I mean?

I wouldn’t be in this situation if I didn’t sign up for it a long time ago.

Sure."
UPDATE (2.27.10): So I'm a few days late w/ this but Andrew WK answered questions in a 'town hall' setting at his bar/nightclub in Manhattan this week. Here is a clip from the live stream on justin.tv [site defunct; found it on YouTube]:


Obviously, nothing new. (Watch full Q/A here) But I did find this tweet semi-telling in the aftermath:
"& now I'm trying to make it look intentional???" Isn't that exactly what one of the accusations was in the first place? That this WAS intentional? How do we accurately take this statement? Does it send us several more miles down the rabbit hole, or should we at least give Andrew the benefit of the doubt that A) something DID happen, and B) that something wasn't anything they ever wanted to use for media attention (but they're happy to start using it now)? No clue, man. This is getting exhausting, and there's been very little payoff recently. I need a new bombshell to drop or I ain't buying the new record.

UPDATE (4.15.10): Earlier today I read--via a tweet by the man in question--an article at The Guardian UK: LINK. This article is a follow-up to something I blogged a little awhile ago: Andrew WK's story (and song) about the time he stalked a girl. In this follow-up, The Author (Andrew WK) talks about the time, after he got famous, when this same girl came to NYC to stalk him out. Both of these 'articles' are semi-amusing, but what stands out above all is how he refers to himself in this 2nd one. He writes:
"To cut a long story short, I decided it was time to get out of the area for a clean break. I moved to New York City and soon signed up to do Andrew WK."
WTF? At this point, it's hard to read something like this and not think that AWK is simply trying to stoke the fire of controversy about who he really is. And now it's getting sad. I had my doubts about the authenticity of the 1st half of this yarn--I mentioned in the blog post linked to above how the stalker song did not sound like it was recorded by a high school version of AWK. And now these very deliberate remarks in Part 2 pretty much affirm my position. This is all publicity bullshit. In a relatively short passage, The Author (Andrew WK) refers to himself as a non-person entity 4 different times. (There's also a weird aside about how these articles are part of a therapy he's going through. I thought he was the all-confident motivational speaker guy?) I suppose part of me be happy about this. I've said time and time again how all this weird confusion only serves to make him more interesting as an artist. But I think at this point something big needs to happen. If this is all theater, well, the story is getting boring. We need some kind of reveal, or new arc to the storyline. Regardless, I will still follow this non-saga so you don't have to. This has been another episode of Who is Andrew WK? Improv Thursdays, thanks for watching. Nice baseball hat. Jerk.

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