Andrew WK tells us about Comic-con, Dick Cheney, Karl Lagerfield and more

26 September 2011 by Lee Frank Category: interview
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Andrew WK is a hero of mine. I’ve loved him since I first heard “Party Hard” and scored touchdowns on Madden to “She Is Beautiful.” In July, just using Twitter, I reached out to Andrew WK that we would love to work with him on a future project. He got in touch almost immediately. We will talk more about that project in the future, but in the meantime, we were able to interview him all about life and OF COURSE, Nachos.

Nachos NY: How did you get started? What was your first instrument?
Andrew WK: Piano, my dad played piano as a casual hobby. But he started taking lessons when I was born. In my early years, I would he see him playing in the house. Then my parents took me to learn how to play at this great school in Michigan.

What is one instrument that you wish you could play?
I’d want to be a really really good saxophone player. That instrument seems very very expressive to me. I still think electric guitars seem to be the most expressive and singing but in terms of that ability to bend notes and play fluid as well as staccato to get such a range of sounds such a dynamic kind of sound. Also just in terms of getting to be extremely exciting. I’ve seen some really good saxophone players and it seems like it’s directly connected to their soul. They don’t have to think about what to play.

How long have you been in New York? Did you always live in Midtown?
I’ve been here about 14 years now. I first lived in Williamsburg with a friend I’m actually having dinner with tonight. He plays in a band called Sightings, Mark Morgan. He allowed me to crash on a cot in their living room for what was supposed to be a couple days ended up being several months. Then I moved to Greenpoint and went on tour for 5 years straight and I would stay at my girlfriend’s house at the time in Manhattan and then decided to get my own house again and more recently moved into Midtown.


Andrew WK with Matt & Kim and Soulja Boy for Converse.

What was some of the best things you’ve done this summer?
Probably the most exciting part has been recording my new album and seeing that become further along and a more focused project. That’s been really great. Also getting to go to Comic con for the first time in San Diego was really amazing and I felt really stupid that I hadn’t gone before. I couldn’t believe it once I got there. I was overwhelmed by how awesome it was, just in every single way. The nicest people to being extremely well organized to incredible displays, just incredible costumes and incredible comic books.

You said you were on the road for 5 years. Did you eat nachos and where are your favorites?
It’s in Toronto and it’s called Sneaky Dee’s. They’re famous for their nachos and I’ve had them several times. That’s probably the only place that I remember having nachos on tour repeatedly where they were famous for them and I can remember that I was at that location. Other than that, of course, I’ve had nachos dozens and dozens and dozens of times. Especially in the South, Southwest side of the country; there’s very good and very plentiful nacho options.

What kind of nachos are your favorite?
I like all kinds of nachos. I like movie theater/baseball nachos. I like when just plain nachos with shredded cheese where the ends are kind of burnt. I can go on and on.

What is your favorite topping though?
I always like to get ground beef. I would be happy to never eat shredded beef again. They’ll have steak nachos, beef nachos, and chicken nachos, so I’ll just assume beef nachos means ground beef nachos because they’re calling that beef rather than steak. Then often times, it’s shredded beef. I worked at a restaurant growing up in Michigan that thought shredded beef was far superior to ground beef, like I was crazy for wanting ground beef. I just prefer well-seasoned ground beef. As far as a crazy topping, I just like very spicy so maybe habaneros. But if we’re talking about crazy toppings, I need to say I don’t like the spicy sweet combination like mango salsa. I know a lot of people like it, and I understand it and respect it, but I just don’t like it.

Have you or would you eat other varieties of nacho like dessert nachos?
Why would you want to try this crazy new friend that you don’t know about when you have this great best friend that’s like your lifelong best friend that you always have the best time with and you love.

That’s how I feel about it. I really feel strongly about them. I’ll try new things with other foods, but with nachos, it’s just a more important thing to me. I take it very seriously.

So you’ll go on the record as nachos being your favorite food?
Well I’ve never picked a favorite food before because I like other foods like pizza, burgers, indian food, and chinese food that’s probably pretty much it. If I just had to eat one or two foods, nachos and pizza would probably be it.

What’s your soundtrack for a nacho party?
The last time I ate nachos I think Lady Antebellum was playing on the radio which is interesting because usually in most Mexican restaurants it’s usually Mexican radio or traditional music. But the other day they were playing the country station and Lady Antebellum was playing. Andrew starts singing Need You Now. If I really had my choice, I would prefer maybe Motorhead.

Which 5 people living or dead would you like to eat nachos with?
I’d like to see if John Waters is into nachos. I’d be curious, he seems like he might like them. Maybe along that same line, someone he would also enjoy at the dinner would be Karl Lagerfeld. I kind of imagine that Karl wouldn’t necessarily want nachos as one of his top choices, but I think if John Waters was there to make him feel comfortable he would be happy. But he wears gloves a lot so he might need to eat nachos with a fork, I’ve done that before I think it’s very fun. I guess we want to invite … Rosie Perez. The important thing at a dinner party is making sure its not just who you like, but you also want to make sure your guests enjoy each others company. I think think she would really get along with the other two and I think they would really like her. I also kind of assume my wife gets to come with me in addition to the other 5 people, and I know that she would have a blast with Rosie Perez. 2 others to round it out, Kevin from The Office. (Brian Baumgartner). He comes from the world of entertainment and he seems pretty happy. For my last guest, I would pick Dick Cheney. I’ve wanted to meet him for a long time. I would love to talk with him. It’s hard to imagine him eating nachos. I wonder how he would handle himself at that table.

This is approximately what that ultimate nacho dinner would look like.

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