Ramones drummer Marky Ramone brings his energetic Blitzkrieg tour to the West Coast and there might not be any better candidate to lead the newly assembled cast than party ambassador Andrew W.K.
With 34 songs from the Ramones catalog under their belt, the show at The Independent on October 12 revives some of the most influential punk rock ever recorded. We caught up with Andrew W.K. to talk about Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg, life in New York and cats.
You’re on tour singing with Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg. How is it going, so far?
We did the European stretch and I was able to really bone up and learn how to do this show. Now I feel like we have the best show to offer for fans of Marky and the Ramones.
It’s really fitting, what can I say? I am a part of one of the best bands ever, and this a privilege of a lifetime. I don’t expect anyone hearing this or reading this to completely understand, but there’s opportunity and there’s privilege for all the fans out there. Most of all, the music itself is so mystical and so magical. The fact of the matter is these songs get under your skin and in your soul. The hard part is done. The rest will take it care of self.
I’m sure playing with Marky, a childhood idol, is pretty unreal?
I’m thankful to be doing anything at all, that’s first and foremost. That’s my state of mind. We’ve never done this over there (on the West Coast). I’m broken down, bowed down, lowered down to my ankles, down to my knees, my spine is shaken and my knees are blown out. I’m amazed that I get to sing these songs.
It’s also that he’s really nice and funny, and very good at playing drums. There’s a precious thing called existence, and some people for whatever reason have this chance to make this incredible thing called music. And there are some folks that think certain kinds of music don’t count, but it all counts. There are billions of odds against every person, so you just have to enjoy the phenomenon you call music.
Do you have any plans for a new Andrew W.K. record?
Not really; I used to make plans. I don’t really have any more plans. I’m just trying to play these songs and whatever will happen will happen. So yeah, I’m just “keepin’ it real” as they say.
You’ve become synonymous with partying, but what does Andrew W.K. like to do when he’s not partying?
In the old days, and by that I mean before I turned eighteen and moved to New York City, I used to have other interests and other activities—day to day activities and rituals. Now I don’t really have any other interests aside from being alive.
So you’re the only other person I’ve met born at Stanford hospital. Were you really born there?
I think so, my mom said it was Stanford and my dad thought she was lying. If anyone were to know, it would be my mom.
Why did you move to New York and did it live up to your expectations?
It just seemed like the most chaotic place and the most intense place, and it seemed like the best place.
No, it didn’t live up to my expectations. It only exceeded. It’s kind of met them, doubled them, crashed them and then exploded them. It’s a vortex here. It’s a whirlpool. It is what it is. It’s very intense.
Have you ever owned any pets?
I’ve never had a pet, but a lot of my friends do. I don’t know if it’s a choice my parents made. I’ve had my hands on some animals over the years and had my ways with them. I like the idea of having a creature and shaping it.
I guess raising a pet is sort of like raising a child?
You could apply that to any relationship, with another human, or even yourself. Like what am I gonna do with this precious time? Do you own any pets?
I currently have a cat named Church. It’s named after the demonic cat from Pet Cemetery. They have the same eyes.
I played with cats. They are the most stoic animals of the domesticated pets. They’re temperamental and they have their personalities. They will play with a ball of string, and I always felt embarrassed that they’d play with that, which is really nothing— it’s a piece of garbage. And yet they will play with that more than any other life form presented to them.
If you’ve ever had a pet cat, or a bird, or a mouse, you’ll see some interaction. And they seem so ready to go, and just when you want them to be a part of your life they won’t do it. They hold this level of resentment, but no one’s holding them back.
I see your point. I had a cat run away once. He was such a different cat when he was outdoors in his primitive surroundings. He was totally happy, but once he was inside he was a total dick, mainly because he was being captivated and domesticated, and some cats are just meant to be wild animals.
When you captivated him, you took away his very soul. That’s kind of the ‘end all-be all’ that comes along with being entertainment.