Way before Andrew W.K. was the dude who clogged your Facebook timeline with inane PARTY TIPS, he was making some of the best music of the aughts, namely his 2001 debut I Get Wet and its follow-up, 2003’s The Wolf, which were loaded with music ostensibly purposed to soundtrack — yes — parties, but which layered some incredibly violent, seriously disturbing thoughts and images beneath the surface of its massive video-game riffs. It was subversive stuff! I dunno, maybe I’m paranoid, but all his tics and routines have seemed to me small pieces of some massive performance-art project that will be revealed in like 2112, coinciding with some AWK-led hippie-cult occupation of Scientology Ideal Orgs around the world. This is just conjecture! Just a vibe I get from the man! Today, though, another piece of his mysterious puzzle has been carefully fit into place: Andrew W.K. (aka Andrew Wilkes Krier, aka Andrew White Killer, aka Andrew Women Kum) has been named the face of Playtex Fresh + Sexy Wipes. Quoth W.K., per the press release:
“Whether you just finished rocking a packed club or have an intimate encounter after a busy day, this product will make couples feel brand new. Fresh + Sexy Wipes were specially designed to help couples feel confidently clean, before and after they engage in sexual activity!”
Sounds like the marketing-speak of a perfectly balanced individual with no bizarre conspiracy up his sleeve whatsoever! Look, because I’ll probably never write the “Deconstructing: Andrew W.K.” I’ve been cataloging for years, let me share with you some of the research I compiled for a 2011 story:
In 2004, well after the media had ceased to care about Andrew W.K., a series of curious posts on his (ostensibly hacked) website suggested that the artist was part of a high-level conspiracy — and was not, in fact, a single artist, but a massive construction helmed by a person/business entity named Steev Mike (who does indeed have a credit on I Get Wet) and a Masonic secret society.
The stunt (?) had the unintended (?) effect of making Andrew W.K. appear as though he were succumbing to the very real effects of schizophrenia. (Even as it was happening, the story was hard to chase down. Today, it is nearly impossible, because many posts have been removed, and it unfolded across several websites, but there remains a fascinating and must-read thread on ILM that observed the event as it occurred.)
In 2009, five years after that first explosion of disinformation, Andrew W.K. said at a lecture that his persona was the creation of a committee, saying, “I’m not the guy you’ve seen from the I Get Wet album … I’m not that same person. I don’t just mean that in a philosophical or conceptual way. It’s not the same person at all.” (Numerous photos later appeared online to support this mind-boggling claim.)
He further “clarified” by saying, “Andrew W.K. was created by a large group of people. They met, and I was there, and we talked about how we could come up with something that would move people. It was done in the spirit of commerce. It was done in the spirit of entertainment, which usually goes hand in hand with commerce. I was auditioned, along side many other people, to fill this role of a ‘great frontman,’ ‘a great performer’. On the one hand it may be a little scary to admit this to you all, that I may not be exactly who you thought I was, and that the guy who was, in fact, first hired as Andrew W.K. is a different person than the guy sitting here on the stage tonight. I’m the next person who is playing Andrew W.K.”
In 2010, he released an amazingly bizarre statement — apropos of absolutely NOTHING — in which he said:
Since 2001, I have been accused of being part of a conspiracy in which I knowingly entered into a contract with creative directors called Steev Mike, who proceeded to invent a new identity for me to perform under. I’m here to say this is simply not true and a gross exaggeration of easily explainable and common-place music industry practices.
Later in 2010, numerous posts across the Web suggested that Andrew W.K. — and Lady Gaga (!) — “were manufactured by Illuminati owned mega-corporations to spread an agenda of influence over the youth of the world.” For more on this one (including images equating Andrew W.K., Gaga and Baphomet), the Andrew W.K. Lady Gaga and Illuminati Conspiracy blog, and The Truth About Andrew W.K. blog are essential reading. For what it’s worth, I’d be astonished if either blog (along with a handful of others) were written by anyone other than Andrew W.K. himself.
Anyway, how the Playtex gambit fits into this bizarre maze of subterfuge remains a mystery. Said Playtex regarding the collabo:
“This exciting new product required the help of someone who could embody the brand’s playful yet bold campaign; someone who could party hard, but still be clean when it counted.”
Someone should probably alert their interactive marketing team, at some point, to this PARTY TIP:
Partying in the same white t-shirt and jeans since 1999 and never needing to change. #ThatsThePowerOfPostivePartying
— ANDREW WK (@AndrewWK) February 10, 2013