ANDREW W.K. recently answered a fan question on his web site regarding his musical influences. "I love the MISFITS VERY, VERY, VERY much (especially 'Walk Among Us'), but there's no way that I could ever come close to doing what they've done..." he wrote. "And what would be the point anyway — they are the best at being the MISFITS! They are them! You know? It's like a flower in the forest. A beautiful flower in the forest is something that should be respected and cherished and enjoyed everyday, but to pick it and make it all yours is not respectful at all. That's why I'm very protective and careful when it comes to all the wonderful stuff out there that I love so much. I would never tarnish it or kill it by trying to consume it entirely... you know? But that's just me... SLAYER, of course, is amazing. I love tons of punk and metal bands... OBITUARY especially — the singing by John Tardy, is some of the best singing ever, anywhere, and I'm not exaggerating. I truly believe that John Tardy is one of the most important and best rock singers anywhere. His voice is like no other, and the amount of feeling and real visceral emotion that comes out of him is absolutely unmatched... still to this day. You know? There's a lot of stuff that influences a person and the things that they do. All kinds of people and places and friends and foes and experiences all around the dial! And music isn't necessarily the combination of a person's favorite stuff. Sometimes music can be the result of a person's desires or goals, or their skills, and all the other things in their life etc. You know? Or it can be very simple - the music can just be the result of wanting to do that one thing as best you can! This music knows what it is and what it should be and what it wants to do, so all I have to do is make sure that it gets there. You know what I mean? There isn't a lot of figuring out about how it should sound, or what it should sound like... it just needs to sound good, really, really good... and that's what I focus on. Also, someone could be an amazing violin player, but they might love music that has nothing to do with violin. And there are lots of punk and metal bands that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, but they don't necessarily have total impact on the music that is being made here. And that's O.K., either way... you know? A lot of the musical desires come from the instruments that I can play and the way that I can play them... it's all about the piano at the beginning and the end of the day. It's all about the melodies. The music itself. Not the idea or the attitude, but most of all just the notes and chords and rhythms - the music. I just try to make what sounds the best. I was learning and playing piano before I liked or knew about punk or metal bands at all. You know what I mean? I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with making music after your favorite stuff! There's no wrong way to do anything that you love... just as long as you do what you want. Right? Anyway, when it comes to bands, the bands that most influenced me, inspired me, and motivated me to take my piano and apply it and push it into a bigger and better sound were the bands and people that I met growing up in High School. It was very life changing for me to see people doing things full-on, right in front of my face. Bands like COUCH, SCHEME, GALEN, NEMA, CHORE, LARYNX ZILLIONS... those were people that I could see in my own neighborhood and actually be at the core of what they were doing. When I was a teenager it seemed very important to actually be able to be in the middle of something, and not on the sidelines. That feeling of core energy became a big part of what I want this music to do. And the spirit and work ethic and values have been influenced and directed from strings of friends that I've grown up around. That's how those things have influenced me — I've had the good fortune to be around people that did a lot of amazing stuff all the time, and they did what they wanted and they did it like the world was coming to an end. But the music that this is and what it sounds like is the result of a very specific desire to produce the most awesome melodies that I can, and then use all that I know to make it as huge and moving as possible. It's not really about other things, it's just about making this one thing, and I love to try and make it as great as it can be. I figure all those other things that I love so much are already taken care of and already being done better than I could ever do them anyway."
ANDREW W.K.'s sophomore full-length effort, "The Wolf", is due on September 9 (a day earlier internationally) through Island DefJam Records.