The new doc "Your Friend Andrew W.K." gives a brief but entertaining overview of the Community High grad's life
A new 48-minute documentary, Your Friend Andrew W.K., hit YouTube on June 13. It doesn't appear that Italian filmmaker Flavio De Feo interviewed W.K. for the film; instead, he uses clips from other interviews -- from MTV and Vice to Larry King and Glenn Beck -- to tell the story of the Community High grad who's known for three things: uplifting pop-metal music, motivational speaking, and partying hard (in a positive way).
The film is stylized -- with flashy edits and images overlaid as W.K. speaks -- and entertaining, but if you know a little bit about W.K.'s story, there won't be any revelations. And, yes, they do go into the whole "Steev Mike" thing that started in November 2004. It was claimed in various anonymous blogs and even in an alleged hack of W.K.'s site that he was, in fact, merely one of several actors playing the Andrew W.K. character, which was created by a group of creative individuals known as Steev Mike.
The whole thing felt like a situationist PR stunt, which even Larry King catches onto. But it did coincide with W.K.'s music career going somewhat quiet -- blamed on the legal actions from Steev Mike -- even as his motivational speaking gigs and other media opportunities increased, so who knows. In some ways, the Steev Mike episode -- if it was a PR stunt -- feels like it got out of hand and W.K. now has had to address it in virtually every interview since -- I even asked him about it in 2012; I got nothin' -- and he just says the same things over and over.
Actually, W.K. says the same things over and over in his music and speeches, too, but that's fine: He's a highly entertaining character -- like Groucho Marx was a character. It's a role of a lifetime.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.