From the start of the ’00s, musician and motivational speaker Andrew W.K. has been jumping around the planet promoting the benefits of partying the human heart out. So relentless is his dedication that he’s been consulted on the topic by entertainment zeitgeisters like Jackass, Conan O’Brien, and The Daily Show. His music and modus operandi were forever immortalized—in one of the first crossovers of then-nascent youth culture with the summer blockbuster—in Old School. As the decade closes out, 2009 finds Andrew W.K. overseeing one of the best major nightclubs in New York City, Santos Party House, a brand new record label, and…a new kids gameshow on Cartoon Network that entails firing bazookas and setting off enough C4 to make John McClane grind a roll of Tums.
Entitled Destroy Build Destroy, Andrew W.K. serves as a white-denim ringmaster on episodes pitting two demolition squads of barely-teens. Last weekend’s premiere saw a team of Mathletes take on a team of Skaters. Pass the safety goggles and get your awkward on. The show’s grandiose objective is to build massive machinery and Road Warrior-esque makeshift vehicles, throw down the gauntlet on a bizarre stunt course, and then blow up the losing team’s creation. Big time. As we discuss below, the show plays like Michael Bay 101, utilizing military tanks and firearms in a novel—arguably thought-provoking—positive means to an end. If you’ve never read an interview with Andrew W.K., caution: you may find yourself hypnotized by his “punk rock feng shui” philosophy, as if lost amongst flowing robes accented by a stream of signature blood in the name of fun.
Hunter Stephenson: Andrew, what do you make of the critics who already say that your show, Destroy Build Destroy, will lead to a kid being accidentally blown up?
Andrew W.K.: Well, that’s certainly always a concern when you’re presenting potentially hazardous situations to anybody. This could be a show about senior citizens and I’m sure there would almost be as much concern about them injuring themselves. Whenever you’re venturing into the exciting part of the world and want to present it, there tends to be risk there. But, I always have a lot confidence in the intelligence of young people to be safe, to do what they want to do. Just because there is someone out there who might end up hurting themselves doesn’t mean that everyone else needs to have all that excitement taken away. That’s how I’ve been thinking of it…