Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Tampa Bay Music & Shows

Andrew W.K. parties hard, but how's his putting?

Call it "Oh, Florida," concert edition: Andrew W.K. is performing at a Wesley Chapel golf course.

That's right, the Party Hard musician will be headlining a free concert Friday night at Quail Hollow Golf Club, following 102.5 The Bone's Real Raw Open Golf Tournament.

Andrew W.K. is no stranger to unusual concert venues, having performed at the Gathering of Juggalos, DJed for Black Sabbath and spoken at a My Little Pony convention. And it makes even more sense when you learn his brother, Patrick Wilkes-Krier, is a professional golfer.

In an interview, the singer discussed his athletic past, his brother and wife's sports careers and his participation in the World Snowboarding Championship in Oslo, Norway. Here are excerpts.

On playing sports when he was younger: "My mom was very passionate about getting my brother and me involved in sports at the school and summertime — soccer, some basketball, some baseball, softball — probably between the ages of 5-6 up to around 13. But the main sport my mom really encouraged, and she herself participated in as a younger person, was swimming. So I did pretty much year-round swimming on the swim team during the school year for the high school varsity team and during the summer for independent swim leagues around the Michigan area."

On his greatest moment of glory in sports: "There was one time I had to swim this very dreaded event called the 500 freestyle, which is 500 meters and about 20 laps. It's one of the longer competitive races that exists and certainly was the longest offered at the level of swimming I had done in high school. That was a big moment to have completed a long race.

"There was one Sunday with swim practice where we had to swim 200 laps, or maybe 500 laps. It didn't matter how long it took, you just had to keep swimming until you finished it. I think it took me about six hours and I went into shock after that — I think literally. That's probably my most memorable event because that was the hardest thing I had probably done in my life at that point."

On his brother's athletic career: "He really liked sports a lot more than I did and he was just a better athlete. And now he's actually a professional golfer. He's even played golf at Quail Hollow."

On the World Snowboarding Championship: "It was incredible, being someone that doesn't know how to snowboard at all. I mean, I skied a little bit, and did quite poorly at it … However, my wife Cherie Lily, who's also my band member, she came over as well to perform with me — we were the musical ambassadors. And she is a snowboarder and actually was one of the first competitive female snowboarders in the county in the '90s. So for her, it was this big thrill to meet all these legendary snowboarders and of course to snowboard herself."

On how he ended up playing a golf tournament: "A lot of my band members live in Florida — Orlando, Tampa, Brandon area. So I believe that it was through connections they might've had there themselves and they were just looking for a band to bring that party spirit for a good cause. So I'm very excited about it. We play as a full band all the time, but this is an extra-special show in that regard, that it's in their home state. Our band really started in Florida, even though I live in New York. I even moved down and lived in Seffner for a while with my guitar player and one of my best friends, Frank. We really started the whole group, the whole Andrew W.K. adventure began in Florida."

On his favorite sports video game: "I always liked the basketball sports games. I'm going back a little ways, but NBA Jam, which was also a great arcade game. We just have video game consoles, some version of Playstation, on the tour bus a lot of the times. My original drummer Donald Tardy, who is from Tampa and one of the founding brothers of the legendary Florida death metal band Obituary, was a very passionate sports fan — basketball, but also football. When we were on tour, he would actually buy the season pass subscription to make sure he could get all the games on the satellite on the tour bus. That was the most committed sports fan I ever toured with, where he would actually make sure that even at the cost of several hundred dollars, that he would be able to never miss a game."

On Huey Lewis and the News' Sports: "Yeah, that was a really big album, right? There's a lot of great songs on that, for sure. It's got a great vibe."

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