A decade after Andrew W.K.’s debut album, “I Get Wet,” dropped in the U.S., he’s still saturated in it.
“I like the songs a lot more now, which surprised me a great deal,” says the man born Andrew Wilkes-Krier, who’s celebrating the record — chock-full of avant-jock-rock anthems — by playing it in its entirety on his current tour. (A 10th-anniversary deluxe reissue is due out in July.)
“At this point, I’ve probably heard the songs or performed them … it’s got to be getting close to thousands of times. And to not have it become boring — it’s an automatic power. However many times you jam your finger into a light socket, it’s going to feel very intense every time.”
Wilkes-Krier’s positive flame could have been extinguished by all the legal wrangling over his name and music rights that has complicated his career since “I Get Wet” came out. (Rumors and confusion around a mysterious producer or group of persons known as “Steev Mike” circulated for years.) Wilkes-Krier’s rock offerings have been sporadic since 2003’s “The Wolf,” but he’s kept busy as a professional personality. He joined the motivational lecture circuit, became a partner in the Santos Party House club in New York City, hosted TV shows such as the Cartoon Network’s “Destroy Build Destroy,” and plays himself in the new Web series “Let’s Big Happy.”
In June, Wilkes-Krier returns to the studio to finish — finally — his latest full-on rock record, which follows esoteric releases such as an improvised piano album (2009’s “55 Cadillac”) and a 2008 covers collection of Japanese pop songs.
“I’ve been working on it for a couple of years,” Wilkes-Krier says of his forthcoming album. “It’s always about, ‘How do we make a song that makes you want to put your hands up over your head? How do we make a song that makes you want to drive over the speed limit? How do we make a song that, just thinking about it, makes you stand up straighter and smile bigger and seem glad about being alive?’”
Even with his more experimental outings, Wilkes-Krier says, the underlying intent of his music is always the same.
“Whatever [I’m] going to do — it could even be quiet music — it’s going to be intense,” he said. “The point of this art, this music, this culture, this contribution isn’t to soothe you or comfort you. It’s to completely try to shred your mind and blow you to pieces.”
Inside Tracks: Ten years on, “I Get Wet” is deep. Not lyrically (it’s mostly about partying), but the layered music is as thick as the blood covering Andrew W.K.’s face on the album cover. The stadium-ready songs fall between Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” and Def Leppard’s “Pyromania,” but “I Get Wet” is a personality-driven classic — the sonic equivalent of pro wrestling.9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW; Sun., 7 p.m., sold out; 202-265-0930. (U Street)