If you've ever faced a personal quagmire and wondered what Andrew W.K. would do in your boots, the answers could arrive as early as May 22nd, when his new advice show, Your Friend, Andrew W.K. launches on MTV2.
The network approached the enthusiastic rocker to come up with a new show following the success of Crashing With Andrew W.K., a show that placed him in the girls dorm at the predominantly African American North Carolina Central University, where he had his hair twisted into corn rows and he and the marching band banged through "She Is Beautiful" at halftime during a football game.
"They asked me to make a pilot and I'm like, 'Wow!,'" W.K. says. "At the same time, having your own television show is such a rare, over-the-top thing that until I see it on the air I'm not gonna hold my breath. I could go blue in the face and die."
Andrew W.K. walked around New York City talking to folks for the pilot, which he admitted "wasn't too focused," but it piqued the cable channel's curiosity sufficiently to generate demand for additional episodes. "I really had to focus," he says.
With Your Friend, Andrew W.K. wanted to turn some of the attention away from himself. He says the direction was dictated for a pair of reasons: "First of all, I think a show about me could be really boring," he says. "And secondly, I never anticipated on having the kind of relationship that I have with people through my music. Other people have become involved in this larger thing, and they have some stake in this music. My songs are about us getting together as a big group of friends. I never expected that anybody else would feel as passionately about this music as I did. So the show should reflect that. This show is not about me; it's about us."
W.K. says he draws on advice from his family, friends and "some wise old guys," for the show, but that he doesn't really have any unique insight into people and their problems. "I don't think people are asking me things they don't know," he says. "They just want to be reminded of what they've always felt. So it's about your friend, Andrew W.K., helping you, hanging out with you, including you. It's your show. It's not a show where you wish you could be on there. You are on it. Even if you're not on the show, you might as well be."
Left-field advice requests aren't so much ignored as they're spun in a self-improving direction. "It's not like helping 'em out where they say, 'Oh I want a pool,' and then we build them a pool," W.K. says. "We don't really have that kind of money. It's more like, 'I want a pool.' And so I'll say, 'OK, let's talk about how you can get to that point where you can get a pool.'"Your Friend will also include a few videos (not of Andrew W.K.'s choosing, though he vouches for their quality). His wit and wisdom will be dispensed on the show weekly. Fans and/or advice seekers can submit queries to mtv2.com, which will be brought up on the show, where he'll also interact with his studio audience. "It's mostly hanging out," he says, "seeing what happens and letting people do what they're gonna do on their own. We're not just handing people stuff. It's supposed to be about you becoming strong and confident and powerful as possible so nothing intimidates you, whether it's the person on the show or the person watching the show . . . so that you're just completely on fire."