Andrew WK’s Cannibal Corpse Dream Came True
We recently spoke with rocker Andrew W.K. about some of the coolest nights he’s had at his New York City nightclub, Santos Party House.
Noisecreep: What are some of the most memorable shows you’ve had at Santos Party House so far?
Andrew W.K.: Almost all of my personal favorite bands have either played here or have talked about playing here, and we’re still working on it. That alone, to me, is mind blowing. One of the other things that I never anticipated was, like so many people, am not able to go to every show. A lot of my favorite shows, including my friend’s bands, I haven’t been in town [for] because I’ve been on tour or traveling, working. That’s what happens when you live in a city like New York. There’s always more stuff than you can do. It’s really frustrating when it’s at your [own] place.
Cannibal Corpse played here recently and that was something we had dreamed of for a very long time. Being able to be a proper metal venue, specifically death metal, because there’s a great venue in the city called B.B. King’s, which I have played at and have seen many bands play there, but I never thought it lent itself very well to heavy metal and death metal. For some reason, that’s where all the shows went. It was a dream of ours to be able to, not take away what’s going on at B.B. King’s, but for example, have a place that has black walls versus carpeting and wallpaper. A place that’s focused on the music and not much lounging. We could do a proper mosh pit. That’s the whole idea. It’s to make a space that completely facilitates fun of a high energy type.
But with Cannibal Corpse, one of my best friends who’s worked with me on the road for many years named Brian has been a stage tech with them even before he was with us. I couldn’t go see them. It’s a blessing and a curse, but of course I’m exciting they played at all. That, to me, was a touchstone marker of how far the club had come from this dream we had in our brains to an actual space that was hosting the greatest bands that we could ever want to play anywhere. Also at the Cannibal Corpse show, Dying Fetus played, which is another legendary band.
When I first moved to New York, there was an amazing venue called the Wetlands. It was another strange place. A lot of bands who played there catered to jam bands and what people called esoteric or hippie kind of bands. I saw a Pink Floyd tribute band there. That place had a lot of death metal shows. It was strange going to a place that had Grateful Dead vibes all day and then seeing amazing death metal bands. I think I saw Nile there. That place went away too.
It was time for someone to step up and make sure we could have shows like that in New York City. It is also easy for bands like that to play in New Jersey, and not necessarily make it into New York City proper every time. I think it’s important that there be, not only a lot of venues, but a lot of different kinds — independently owned ones, ones owned by the major conglomerates, and the ones in-between. The thing is, the city is big enough to host all of these places at once, which we’re very thankful for.