Andrew W.K. on Infamous ‘I Get Wet’ Album Cover: ‘I Hit Myself With a Brick to Develop a Higher Pain Threshold’
Andrew W.K. recently announced a special tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of 'I Get Wet,' the singer's groundbreaking debut album.
"Around a year ago I realized that it almost had been 10 years since 'I Get Wet' had come out, and I thought "Wow, maybe we should do something for its anniversary!" You have to understand, these songs are even older than a decade, because I started working on this Andrew W.K. adventure 12 to 13 years ago. I think doing the first album in its entirety is the best way to celebrate that chapter of my career," W.K. tells Noisecreep about the tour.
Featuring hit singles 'Party Hard' and She Is Beautiful,' the album sounded like nothing else on modern rock radio back when it was released in the early '00s. Throughout its 12 tracks, W.K. wove the Wagnerian-inspired rock of Jim Steinman (Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler) with the pop-punk energy of the Ramones, coming up with a sonic brew that would go on to influence an army of future Warped Tour headliners.
But as trailblazing as 'I Get Wet' was, its graphic cover art – a photo of a disheveled-looking W.K. with a stream of blood coming out of both his nostrils – also got its lion share of the attention. At the time of its 2001 release, the album's cover caused controversy in Europe for its supposed endorsement of cocaine. "It was definitely not done to promote drug use, or anything like that, but it got a lot of people talking," says W.K. a decade later.
The story that got around was that W.K. had hit himself in the face with a brick to achieve the album cover art's bloody display. "You know, I had stopped talking about that photo for a while there, especially when I was working more prominently with younger people. I didn't want it to seem like I was encouraging self-mutilation or violence in any way. But it's silly for me to not be straightforward about that album cover and the photo shoots I did around that time period. Yes, I did hit myself with a brick. What you see on the cover of 'I Get Wet' is real. It's my blood. I also remember doing a photo shoot with an English magazine where I had all of these cuts on my head that I had given myself."
Noisecreep asked W.K. if he has any regrets about his former blood-spilling ways: "People have asked me why I would do something like that. I feel like I hit myself with a brick to develop a higher pain threshold, a higher tolerance for discomfort. That's definitely come in handy for me throughout the years. I've actually broken my nose several times on stage in the last decade. Look, athletes go through it all the time too. They actually injure themselves far worse than I ever have. So yeah, the blood has flowed when it comes to my career [laughs]. But these days I'm trying to keep the blood inside my body. Well, at least as much as possible."
Watch Andrew W.K.'s 'Party Hard' Video
Andrew W.K.'s 'I Get Wet' 10th Anniversary tour dates:
Sat Mar 3 - Vancouver, BC - Venue
Sun Mar 4 - Seattle, WA - Showbox Market
Mon Mar 5 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
Tue Mar 6 - San Francisco, CA - The Regency Ballroom
Thu Mar 8 - Los Angeles, CA - Avalon
Fri Mar 9 - Las Vegas, NV - Body English @ Hard Rock
Sat Mar 10 - Pomona, CA - The Glass House
Sun Mar 11 - Tempe, AZ - The Marquee
Tue Mar 13 - San Antonio, TX - White Rabbit
Wed Mar 14 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Thu Mar 15 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Fri Mar 16 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Sat Mar 17 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Sun Mar 18 - Houston, TX - Fitzgeralds Upstairs
Tue Mar 20 - Denver, CO - Bluebird
Thu Mar 22 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
Fri Mar 23 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave
Sat Mar 24 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall
Sun Mar 25 - Chicago, IL - Metro
Mon Mar 26 - Cleveland, OH - House Of Blues
Tue Mar 27 - Toronto,ON - Phoenix
Wed Mar 28 - Boston, MA - Paradise
Fri Mar 30 - Philadelphia, PA - TLA
Sat Mar 31 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Wolf Den
Sun Apr 1 - Washington, DC - 930 Club
Mon Apr 2 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
Thu Apr 5 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade
Fri Apr 6 - Orlando, FL - Beacham Theater
Sat Apr 7 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Revolution
Thu Apr 12 - London, UK - HMV Forum
Fri Apr 13 - Manchester, UK - Manchester Academy
Sat Apr 14 - Glasgow, SCO - Glasgow Garage