Andrew W.K.
photo: Victoria Morse

Andrew W.K. is best known for his 2001 hit “Party Hard,” which became an anthem for teens and twenty-somethings, even 13 years later.

But now, every Wednesday, Andrew W.K. sits down to answer life’s questions in New York’s The Village Voice.

Yesterday’s question has the headline “Prayer is Stupid, Right?” and comes from someone whose brother has just been diagnosed with cancer. The family has suggested they all pray for the man’s health to improve, while the writer says he needs to “get them to see that praying and religious mumbo jumbo doesn’t help,” and then asks for Andrew W.K. to support his theory.

What Andrew W.K. does next is surprising, considering his hit song’s anti-conformist lyrics are as follows: “‘Cos we will never listen to your rules (no)
We will never do as others do (no).”

Andrew W.K.’s 1110-word response details what prayer truly is: “Prayer is a type of thought. It’s a lot like meditation,” but the difference between the two, he says is “a special X-factor ingredient that makes ‘prayer’ different than meditation or other types of thought. That X-factor is humility.”

W.K.’s letter discusses being humble, self-aware, and the concept of spiritual awakening.

In the end, W.K. insists the writer pray for his brother. Not what you’d expect from a musician whose first album is a headshot with blood dripping from his mouth.

But Andrew W.K. isn’t just a musician. He’s actually a motivational speaker too, most recently presenting a keynote at Oxford Union titled Andrew W.K. and The Philosophy of Partying, about the power of positivity and celebrating self-confidence.

The Oxford University Rock Society says “We’ve seen rock stars, we’ve seen brilliant public speakers, but rarely are they the same person, and rarely do they have as intriguing and broad a background as Andrew W.K.”

Another reason not to judge a book by its cover.

Wednesday’s full Q&A letter can be read on The Village Voice.

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