Every week, the somewhat polarizing Andrew W.K. writes a weekly advice column for legendary publication The Village Voice. Entitled “Ask Andrew W.K.”, the column invites readers to write in and pitch the erstwhile Mr. W.K. their problems in the hope that he can hand down some sage advice. One of this week’s is an absolute doozie. A seemingly closed-minded woman wants her boyfriend to stop listening to metal music, due to the “negative influences” that most metal music has, in her mind.
Not only that, but she’s gone as far as to take his metal albums from his house so that he can’t play them. Firstly, the guy needs to get busy with an iPod should this continue, but there’s a few other suggestions that we would have pitched to him as well, were we the ones writing the column. However, Andrew W.K. took it in stride and provided possibly one of the finest replies to anything ever. The girlfriend writes:-
“I tried removing some of the albums from his room and he freaked out. I tried telling him I wouldn’t come over with that stuff in his house, but that didn’t work either. I don’t want to make him mad, but I do want this negative stuff out of our lives. So, since you’re so focused on positivity, I’m hoping you can give me some advice. How do I rescue my boyfriend and our relationship from these negative influences?”
Set yourself for the answer. Andrew W.K.’s reply is as follows:-
“You know what the biggest negative vibe is in this situation? You. Trying to make your boyfriend give up the music he enjoys — that is true negativity. I understand how you’re feeling, but rather than censoring someone’s experience, I suggest you strive to develop your own spirit and make it large and strong enough to appreciate and interact with all types of emotional concepts, all types of feelings, all types of people, and all types of beliefs — including those that deal with the ideas of darkness, cruelty, death, destruction, anger, hatred, and evil. Desperately trying to hide — or make other people hide — from certain types of feelings is a losing battle. And it’s likely that we’ll experience more hurt and damage in our efforts to avoid that part of the world than we will by developing a heart and mind capable of engaging with the full spectrum of reality, from light to dark, and beyond.
“It’s interesting how often people confuse ‘evil sounding’ music with true evil. By its very nature, music is benevolent. Music means well. It’s virtually impossible to bend the will of music toward a truly negative intention. Music can be used to achieve all sorts of things, depending on who wants to use it and for what purpose, but the music itself is pure goodness. Music doesn’t waste its time in dealing with human concepts like “good and evil.” Thankfully, music exists in a realm above and beyond the need for logical ideas and theories. Music is where we can find relief from reason and truly experience ‘pure feeling.’ Music is what feelings sound like — feelings before we analyze and deconstruct them into digestible abstractions like ‘happy feeling’ or ‘sad feeling.’ Music is just pure feeling.”
You’ll have to excuse us, we’re getting a little bit moist-eyed.
Good work, Andrew W.K. Today, you’re one of our favorite people.