Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Andrew W.K.is a non-stop music roller-coaster, a party machine known worldwide as “The King of Partying” for his passionate, life-affirming brand of in-your-face rock and roll. His hit singles “Party Hard” and “We Want Fun” have been played on countless radio stations, TV shows, video games, and films, and his song “Don’t Stop Living in the Red” has been used by many sports teams at their events. Andrew is also a motivational speaker, appearing at universities across the United States and as a sit-down guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Larry King Now.
Between tours, Audix got to sit down with Andrew to talk about how he got started, and how Audix has helped his live performances.
How did you get your start as an artist?
I started playing piano at age 4 and my life was immediately transformed by the physical and emotional euphoria I experienced from music. Still, I never dreamed I would become a professional musician, let alone the frontman of a band, but destiny has a way of surprising you in the least surprising way. My band and I now perform triumphantly high-energy rock music about partying, all around the world. I started my professional career as Andrew W.K. in 1999, and the party shows no signs of slowing. I shall obey my true will and follow the commandments of the party gods. I vow to never stop partying.
How did you hear about Audix?
While I’d heard the name “Audix” for years, I hadn’t ever tried any Audix products until the excellent sound engineer Chez Stock recommended them. I don’t think anyone had ever recommended I use a particular mic live before. Her recommendation changed everything.
What Audix microphones are you using currently? For what applications?
I now use the OM7 as my handheld vocal mic and an additional OM7 on a boom stand for singing while I’m at my keyboard. The OM7 is my exclusive microphone for all live performances. My whole band is using them, too. I’d never go back.
What was the impetus for switching from the microphones you were using previously?
The idea was obviously to get a better vocal sound, but it was also an attempt to get less stage bleed through from the other instruments – an attempt to have a more discreet and controlled vocal sound in general. A hypercardioid mic with super low output helped avoid typical feedback problems but also allowed me to find an incredibly consistent sweet spot and clarity with my vocal delivery.
Any noticeable results?
Are you kidding? I barely know where to begin! It was shocking. From the first instant, I began singing on the OM7 at one of our soundchecks, I instantly felt a wave of sonic clarity – it was a new level of control. Years earlier, I’d actually had a dream one night about singing on stage with a new level of confidence and power, and the feeling I had in that dream suddenly turned into reality at that soundcheck, as I heard the way that OM7 sounded. I cannot overstate how much of an impact it made. We are a relatively loud band on stage, and I’m often very close to our drummer, due to where my keyboard setup is, but suddenly no matter how tight or loud a stage I’m on, I now have my own vocal space carved out in the sound. And I can feel that when I’m singing. It instantly made me a better singer, and that is the highest praise I can give a vocal mic. It allowed me to truly sing how I had previously only dreamt of.
What are your favorite features of the microphones you’re using?
It’s like a ritual now. I love the way it feels to sing on the OM7 so much that every aspect of it appeals to me. The texture of it, the weight of it, the smell of it! I’m addicted to it in every way, both experientially and materially.
Have the Audix mics helped solve any particular challenges for you?
Absolultely! It solved the challenge of singing with integrity, consistency, and clarity! It gave me a fresh start and was such a departure from my old vocal mic sound that it jolted me into a new era. All of my old bad vocal habits vanished, and I could approach singing in a new light – just a massive difference and improvement. It also obviously helped our live sound through the PA. Without all the bleed-through from the other instruments on stage, we can give the audience a much clearer and more defined sound – more impactful, more dynamic.
Do you have any good Audix anecdotes?
Once upon a time, there was a microphone called the OM7 that changed my life and made me a better singer… and I dare say, a better person.
Any special tips to share on how to use the microphones?
I’ve gotten the best results from holding the mic in the middle of the housing and keeping it just right up to my lips, almost hovering right off of my mouth, just grazing it. I try to keep it as consistently placed as possible, whether I’m using the handheld or my keyboard mic on the stand. The consistency is easy to attain because the sound is so clear that you’re drawn to the mic, and it’s easy to adjust your delivery and position intuitively as you sing and hear the great results coming out of the monitors. Up close and personal works really well for me on the OM7. It’s like kissing the mic, and I do love the OM7 wholeheartedly, so it feels perfectly natural.