People love a good mystery or conspiracy theory, that’s a fact. After all, you’ve probably heard more about the ‘Paul is dead’ theory (or it’s lesser-known twin, ‘The Beatles were actually clones’) than the current album on top of the charts right now. There’s also a theory that Andrew W.K. doesn’t actually exist.

But for every plausible-sounding theory that exists, there are thrice as many wild and inconceivable ones out there. So, let’s revisit that wild theory that US party-starter Andrew W.K  doesn’t actually exist, at least, not as we know him.

So let’s start with the basics. Who is Andrew W.K.? Thankfully, that’s a pretty easy one. Born Andrew Wilkes-Krier in 1979, Andrew is the son of James E. Krier, a noted US law professor, and at an early age, he took a keen interest in music, learning how to play various instruments. Inspired by the musical history of his hometown of Detroit, Michigan, Andrew decided to move to New York at the end of the ’90s to take this music thing seriously.

Within a couple of years, he’d released his first EP, creating a huge amount of buzz for his energetic performances, big choruses, and the general spectacle of his live shows. His rising profile even caught the eye of Dave Grohl, who invited Andrew to open for the Foo Fighters, just months before the release of his debut album, I Get Wet.

I Get Wet took critics by storm right from the outset. From the confronting album cover which featured Andrew W.K.’s face covered in blood, to the singles ‘Party Hard’ and ‘She Is Beautiful’, Andrew was a pop culture phenomenon, appearing on MTV at a time when it was still heavily dominated by pop artists. It seemed like he had it all, but to paraphrase Spider-Man in the worst way possible, with great success comes great amounts of speculation as to your authenticity.

The confronting and controversial cover to Andrew W.K.'s debut album, 'I Get Wet'
The confronting and controversial cover to Andrew W.K.’s debut album, ‘I Get Wet’

This is where Steev Mike comes into things. Now, no one actually knows who Steev Mike is (or if they even exist), but fans first saw the name listed under as the Executive Producer for I Get Wet, so folks naturally assumed that this was someone with a bit of power from within the Andrew W.K. camp.

However, other casual fans were probably introduced to Steev Mike thanks to a supposed ‘hack’ on Andrew W.K.’s website which saw numerous messages that were credited to this individual posted online, with many of them featuring a number of wild claims questioning the authenticity of Andrew’s musical career.

“I’ve been giving [your fans] bits and pieces, hoping that you’d come to your senses and stop trying to squeeze me out,” stated one of the posts. “Well, you haven’t responded to my initial request and you’ve forced me to make threats. When you act unprofessional, so will I. Now I have no choice but to let the facts speak for themselves.”

“I never wanted it to come to this, but I can no longer wait in the background and ignore your complete disrespect. Our choice to let you enjoy the spotlight while I create the magic leaves me almost helpless. You will not force me to expose myself until I expose you first.”

“I have no choice but to let the world know you are a backstabbing fraud.”

Check out ‘It’s Time To Party’ by Andrew W.K.:

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When these messages were first posted on Andrew W.K.’s website in late 2004, fans were understandably confused. Who was this person writing these wild messages? What do they mean? Is there any truth to them?

But soon, some fans started to think it all made a bit of sense. After all, Andrew did just suddenly appear on the scene rather quickly, suddenly rocketing to the top of the US Heatseekers chart, and appearing on MTV and movie soundtracks. ‘How could something like this happen if there wasn’t something untoward going on?’, some fans mused.

Of course, Andrew W.K. was having none of this, and posted his own retort to these messages from Steev Mike. “PLEASE DON’T BELIEVE STEEV MIKE. I USED TO CALL MYSELF STEEV MIKE A LONG TIME AGO AND IT’S NOTHING NOW,” he wrote on his site. “Someone is trying to confuse you and make me look bad. Like a relationship gone bad. Someone is pretending to be me and this Steev Mike guy. I don’t understand why people are close.”

“I’ve made the following decisions: I’ve now completely removed myself. The music is all that matters for all of us, and that’s what I am. I have the best feelings about all of it because I know that it’s right. We’re stronger now more than ever and it’s only because of one thing. We’re still going… loooooong gone.”

Of course, while Andrew felt that this would wrap up the matter, others began to think his response to these messages was a little bit, well, strange.

Check out Andrew W.K.’s ‘Party Hard’:

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So this is where the actual conspiracy starts to come in. The basic gist of it is that Andrew W.K. does not exist as we know him, and is actually a persona that has been adopted by a number of actors over the years. Confused? Understandable.

The starting point of this theory appears to take place on December 18th, 2004 when Andrew W.K performed a gig in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Both security guards and fans claim that the person on stage wasn’t actually Andrew at all, but rather someone just dressed in the rocker’s iconic white outfit, pretending to be the man the audience paid to see.

Andrew W.K. was there to support his most recent album, The Wolf, which had been released the previous year and marked somewhat of a change in style for the musician. While it was still well-received, it didn’t pack the same punch that his debut did, and some people noted that Andrew sounded like a totally different musician on this record.

Halfway through the aforementioned New Jersey gig, the performer left the stage and the rest of the concert was cancelled. Understandably, people were angry and confused, with many calling a local radio station ask not only ‘what happened?’, but also, ‘who was the guy on stage?’. While an official statement was never released for these shows, it wasn’t too long before the individual known as Steev Mike began to post their strange messages online.

Check out Andrew W.K.’s ‘She Is Beautiful’:

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As the years began to roll on, fans began to realise a physical change in Andrew W.K. as well, with the musician having slimmed down somewhat, and shaving off the facial hair that he had been sporting for a few years now.

In 2006, Andrew released his third album, Close Calls With Brick Walls, however a number of legal disputes meant that the record could only be released to the Asian market. When asked about the legal troubles he had faced, Andrew made a statement that seemed to imply that the person known as Steev Mike was involved.

“At the end of 2004, an old friend of mine got in some business trouble and basically decided to take it out on me,” he explained to The Guardian. “To cut a long story short, this person is someone I worked very closely with and had a formal and family business relationship with. Due to various complaints this person had with me, they were able to turn my life and career upside down.”

“I wasn’t allowed to use my own name within certain areas of the US entertainment industry and we were in a debate about who owned the rights to my image, and who should get credit for ‘inventing’ it. This made my life complicated and intense for a few years, but I kept working and doing whatever I could to keep moving forward.”

After another few years, fans noticed that Andrew W.K. was effectively back to his old self, becoming the active, fun-loving, positive, motivational-speaking, one-man party that we know him as today. One user on Reddit speculated that maybe these past few years of decreased activity and the his change in appearance were due to the stress of the Steev Mike situation, but other theorists seem to think differently.

Image proposing that Andrew W.K. is not a real person.
This is what Andrew W.K. conspiracy theorists actually believe.

Obviously it’s a cut-and-dry case of a bloke being shafted by someone from his past with a grudge, right? Well, not if you listen to some of the vast array of theories out there about Andrew W.K.

While a common theory is that the Illuminati or Scientology are involved in some variety of nefarious purposes, most people believe that following the release of his second album in 2003, Andrew W.K. was replaced by an actor who happened to look rather similar to the original Andrew.

The reasoning behind this is that the name Steev Mike is actually the name of a collective of individuals. Comprised of executives, producers and other miscellaneous folks, ‘Steev Mike’ is a group who helped a young musician named Andrew W.K. sell his music to the mainstream, using their power to get him on MTV and to the top of the charts.

While the theory has been floated that Andrew W.K. is the result of Dave Grohl’s attempt to create the ‘perfect musician’ (or that Grohl actually is Andrew), another theory is that the individuals behind Steev Mike had a falling out over the different musical direction that Andrew began to take with his second album, The Wolf.

This explains why Steev Mike is not listed as an Executive Producer on this particular record, and proposes that the people behind this collective decided to hire an actor to take over from Andrew W.K., only to make his debut at the infamous New Jersey concert in 2004.

Considering the fact that Andrew’s father is law professor James E. Krier, these same conspiracy theorists believe Andrew was able to use his father’s influence to help construct a crack team of powerful people which helped to propel him to stardom. After all, remember how he said that Steeve Mike was “someone I worked very closely with and had a formal and family business relationship with”?

It would also explain Andrew’s reluctance to give a straight answer to questions of his authenticity and the relationship with his father in interviews; there’s probably some sort of legal agreement that he can’t talk about.

Check out Andrew W.K.’s ‘You Will Remember Tonight’:

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So what’s the real deal? Is this all true, or is it just a mixture of a lot of half-truths, misinterpreted statements, and strange behaviour? Well, the answer is probably a lot more simple than you believe.

It’s quite likely that the name Steev Mike is actually used as a name for a group of people connected to Andrew, though the chances of them being high-powered individuals with connections to the Illuminati are slim. There’s also every chance there was a bit of bad blood in regards to the production of The Wolf, and there’s every chance that Andrew decided to put his foot on the brake a little bit.

However, the most likely explanation is that an eager musician tried to carve out his own musical career around the start of the ’00s, only to have someone from his past start causing an awful lot of troubles for him in the process. The stress resulted in a bit of a physical change, and he’s done his best to move past this dark time and look towards the future.

Was Dave Grohl involved? Unlikely. Was an actor hired to replace an insubordinate Andrew W.K.? Probably not. Is he involved in the Illuminati? Not a chance.

Andrew W.K. is just one of those musicians whose life and career is wild enough that it opens itself up to a lot of speculation and wonder. There’s probably nothing sinister going on, and he’s probably no less normal than you or me. But we have to admit, it certainly makes for one heck of a wild ride.

Check out Andrew W.K.’s ‘We Want Fun’:

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