Twig Harper Goes Really on the Record: Andrew WK, Steev Mike, Vast Conspiracies, Heavy Doses of Acid, More
| Image by Carly Ptak
Context: Twig Harper is Baltimore’s resident out-of-body traveler, mystic, and noise celebrity. He’s also at or near the nexus of a swirl of rumors and accusations surrounding Andrew WK—pop musician and cult figure formerly of Michigan’s noise scene—some of which have Harper as being the “mastermind” behind the mythical construction of the pop figure. And some of which also have Harper as having something to do with a person who may or may not exist known as Steev Mike. You can find boatloads of stuff about this via Google, so I’m not going to go nuts trying to explain it, but Steev Mike is someone credited on a few Andrew WK records and appears to have been an Andrew WK pseudonym from the ’90s.
Around 2004, a “Steev Mike” surfaced on a bunch of web sites leaving some coded and some pissed off messages about the pair’s relationship, if there is indeed a real person Steev Mike. This all resurfaced very recently when Andrew WK admitted that the Andrew WK character is a construction created by a committee, and then, last month, asserted that he is, however, a very real person. You could keep yourself occupied for a good while with this stuff—but keep a shaker of salt close at hand.
So, as the conspiracy theories have resurfaced, so has chatter about Twig Harper’s involvement in it all. Recently, he posted a response on his HereSee label’s web site. He recounts one night taking a preposterous dose of acid:
During that night when I was using the cosmic timewheel and transformed into the christ, I saw the future that is known as Andrew WK. I knew he was destined to be who he is today, as I am who I am today, he out of all the futures I witnessed that night burned bright and strong next to mine. Our were wrapped together like a hypercube spinning in two spaces hidden behinds opposing facades but united in a common mission. The vision was so powerful I got on my bike tripping balls and rode to Ypsilanti to go to his apartment and tell him the future. When I got there he was not home, so I ended up wandering the streets collapsing into the woods and knocking on random peoples doors. A few days later I finally ended up at Andrews house and we had a conversation about it. All of what has transpired these last ten years: Creating the most extreme pop music with our cultures lowest form of cliche archetypes, then using the media to push this package. Basically a ‘false-christ’ figure, since it is a mirror of earthly desires designed to be sold to the Illuminati music industries matrix then pushed out to the masses. But then the real kicker would be that this dirty white messiah would cease to exist, and it would help usher in a new dawn for humanity, universal freedom and mystical revelation would be brought to the people who have been given ears to hear the good news. It was all laid out before our eyes, this information was beyond both of us and was coming from a much higher source.
So fast forward a few years, nothing of importance directly about this topic happened. I get run of of Ann Arbor for anti-police actions- move to Chicago open a antique store, Andrew continues to record experimental music, play in metal bands, do tons of weird things, make magazines. Andrew sends me a copy of his demo, hes in New York and really going for it, hes gathering people to help realize the AWK vision. At first when I listened to the demos I was really shocked and actually upset, for some reason I really started to doubt the visions I received that night, since so many never materialized. I really didn’t do strong psychedelics for like 10 years because of the spiritual/mental cleaning work I needed to do. So in my life that mirrored his in some way, I was doubting that he could pull it off. I called him up and told him, it bummed him out. I bummed me out. I remember talking to Aaron Dilloway a few days later and he helped me see the light and during this talk was the first time I heard the word ‘Steev Mike’ and the next time I heard the demos it all just clicked, I knew he was going to do it.
It’s a long read and information and ideas about Steev Mike are scattered throughout but, I promise, it’s worth reading all of it. Yes, Harper does have a very real relationship with Steev Mike, whether or not Steev Mike is actually real.
Also, again, keep in mind that this entire crew is into noise in a very different way. That is, noise—as shorthand, here anyway, for spontaneous spiritual/mystical creation—for Harper is well beyond an audio property, but something that can and should be created in culture as well. In other words, I don’t know how much I trust his truth to be the truth.