What’s the first thing you think of when I say the word, “waterparks”. Probably lots of slides, pools, water and a slide that goes into a pool of water and probably not the three-piece pop-rock band from Texas that’ll be touring with The Maine in Australia next year. Well, you best get acquainted with said band as they are gaining some crazy momentum crazily quick! Waterparks have been a polarising band, to say the least. They’ve been dubbed “the next big pop-punk band to take over the world” as well as “the worst thing to happen the genre ever“. That’s not two sides of a coin, that’s a whole different mint altogether. But as I found out from their singer, Awsten Knight himself, in a quick-fire interview, he’s rather excited about one of those statements; and it’s not the one you might think…
Hey there Awsten, how are things?
Yeah, good man. How are you?
Can’t complain, really. We’re gonna dive right into this as we don’t have much time but first off, whereabouts are you and what’s going on in your day?
I woke up in Los Angeles, I just landed in Houston, Texas a few hours ago and tomorrow I fly to the UK!
Goddamn, a busy bee you are.
I would say I’m the busiest of bees.
No doubt! And one with a lot of frequent flyer miles.
Yeah, but it’s weird how they add it up ‘cause it’s all through different airlines so it’s pretty random but I’ve got a lot across the board, you know what I mean?
Not really, but I’ll take your word for it! So you guys are heading down under next year with one of the best bands in the world, The Maine. Will this be your first ever visit to our wonderful country, personally?
Well, I’ve been to New Zealand a few months ago and I think that’s close right?
Yes, very! Probably one of the closest countries to us. I’m not really a geographer.
Well then yeah, I’ve been there but I’ve never been to Australia though. And honestly, I’m just excited to have a koala hold me and pretend that my life is stable enough to have a child because babies are tight.
Well, I always say, if you come to Australia and didn’t get held by a koala did you really come to Australia?
No, you just sat on a plane for fucking forty hours! [Laughs].
Apparently, you guys are working on album number two. Now, your first album was pretty dividing, some said you were the next big pop-punk band and others said it was the worst thing to happen to pop-punk ever. Does that put any pressure on you or are you-
[Laughs] No! Are you fucking kidding me? Here’s the thing on my end: anyone who says we are the worst thing to happen pop punk, well, we should be! I’m not even trying to be pop-punk. I’m trying so hard to make it so clear that we are not trying to be pop-punk at all. It’s like if we put out an album and people said we were the worst nu-metal band ever! Are you shitting me? It’s not what we’re trying to do. Pretend someone says, “This is the worst pizza ever!” then I’m like “Bitch, I made you lasagna!” It’s the last thing we want. The main goal is to just go in and make really tight songs. Not, “I hope this sounds like a genre that was big twenties years ago.”
[Laughs] So, clearly you don’t care about the negative stuff but does the positive stuff get you in any way?
Honestly, I try not to look at it too much. I barely look at twitter replies or anything like that. I don’t think it’s as good for anyone to have someone saying “This is the best thing, this is what’s NEXT” because I don’t think that’s good for anyone to have that fuel their ego. I don’t think it’s healthy to hear too many things about yourself, good or bad. And [‘Double Dare’] was done the exact same way as everything else; all started with me sitting at a computer somewhere, no co-writers or anything like that. It’s the same thing we’d done we’d just progressed more musically.
I’m glad you mentioned Twitter as I wanted to ask about that. A few weeks ago you put out a tweet that you since deleted because people called it out as being transphobic and I won’t get into that side of it as that’s a can of worms-
I didn’t even know it was going to be a can of worms…
-but I wanted to ask how you feel about that side of social media. You’re mid-twenties and you’re still growing up and growing up is about making mistakes, doing dumb shit and then learning and growing from that. Yet you have to do that in front of the whole Twitterverse and the whole world, really. I feel like that would scare you a bit…
Honestly, it does freak me out. Like, I’m very much not a shitty person and am really easy going. And it’s scary that I wasn’t going out of my way to be offensive or upset anyone but on social media that doesn’t matter. You can tweet something random and without thinking and then have a hundred people replying going “Fuck you, fuck you, I hate you so much! I regret listening to your band!” and just discredit the decade I’ve spent learning music and studying everything and mastering what I’m trying to do over a tweet. That is very fucking scary. Even when you aren’t meaning to be offensive or anything like that.
I can totally see how that would be daunting. Regrettably, that’s all the time we’ve got today, Awsten, as you’re a busy fucking man. This was a short one but thanks for taking the time to chat and give me a chuckle.
No worries and thank you!