Awsten Knight has led hordes of loyal followers through the technicolor world of Waterparks for the past seven years. The band have been hard at work on their third full-length where the only thing we all know for sure is that it will not be called Friendly Reminder. With only one single, “Turbulent,” unleashed on the world, fans have been on edge awaiting more from Knight’s now green-tinted world.
When he isn’t playfully trolling fans with a fake new haira and “Turbulent” remixes, Knight has been channeling that creative energy elsewhere. The frontman exclusively revealed in his solo Alternative Press cover story with Paige Owens that he’s adding author to his ever-growing list of talents.
Knight will be publishing his first book, You’d Be Paranoid Too (If Everyone Was Out To Get You), a collection of autobiographical short stories more than a year in the making. Following the U.K. leg of their Entertainment tour in March 2018, the musician found himself “super, super depressed.” As a result, he aimed to keep himself busy—music-related or not—which led to a creative writing path.
He had already been penning bits of content, but due to an off sleep schedule, he found himself fully engrossed in it every day.
“I’m bad at sleeping, so I’d wake up at like 6:30, 7 every day after that tour,” Knight recalls. “I was in Houston, and every day from about 7 until like, maybe around 12:30 or 1, I just kept writing and writing and writing. Finally, I realized I was up to something crazy—70 or 80,000 words or something. So I went to management, and I was like, ‘Yo, so I wrote a book, and I kinda want to put it out.’”
Knight recruited his friend Travis Riddle (with whom he has a podcast, Awsten & Travis’ Slumber Party) to help him edit the manuscript before handing it over to his team.
“He edits shit for a living—it’s like his main thing—so I hired him to do the initial edits,” Knight explains. “Then, I showed it to management because I printed it and stuck it on their desk, like, thick as hell. I definitely get to put ‘author’ now in my bio because that’s so tight. That’s such a flex, but I was nervous about it because we had physical copies, hard-pressed, physical books. They’re heavy and real, and it’s scary because I don’t remember what I wrote, but I was beyond depressed.”
Waterparks fans are trained to document everything Knight does as a potential clue. After all, this is the man who subtly revealed to AP in February 2016 that the next two hair colors he had planned were going to be purple and green. As a result, those who have been paying attention know that this week isn’t the first time they’ve seen the book’s title.
In true Knight fashion, he wore the title across a sweater during a handful of dates on the band’s U.S. fall tour. In (of course) all caps, Sharpie-scribed lettering, it read: YOU’D BE PARANOID TOO IF EVERYONE WAS OUT TO GET YOU.
Knight was still working on the secret project during that fall tour and on through the new year while supporting ONE OK ROCK on the latter’s Eye Of The Storm North America tour. However, the musician made sure to step away from the typical tour talk to open up about who he really is in the upcoming autobiography.
“It’s a bunch of short stories combined—about the same thing,” he explains. “If it’s a certain time period, then they go together. I feel like people have different perceptions of me, and I’m not often able to talk about just things. Like usually, I have a 10-minute interview, and they’re like, ‘So, what’s your favorite thing about being on tour?’ Shut up. Who cares? It’s definitely just me talking about everything a lot, but it’s also, I’m nervous though because it’s definitely going to be from the perspective of a very depressed version of me.”
With plans to release You’d Be Paranoid Too (If Everyone Was Out To Get You) later this year, Awsten Knight invites us even deeper into his mind. The musician reveals further details on the book, fandoms, the internet and more in the latest AP #373. Preorders are available now here or below.