Waterparks Awsten Knight on facing bullies and insecurities.
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Bullying runs rampant in schools across the world, and Waterparks frontman Awsten Knight did not escape his teen years unscathed. The purple-haired vocalist took the adversity with stride, however, and even used it to his advantage.

“I was bullied so much, that I am very self-aware,” Knight says in the latest issue of AP. “That was the plus-side that came from that, being shat on in junior high and high school.”

Read more: Watch Waterparks play acoustic at the first last Warped Tour date

Knight discussed dealing with bullying in the past, including an APTV segment where the band told cry-worthy personal stories while actually tearing up over sliced onions. Among tales of a pet frog’s demise and a devastating Adam Sandler movie, the exuberant frontman recalled a specific incident in elementary school where he was likened to Satan himself.

“In second grade, I remember crying in school because I got two different color[ed] eyes, and these kids said I was the devil because of it,” the frontman recalls. “That’s not really sad looking back on it, [but] at the time I was very flustered—I was torn up.”

Incidents such as these helped shape Knight’s ability to be self-aware, which he believes is important when being in a band.

“I feel a lot of band guys are insecure [because] everybody has been either cool for too long or cool for no reason,” he continues in the latest issue. “They lose their self-awareness, and it makes them do lame things, say lame things or put out lame things.”

The self-proclaimed fan of marketing believes that being in music and embracing his own insecurities allows him to have a clearer perspective on other bands. Knight is so confident in this that he embraces the hypothetical opportunity to offer up some brutally honest advice.

“You can’t just give that advice because then you look like a dick, [but] it’d be like ‘Look at your promos: Why is he wearing a vest, you’re wearing that weird T-shirt and why’s he dressed like Van Helsing and shit?’” Knight explains. “If a band came to me and said, ‘evaluate us,’ I could fucking do it.”

Knight delves into bullying and band advice in 10 Topics for the latest issue (AP 359 with cover stars Panic! At The Disco) as well as future hair plans and major aspirations for Waterparks that include everything from a Grammy to Kidz Bop.

Waterparks are on Vans Warped Tour this summer, and you can check out the full list of dates here.