waterparks awsten knight ashley osborn alternative press cover
[Photo by: Ashley Osborn]

Awsten Knight, the mouthpiece of pop-punk mavericks Waterparks, is seemingly on, 24/7/365. But if his loose cannon, mile-a-minute vibe is key to his band’s wondrous spin on pop-punk convention, well hell, we’re going to pick wired over tired every time. But if he’s being honest, that’s not how he wants to be painted.

While we’re waiting for Parx to complete their new album (slated for a Hopeless Records release), we decided to turn the microphone toward Knight and make this cover story all about him. Paige Owens sat down with him for a deep-dive chat on nearly everything ricocheting in that green-coiffed skull of his.

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“‘He’s kind of like Pee-wee Herman. He’s really animated, kind of builds out his own world, super-colorful,’” is how he describes the world’s preconceived notions of him. “Dude, yeah, but that’s not how I feel at all,” the Waterparks frontman reveals. “That’s one thing that sucks, especially when you’re an entertainer or even just a person in general: people’s perception. They just don’t have a large capacity, and it’s not their fault. They have to classify everything. And it sucks because you’re either the brooding guy, the hot guy or you’re the fucking clown. There’s so many things that I hold back from because of that kind of thing.”

He didn’t hold back too much from us for this issue, though. He was willing to share a lot of things with us. Like the publication of his first book, You’d Be Paranoid Too (If Everyone Was Out To Get You). Knight started writing the autobiographical short stories after the U.K. leg of his band’s tour in support of 2018’s Entertainment.

“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. 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.’” 

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Manic writing sessions aside, there’s still plenty of wit, wisdom and war in Knight’s worldview. During the extensive interview, there was no box that Owens didn’t shake to see what was in it. His thoughts on the internet, fandoms and the toxicity of reading the mentions section on Twitter. The last thing he cried about, what made him laugh so hard his stomach hurt and his biggest fears. His thoughts on spirituality and his paranormal experiences with Mikey Way, as well as a “haunted” Airbnb that he had to smudge with sage. And the backstory regarding Knight leaking tracks that were meant for the intended Entertainment follow-up, Friendly Reminder, before the project was scrapped. (“It’s all important, and I time it based on certain days and patterns.”)

The new issue of AP includes an expansive story with one of the pop-punk scene’s most endearing and enervating figures. But don’t take our word for it: At one point during the interview, Knight thinks aloud to Owens, “I’m being psychoanalyzed, and it’s kind of tight.”

ALSO IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE:

THE CLASS OF 2009

It’s time for our annual lookback at the albums that made us perk up 10 years ago. We sorted through history and considered releases both seminal and ovarian with regards to the circles we rock in. 2009 was a year marked by metalcore madness, easycore excitement, neon narcissism and (naturally) some documents from a few superstars. Revisit the reasons why you loved records by ALL TIME LOW, AUGUST BURNS RED, GREEN DAY, A DAY TO REMEMBER, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, LIGHTS, COBRA STARSHIP, PARAMORE, SUICIDE SILENCE and more!

Having conquered Australia with their electro-soaked smoov groove pop hybrid, the young men of CHASE ATLANTIC set their sights on America, not to pillage but to spread the good vibes. They liked it so much, they’ve decided to stick around for a while.  

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Hip-hop historians know that VIC MENSA has been spitboxing his way for close to 10 years, teaming up with comrades such as Kanye West and Chance The Rapper, as well as making his own artistic strides. His new outfit 93PUNX are distilling the sweetest essences of hip-hop, pop and fuck-shit-up punk to create a noise as bold as the lyrical stances he’s taking. He’s not dicking around, and neither should you. 

From blood loss to boss tunes, the fearless and peerless OLIVER TREE brings the LOLZ and the balls in 10 TOPICS. The men of GRAYSCALE are going big on their new record, and they’re telling us how in ALBUM ANATOMY. We’re also introducing you to PALM SPRINGSTEEN, the synth-propelled, dance-punk denizens ready to soundtrack your life in the best ways possible. 

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There are people who are described as “old souls.” Brian Swindle of HAVE MERCY felt that way, but he wasn’t seeing the light that comment represents. He checked in to tell us how IT GOT BETTER

We go into the far corner of our closet for some primo pop-punk action in AP ARCHIVES; run down a list of records that were ultimately scrapped in this month’s 10 ESSENTIAL; give you 12 BANDS provided by people instead of algorithms; and deliver all the quality fan art and live photos you need.

Point your device right here or below, because the Knight clicks are the right clicks!