On the radar: Waterparks

Full disclosure: we didn’t want to like Waterparks. This is one of the first things we tell enigmatic frontman Awsten Knight, before admitting we can’t stop playing his stupidly more-ish Benji Madden-produced breakthrough hit, Crave.

We actually made shirts that said, ‘I really didn’t want to like Waterparks’

Awsten Knight

“Sick! We got you!” laughs Awsten, unperturbed. “We actually made shirts that said, ‘I really didn’t want to like Waterparks’ because we’ve always got guys coming up to the merch table and be like, ‘Yeah, I didn’t really care about you guys, but my girlfriend made me come along and it was so good!’”

Crave’s manipulated vocal hook is a powerful ear worm, on a par with the pop-punk greats.

“What you hear is what I recorded in my room on the demo,” says Awsten. “I wanted to experiment with other things being the lead, apart from the guitar so I just sang the part and then I pitch-shifted it and put a lot of different guitar effects on it.”

Wholly unconcerned by the rules that govern many players, we’re intrigued by Awsten’s live set-up.

“You’re going to laugh at this, but live - and I wouldn’t record with this - I’ve got this custom Daisy Rock…” he begins. TG does laugh. “People are always like, ‘Is that a PRS?’ And I’m like, ‘Nah, dude. That’s my Daisy Rock!’ But it’s so light and it sounds good, too!”

It’s bold and unexpected, but that’s Waterparks all over.

For fans of: Good Charlotte, All Time Low
Hear: Crave

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.

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