Waterparks’ Awsten Knight: The 10 songs that changed my life

We have a rummage through the record collection of Waterparks vocalist Awsten Knight and find some absolute gems.

Waterparks’ Awsten Knight: The 10 songs that changed my life
Emily Carter
Jonathan Weiner
Originally published:

Fun, frolics and posthumous financial windfalls? Waterparks vocalist Awsten Knight is a wild one. And would you believe it? He loves a bit of pop-punk. Here we take a look at the 10 songs that changed Awsten's life, from the sunshine mind of Brian Wilson to beloved American indie-rockers Death Cab For Cutie.

Let's take a look at (and judge) Awsten's taste in music…

The first song I remember hearing…The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice (1966)

“My dad is so into The Beach Boys. And this song was always so around that I kind of didn’t even think about it, you know what I mean? It’s kind of like… a refrigerator: we have a refrigerator, and we have The Beach Boys playing! You take it for granted if it’s always there. This song makes me think of my dad, mainly.”

The song that made me want to be in a band…Sum 41 – Fat Lip (2001)

“I was in the car with my dad, actually, on the way home from school, and I heard it on the radio and was like, ‘What is that?!’ And he didn’t know, but he turned it up anyway! And the thing is, I didn’t know who they were at the time, but it was the vocals and the harmonies in the chorus that made me like, ‘Oh shit!’ Dude, I’m all about the harmonies – no matter what kind of genre of song I feel like making, there’s always going to be a big-ass wall of harmonies.”

The first song I ever crowdsurfed to…Thee Armada – Rock, Shock And Load (2007)

“I used to go to local shows every weekend, because the venue was five minutes from my house. My friends and I would just go up there, and it was usually full of heavier bands that hated us – and we would either play and they hated it, or we’d be there and they hated looking at us (laughs). I remember front-flip crowdsurfing to this band – it was their last show and it was super-packed. That was tight.”

The first Waterparks song I ever heard on the radio…Waterparks – Hawaii (2016)

“It’s hard to say, because what constitutes radio, necessarily? There’s college radio, and they played stuff from the first EP [2011’s Airplane Conversations], like Silver and all that. And that kind of felt cool, but at the same time I was like, ‘How many people are hearing that?!’ I did tune in when Pete Wentz premiered the song called Hawaii from our first album [on his SiriusXM radio show, Hits & Misses], which was neat!”

The song that picks me up when I’m down…Death Cab For Cutie – Soul Meets Body (2005)

“When I’m trying to be a bummer I listen to [2005 album] Plans, by Death Cab. I don’t like listening to music when I’m sad, because I associate it with that time. So there’s been so many albums that have been ruined for me, just because, if that was a real shitty month and it happened to have come out then, now when I go back and hear it I’m like, ‘Nah.’ It sucks – I fucking hate it. Some people like it because they listen and are like, ‘I’m not alone!’ but for me personally, I’d rather figure it out and get out of it. Catfish And The Bottlemen are one of those bands that have been ruined for me by a bad time. It sucks, because I fucking love their [2014] album, The Balcony. The reason I knew they existed was because I was obsessive about schedules of who was playing in Houston, because we’d go and promote outside. I’d be like, ‘Okay, who’s playing this week?’ Then I’d make up the schedule, and print out a billion flyers and burn a bunch of CDs stamped with our info on it. We promoted outside of one of their shows before I really knew who they were, and then I went home and listened and was like, ‘Argh, I should have gone…’”

My favourite song to play live…Waterparks – TANTRUM (2018)

“It’s very fun, but there’s always a small layer of knowing that it’s not good for my voice at all. And so when we have a week straight of shows I’m like, ‘Shit, this is going to hurt after, like, day six.’ I also really like doing Crave, because I can just bounce around, because the chorus is literally just a vocal sample. And I don’t have to think about it at all. Take Her To The Moon is really fun, too, as well as Blonde; that’s a bouncy one for people. The thing is, if a song isn’t fun, then we don’t play it.”

The song I listen to when I’m in a good mood…New Love – Want Your Kiss (2018)

“I’ve got a lot of happy music. Well, not happy music, but music I listen to when I’m happy. When I was in a good mood I was listening to this – it’s my friend Zakk. He’s been working on this band forever. He was our first tour manager, and he stopped doing it because he wanted to start a band. He finally put out a song, and it’s so catchy!”

The song I listen to when I’m angry…Darke Complex – Crows (2015)

“When I’m mad I listen to a band called Darke Complex. Check it out (gets out iPhone and starts playing music). This intro track is so heavy. This is angry driving and workout music. Crows is from their first EP, but they also put out an album that’s pretty cool.”

The song I want to be remembered for…Waterparks – Take Her To The Moon (2016)

“I want it to be in every commercial – it should be in every commercial! Also Crybaby. If you listen to the instrumental, when we had it in the studio, and we hadn’t brought over my vocals yet, we were listening to it like, ‘This sounds like every movie preview, hell yeah! This is so dark and awesome… Fuck!’ It was sick.”

The song I’d like played at my funeral…(Silence)

“I want everyone to sit quietly. I want it to be silent and weird. I want everyone to have to sit like this (sits up straight and puts hands on knees). No-one is allowed to cross their legs. People have to have good posture, because I fuck with good posture. I’ve just remembered I talked about selling pre-sale tickets to my funeral one time, and now I want to do that again (laughs). That just reminded me – I haven’t thought about my funeral in a minute. It’s not illegal, so I could put that up right now. I could make crazy money and then be dead and not have to think about it… that’s awesome. I’m going to make a flyer where I look happy, too, like, ‘Come on down!’”

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