Waterparks' Awsten Knight tells ALL about his band's second album.
SO... WHAT'S COMING?
“There’s a song that was done before ‘Double Dare’ on this album, I loved it but the first time around I was like, “I’m not sure it’s time for this one yet’. This time, I was showing Benji and Joel [Madden] and Courtney [Ballard] all the demos and everything trying to figure out what’s going to make the cut and they were like, ‘What’s that?’
"I was like ‘That’s old, are you kidding me? I showed you that’. So I was like, ‘Thank God, I love this song’. I’m psyched on that one too because it’s the first time where all the demo vocals are on it, we recut some just for layers' sake but it’s cool because it’s literally what I was feeling at that exact time and it’s actually on the album.”
HAVE YOU FOUND INSPIRATION IN UNORTHODOX PLACES THIS TIME AROUND?
“Yeah, there’s this one song I didn’t actually think would be there. I was like, ‘Dude, I want to make like the fucking cutest Jason Mraz, Michael Bublé song ever’ and Joel was like, ‘That’s one of the biggest hooks you’ve ever written’. And I was like, ‘Really?!’
"I mean I liked it otherwise I wouldn’t have made it but it’s always kinda surprising to see what people are psyched on. It was cool this time because I’ve got maybe five to eight friends who hear all the demos and stuff that happen, and everybody had different favourites, so it’s not like there are three songs that are the clear winners.
"That's cool just because I never ever want there to be filler, I don’t think it’s possible for there to be filler because so many songs get written and they’re all pretty much bangers! Not to be like a dick or whatever, I mean they’re all cool… And when I called a couple of people to tell them what the final tracklist was going to be… Everybody was mad!”
AND YOU MENTIONED SOME DISS TRACKS…
“They did make it, yeah! Some people are not happy about them and the thing is, nobody that’s in the songs has even heard them yet and I don’t even know if they will but, y’know, fuck those people!
"The thing is, if there’s going to be a diss track, you can’t pussyfoot around it. That’s the thing - if I’m going to be like sweet in a song, you’re going to feel you’re like sick from it, like ‘Oh, gross!’ If you like sweet stuff you’re going be psyched.
"Now, if I’m going to be salty and shit on someone or whatever, it’s going to be real. I don’t like when bands or anyone in general are like, ‘Y’know man we’re going to tell the fucking truth on this album’ Like, ‘We’re really going to hit home with some people’ – and then it’s just vague stuff. It’s not like that.
"You can look at other genres and you don’t necessarily have to pull influence from them sonically but attitude-wise you can. Pop artists can have unapologetic hooks – they can just be painfully catchy and it’s a good thing. Rappers can start shit with people all the time and it’s the norm and I think part of the appeal is that it’s a dangerous thing to do, because you’re actually going for people. So that’s what I did.”
HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW THE ALBUM’S DONE?
“If anything was to be hard about it, it’s just looking back at some of the darker things, things I didn’t like writing about like the more negative things and, it’s kinda weird to put it like this, but it’s sort of similar to acting...
"Not saying I’m an actor or anything like that, but I would notice after tracking the vocals on one that’s about some shit that I didn’t like or like a bad time or whatever… I’d be like, 'Why do I feel really depressed right now?' It’s like, ‘Oh, that makes sense because you put yourself in that place because it still needs to be genuine’.
"I can say it was easy to do the guitars or whatever, but as far as vocals go, it has be genuine… I sound lame as shit right now – sorry! Singing about certain things or bad times can be emotionally taxing, which could potentially suck if we end up doing those ones live!”
“If someone’s expecting a pop-punk release, that’s not what they’re going to get. If someone’s going to go into it with an open mind and look for good songs and appreciate them for what they are, I think they’re going to really like it.”
Check out the full interview on the Rock Sound Podcast! Subscribe here and listen below.