Waterparks: Not just slides


Courtesy Jawn Rocha

Waterparks will be playing its first album Double Dare at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St., Nov. 22. The band is also promoting its second album, Entertainment, set to release Jan. 26. 

By Kendrah Villiesse

After listening to Sum 41 on the radio when he was a child, Awsten Knight was drawn to playing music. He met two other musicians, and the three realized they knew each other from a birthday party at a waterpark when they were young. Years later, they formed Waterparks in 2011.

Consisting of frontman Knight, guitarist Geoff Wingington and drummer Otto Wood, the band has released three EPs and one 2016 studio album, Double Dare. The trio is currently promoting its second album, Entertainment, which is scheduled to release Jan. 26, 2018. 

The Houston-based band will play at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St., Nov. 22. The Chronicle talked to Knight about the band, its new album and the members’ love of Kesha. 

THE CHRONICLE: What was the creative process for Entertainment? AWSTEN KNIGHT: There wasn’t really a different process from [Double Dare]. The songs don’t have co-writers or anything. They were just written in my room. We used the same people as last time, Courtney Ballard and Benji Madden, to work on the album because it was such an easy and good thing last time. I trust what they are doing, and they trust what I am doing. A lot of bands talk about it being difficult to write or record, but it wasn’t like that. It was written during touring and then demoed whenever we had a week off in between. When we finally had a month off, we just did it and put it out. There was already a stylistic groove between album one and what we currently had. 

What inspired you to play music?

I had this dork friend that said, “Yo, we should start a band.” Eventually, I got a starter pack guitar. I didn’t do anything with that friend, but I started playing and learning [music] that I liked and stuff my dad wanted me to learn. He would bring home music and stuff from work.

What is up with the band’s obsession with singer and songwriter Kesha?

She just has a lot of hits. She is so good. One of my favorite songs is “Only Wanna Dance With You.” I would definitely [tour] with her, or at least do a show. In the beginning, it was a half-joke. People didn’t know if I was serious or not when I said, “Yeah, when we play a show with her, we can be done.” Obviously, now we can’t, but I would still like to play a show with her. It is still on the bucket list. 

Who influences the band’s music?

It is less musical stylings and more attitudes of people. In pop, you can be more unapologetic about your hooks being catchy. But with rappers or hip-hop, you just don’t give a s–t. Having that kind of mentality is what opens up a lot of the writing of what we can and can’t do. There are no co-writes on our album, but at the same time, I want it to sound like all the best writers wrote it. 

What is the best part about touring?

The shows and meeting people. I don’t particularly love it, as far as being gone all the time. I enjoy playing shows and getting to meet the people instead of just seeing names online on Twitter. It is nice to know that people are real.

How often do you write? 

I usually don’t consider a song “written” until there is a full on demo of it. If I say, “We have 40 songs going into this album,” that means 40 things recorded, not ideas. If I wanted to go off of ideas, I would say we went into the album with a thousand ideas. My voice memos on my phone are jammed. I guess I would be considered a chronic writer. 

Is your new album on the setlist? 

Since we only put out one song from the new album, that is all we are playing [from the new album]. People can buy pre-orders and I definitely talk about it during the set. It is a weird thing because this is like a weird semi-crossover tour. We were debating over it before we left because everything we have right now is themed around the first album. At the same time we are playing something new and pushing a new thing.