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Takeaways from Awsten Knight’s Artist Friendly podcast interview

Awsten Knight of Waterparks joined Joel Madden on the most recent episode of the Artist Friendly podcast, presented by Alternative Press. Here’s what we learned. Continue reading…



On Episode 4 of Artist Friendly, Awsten Knight, the prolific brainchild and frontman of the beloved pop-punk trio Waterparks, joined host Joel Madden to discuss the band’s nearly decade-long run, becoming an internet sensation, and the personal growth that he has achieved over the years. Today, you can listen to the brand-new episode wherever you stream podcasts, as well as a filmed version available on YouTube. 

With just a couple of months before the release of Waterparks’ highly anticipated fifth studio album, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, out April 14 and a subsequent North American headlining tour on the horizon, Knight has a busy year ahead. Naturally, this conversation with Madden is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.

Read more: The 20 most underrated pop-punk albums from the last two decades

The conversation explores Knight’s ascent from the humble music scene of Houston, Texas and the development of his unique songwriting perspective and public persona that has since cemented him as both a role model within the scene and an internet celebrity who is committed to being himself. Below, find five takeaways from the Artist Friendly interview. 

Awsten Knight is an expert at catfishing 

If you were a self-professed “horny guy” on the dating service Plenty of Fish between 2012-2016, you may have come across the account Clairebear69, aka Awsten Knight, who mercilessly trolled the internet’s most thirsty suitors. Don’t believe it? Knight even came with receipts (i.e. screenshots to prove his catfishing expertise). You have to remember when a band are on tour, it’s not always nonstop action and partying. In fact, most of the time bands are doing grueling drives from city to city with nothing but time on their hands. So what better way to entertain yourself than some digital cosplay? Someone better call Nev Schulman and MTV because we might have an amazing episode of Catfish waiting to happen. 

Mischief is Awsten Knight’s superpower 

If you couldn’t already tell, Knight is a bit of a mischief-maker. Rest assured, it’s all in good fun and serves a greater purpose as it largely “fuels” the music and lyrics he creates. While there are of course people who may be offended by his forthcoming nature, he is certain that for some, these negative critiques could just be the result of their own insecurities and projections. More or less, Knight is inspiring the next generation to have fun (while being respectful) and not take everything too seriously. 

Being a role model is no easy feat

There’s no question that Knight is an invaluable role model within alternative culture, and it’s largely because of his songs that have provided solace for legions of Waterparks fans for nearly a decade now. With the responsibility of having a platform and influence on an audience, Knight admits that it can get “pretty heavy” when hearing personal stories from his fans during regular meet-and-greets, especially when traumatic events are disclosed and he needs to show his “softer side” as a means to show care, support, and empathy. Make no mistake: The popular frontman has had to adjust a few things in his life to keep this dynamic as healthy as possible by implementing boundaries and keeping a guarded wall when necessary. One thing that Knight has learned recently is the importance of small gestures of kindness, which can go a long way in helping others to persevere. 

Therapy is key

Knight is candid about his experience with therapy and the overall benefits it has had in his personal life. While he recognizes that therapy may not be financially possible for some, he urges everyone to practice self-care, healthy routines, getting out of the house for fresh air, and taking time for simple pleasures (reading, meditating). With regard to his own mental health journey, Knight has implemented all of the above into his daily life. He also speaks positively about his experience with hypnosis therapy and brain-spotting exercises, the latter of which helps to process traumatic memories by using the brain’s receptors to combat them. 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY is worth the wait 

While we eagerly await the release of Waterparks’ fifth studio album INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, it’s becoming impossible to contain our excitement. But for Knight, he’s the one who is bursting at the seams to unveil his masterpiece. Knight confidently declares that INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY is hands down the best Waterparks album to date and is so excited that he even wants to throw his own mini-listening sessions just to see the fan reactions unfold in real-time. After releasing four new singles in what Knight dubs “straight bangers,” he promises that the full album “only gets better,” so color us utterly stoked.


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