The band continues to carve out their own space in pop-rock on big stages.

Energetic pop/rock outfit Waterparks— the members consist of frontman Awsten Knight, drummer and backing vocalist Otto Wood, and lead guitarist Geoff Wigington— have been in the game for 12 years and has already established itself as an experimental band that is willing to play around with different genres and sounds to make something unique, relatable, and palpably unique to them. With their new single “Sneaking Out Of Heaven”— a song that can be seen as a continuation of their latest album “Intellectual Property” which focuses on Knight’s thoughts on religious trauma, fame, anxiety, and toxic relationships  —  new color scheme, and boundary-pushing music videos, the Houston Trio continues to bring the genre forward. Although they are one of the newer bands on this year’s When We Were Young Fest lineup, it’s no surprise that the group is playing at the rock and pop-punk festival: they have successfully carved out a space that upends genre and sets ou, gaining legions of fans along the way. With sets as energetic as their lead singer and as colorful as their music videos, a Waterparks show is always a good time, one where fans can be seen screaming the lyrics and forming pits as Knight and company keep the audience engaged with animated banter, vibrant hues, and lively performance.

Substream caught up with the band at When We Were Young Fest to chat about their latest album, touring, and more before their performance. Friendly and animated, Awsten Knight and company were excited to chat about their latest record and the plans they have for their spring 2024 tour across North America with Substream.  Critically acclaimed as one of their best pieces of work, Knight says that Intellectual Property is an album that he wanted to “start conceptually in the middle of a relationship with ‘Starfucker’ and then ‘Real Super Dark’ is where everything kind of implodes. ‘Funeral Grey is where it starts all over, at the meeting point. ‘Brainwashed’ is the honeymoon phase and then it just deteriorates from there.” Knight feels like the album is ” a good thesis of where everything’s at.” On their new synth-soaked single “Sneaking Out Of Heaven”  their first new song since the release of their fifth album and the first time they have extended a musical era, Knight describes the song as being part of a concept where there are “two characters in the album as far as the ‘soul-sucker’ and ‘starfucker’ thing” while cryptically adding that there are “two sides to every story.” As for their tour next year, Knight says that it’s going to be a “whole new show” for fans, enthusiastically nodding as I ask if it involves pyrotechnics.

Having recently performed alongside Fall Out Boy in London while on the European leg of their headlining tour where they receive support from Staind Atlantic, and stepping up the colorful nature of their live shows, the band continues to flip the definition of the pop-rock genre and push themselves into the mainstream by staying true to who they are. You can catch Waterparks in the States next year, starting in February in Seattle and ending in April in Los Angeles.  You can get tickets here.

Waterparks pose for a press photo. (Credit: Jawn Rocha)