Waterparks’ Awsten Knight at Reading Festival 2021: “Maybe I’ll leak our unreleased demos”

The frontman on the 108 demoes for 'Greatest Hits' and sliding into the DMs of Matthew McConaughey and Billie Eilish

Waterparks only found out they were headlining The Pit stage at Reading Festival two days before show time. Originally, the pop-punk trio were due to play a secret set earlier in the day, but 48 hours ahead of their performance they got the call.

“They were like ‘Hey, you’re headlining,’ and we were like ‘Oh fuck, okay!’” the group’s frontman Awsten Knight reveals to NME backstage at the festival. The last-minute news meant they had to quickly switch up the setlist, but the extended performance time allowed the group to share more songs they’ve never played live before.

Reading and Leeds marked Waterparks’ first shows back post-lockdown, and also the first time that fans are able to hear new songs from their fourth album ‘Greatest Hits’ in the flesh.


This record was largely created and recorded during the lockdown, and the extended time at home meant that the band had more time to write potential tracks for album contention.

“There are by far more demoes for ‘Greatest Hits’ than any other album [we’ve written], there are 108,” Awsten reveals. Can we expect to hear any more of them?

“Maybe we’ll pull one or two… Maybe I’ll leak stuff if I’m in that mood. I get in that mood sometimes where I’m antsy and I’m like, ‘Got to do something… go!’” he laughs.

And while Awsten is keen to explain that he’s “not saying there’s a new album ready right now”, does reveal that there are some collaborative tracks in the vault. Texas rapper DE’WAYNE already features on driving single ‘You’d Be Paranoid Too (If Everyone Was Out To Get You)’, and Aswten tells NME that this wasn’t the only song they worked on. “I’ve got a few things with De’Wayne”, explaining that the duo worked on songs over remotely during the strictest lockdown.

“There was one song we did where we just went back and forth a lot and it’s really cool, so maybe that one will come out at some point, somehow.” We’ll keep our fingers crossed!


And when approaching these team-ups, how does he go about it? Is he a DM slider?

“I’ve never done the DM slide for a collab before… except for when Live Nation let me in their Instagram and I DMed everyone, and now I’m banned from doing a takeover.”

He adds: “I hit Matthew McConaughey, I hit Billie Eilish, I hit Justin Bieber, I hit Drake, I hit Kid Rock, I hit Papa Roach. Papa Roach were the only ones who opened it, but they left me on seen.”

“I was like “Cut my life into pieces” in all caps, and they didn’t say anything.” Savage.

Watch our full video interview with Waterparks at Reading 2021 above

Check back at NME all weekend for more reviews, news, interviews, photos and more from Reading & Leeds 2021.