while Waterparks get announced for slam dunk festival
THE LITTLE FESTIVAL THAT CAN JUST KEEPS ON GETTING BIGGER. AND WE’RE PSYCHED TO SAY OUR FAVOURITE DAY-GLO POP-PUNKS, WATERPARKS, ARE JOINING THE BILL!
SLAM DUNK Festival is about to get a whole lot more colourful with the addition of Waterparks. that’s not all, though! Joining the Houston pop-punks in playing the three-day extravaganza in May (across Leeds, Birmingham and Hatfield) are this week’s cover stars Counterfeit, plus Crossfaith, with Confidence, Decade, Milk Teeth, Puppy, Andrew Mcmahon In The Wilderness, Black Foxxes, Fort Hope and SHVPES! We caught up with a poorly Awsten Knight backstage at a show in Atlanta, Georgia (complete with surgical mask) to croakily tell us why he cannot wait…
YOU’RE PLAYING SLAM DUNK, AWSTEN! WHAT’S THE LEVEL OF EXCITEMENT YOU’RE FEELING COMPARABLE TO?
“We are! It’s gonna rule. Remember at the end of The Wedding Singer when Adam Sandler started singing I Wanna Grow Old With You to Drew Barrymore on the plane? I am Drew Barrymore right now; crying and watching my shitty exboyfriend get pushed around by Billy Idol.we played Slam Dunk last year when people were just starting to get into us in the UK, and people still showed up and were cool, so I’m excited to see how sick the crowd will be since we’ve grown so much.”
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER FROM THE LAST TIME YOU PLAYED?
“I remember good and bad stuff. On day one in Leeds, none of our equipment worked, everything was shorting and it was awful on the technical front. When stuff like that happens, you just have to go into full ‘Fuck it!’ punk mode and just have fun and worry about everything else later. On day two in Birmingham I played Silver with a blindfold on and haven’t done it since – we can have a rematch, though. Also, I remember on day three in Hatfield, people were super into it and dudes were pitting to us, and we were taken aback because at that time there were still places in the U.S. where people didn’t go off that hard.we loved Hatfield best, I think!”
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE LINE-UP IN GENERAL THIS TIME AROUND?
“The line-up is tight! I’d like to see Beartooth because they’re on under my headphones regularly when I’m getting disgustingly sweaty at the gym. I wanna see Tonight Alive again because they’re sweeties. Bowling For Soup will be cool – I’d bet good money that they’ve got at least one song on every mix CD I made between fifth and seventh grade. I’m curious about Don Broco – a few people have recommended them to me but I’m dumb and haven’t listened yet.”
OF ALL THE BANDS PLAYING, WHICH WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO SING ONSTAGE WITH, WHICH WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER IN CATERING WITH AND WHICH WOULD YOU FIGHT IF YOU HAD TO?
“Bowling For Soup [for singing onstage], please. I wanna sing Almost with them. For dinner I’m gonna say Creeper, even though they aren’t on the line-up, they’ll still be there and I love them. I wouldn’t actually want to have a fight with anyone, but if I had to, I’d pick either Caleb [Shomo, singer] from Beartooth, because he’s a giant so I wouldn’t feel bad for losing miserably, or Otto [Wood, drummer] from Waterparks. Because he’s a bitch.”
SLAM DUNK HATFIELD TAKES PLACE IN A UNIVERSITY – WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AT SCHOOL, THEN?
“I got pretty good grades! But some teachers reeeeeally didn’t like me that much at all because if I thought they sucked, I’d mess with them a bit. There were actually multiple teachers that told me they’d give me an A in the class if I just never showed up again. I still came back anyway and got A’s because it was funny.”
AND IF YOU HAD TO GO TO UNIVERSITY AND DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN MUSIC, WHAT’D YOU CHOOSE?
“If I actually wanted to do a good job, I’d probably go to a lecture on marketing. It might sound boring but marketing is actually one of the most creative jobs you can have that guarantees a paycheck. If I wasn’t in music I’d probably be doing that with my life.”
OBVIOUSLY SLAM DUNK MEANS YOU’LL BE COMING BACK TO THE UK. WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU’RE ITCHING TO DO WHEN YOU GET HERE?
“Buy some chocolate orange candy – that stuff rules! also, I want to eat real food. Our tour manager Ollie is a butthole and keeps trying to make me eat fish’n’chips and cold sandwiches and
I don’t want it. everyone says there’s bomb-ass Indian food in the Uk, so that’s what I’m trying to find. I think I’ve seen most of the landmarks. where is Stonehenge? I wanna see that.”
MAPS.GOOGLE.CO.UK WILL HELP YOU WITH THAT… NOW, IS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT US BRITS THAT CONFUSES YOU, OR THAT YOU FIND WEIRD?
“I love listening to y’all say ‘aluminium’, ‘tomato’, ‘vitamin’ and a bunch of other words. also, your roads are terrifying! they’re backwards and super thin and I feel like I’m gonna die, always.you guys have a lot of orange-flavoured chocolate, which is bomb-as-hell, though – I love that stuff and it’s way more limited in the U.S. so that’s a bonus about coming over to the Uk.”
AND QUICKLY, BEFORE YOU GO, HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING ANY NEW MUSIC?
“to be honest, the writing never stops. I was having new ideas in the vocal booth while recording Double Dare so I don’t think it’ll ever just stop. the first song for Double Dare was written the day after the Cluster ep was being recorded back in mid-2015. I’ve got a very particular way I like to start songs, but it involves me getting to sit at my computer, which isn’t a thing on tour. So a lot of the latest ideas are just guitar and vocals or piano and vocals, so that’s weird. regardless, they’ll be the best songs in the world because we’re the best band in the world and we can see the future. Stay blessed.”
“WE’RE THE BEST BAND IN THE WORLD!” AWSTEN KNIGHT