Explain the lyric, ‘I haven’t had a day off since my blue hair.’ Did that come out of a sense of mental exhaustion or burnout?
“Kind of both. What we get to do is really fun, but it’s still a weird, creepy, insane, unstable job (laughs). You still can get burnout even if you have a month off between tours, because it’s not like the job is done when you get offstage. You’re always working, and always being looked at, and I understand that you can’t do what I’m trying to accomplish without those things – I get it, and I don’t hold anything against the process. But on days where you’re dealing with 10 things at once, it’s easy to experience that kind of burnout. And yeah, the blue hair was the last time really that there weren’t any expectations – it was 2014, and outside of Texas, nobody knew who we were. And it was still a cool thing and we could sell out small, local venues, which was really fun, but there wasn’t [the aspect] of me logging online and everyone’s like, ‘Music, music music! Album, album, album!’ I appreciate it and I know it comes from excitement, but it all just adds pressure. That line specifically is because back in that time, nobody expected shit; I expected stuff for myself, but I was pretty much the only one (laughs).”
You’ve also got a nod to FANDOM in the song, with the Watch What Happens Next reference. Does that point to maybe not quite wanting to let FANDOM go just yet?
“I don’t know if it’s necessarily about not wanting to let it go; we’re still so close to that time, and I’ve not evolved past everything that I feel on that album. When I put that album out and said everything that I was trying to say, it’s not like that changed everything. I still feel those things. And I just thought this was a cool way to shine a light on it, and show a new twist of: I still want all these things, but right now I’m also kind of scared to fucking go outside (laughs). Everybody’s scared and freaked out right now, and they’re looking for people to punish, and the world itself is just fucking on fire. And so when I’m like, ‘I like cool shirts, I like cold rings / I want a big house, but I’m hiding,’ that’s still everything that I wish for, but now isn’t the time. I can’t bring myself to try and navigate or push for that in this time. People are outside fucking dying, and in California the sky is on fire and shit. It’s kind of hard for me to then be like, ‘But my dreams!’ You know what I mean?! I have all these things that I want to do, but it’s just not my time right now for that.
“At the same time – and I’m not singling anybody out – I’m watching these releases that I think are very good and very cool, but they get talked about for a very short time and then people move on. Everybody’s brains are just fucked right now, and they’re working differently [than usual]. This year is going so quick, and I was watching videos about it, and it’s because when you do the same shit every single day, your brain doesn’t hold on to it as much because it doesn’t have to. Your brain isn’t retaining every single day. I’m seeing cool shit being forgotten, and so I definitely don’t want to give anything too big right now…”
Waterparks’ new single Lowkey As Hell is out now.