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Serial Killer or Drummer? Debunking Otto Wood

As his story captivates social media, people can’t help but wonder… who exactly is Otto Wood?

Clip of FUNERAL GREY music video with multiple Awsten, Otto, and Geoff heads on a grey sheet
Credit: Youtube/Fueled by Ramen

Waterparks has three members, one of whom is a serial killer… as far as the fandom is concerned. Drummer Otto Wood coincidentally shares a name with a bandit from the early 1900s. This has led to a running joke in the fandom ranging from both of the Ottos being the same person to drummer Otto being a reincarnation.

Recently, the rumor has started to make its way out of the fandom, in part due to lead singer Awsten Knight’s active social media presence. Because it is such a long-standing joke, fans will do anything to keep it going. However, it’s causing confusion from an outside perspective.

These videos and comments have gained immense traction, which aligns perfectly with the promotion for the album Intellectual Property 2 (following Intellectual Property, which was released in 2023). Consequently, the phenomenon gives the appearance of a publicity stunt.

Who is Waterparks?

In 2011, Awsten Knight formed the band Waterparks, which consists of Otto Wood and Geoff Wingington. Before Otto and Geoff, the band had its share of other members. They’ve released 3 EPs and 5 studio albums, with Intellectual Property being the most recent. The band is currently releasing singles leading up to the release of Intellectual Property 2.

Waterparks has an extensive discography which has stayed fairly consistent, making a sound that resembles its own brand. If you were to micro-analyze their genre, you would end up with a conglomerate of pop, punk, rock, and electro influences.

It’s fitting considering that Waterparks has opened for names like My Chemical Romance and Blackbear. They’ve also played festivals like When We Were Young, Sad Summer Fest, and Warped Tour. The band has become more independent over time. They’ve been with a few record labels, with the most recent being Fueled By Ramen.

Rumors and Jokes

Awsten is without a doubt a highly vocal person. The amount he shares online makes up for the lack of social media presence the other bandmates have. The comments about Otto might not be so prominent right now if it wasn’t for his marketing. Looking at his TikTok, a majority of the recent videos have to do with Otto being a killer. Fans have taken it upon themselves to share their “close encounters” with Otto.

The countless fan input serves to sustain the bit. If you do a deep dive, you might run into the hashtag #FreeOtto. In 2023, it was previously used in connection to the bit. The use of the hashtag was ramped up around the time “REAL SUPER DARK” came out because of the lyrics.

Lyrics in "REAL SUPER DARK" referencing Otto
Captured by Ileana Hernandez via Spotify

The Otto Woods

In 1990, Otto Wood, best known as Waterparks’ dummer, was born. Since earlier days in the fandom, you can find references claiming that Otto Wood from Waterparks and Otto Wood from the late 1800s are the same person, fueling the rumors. Otto also has no social media presence. In a 2019 interview with Round Sound, Otto says “I try to stay off the internet ’cause it’s terrifying and I’m out of touch, but I made a MySpace account.”

Otto Wood wearing a shirt that says "Not a Serial Killer"
Credit: Tumblr/sunflowerinc

In 1894, Otto Wood, best known as “The Bandit,” was born. He spent much of his life involved in crime. Wood was even said to have completed 10 jailbreaks. After he died in 1931, The Carolina Buddies released a song called “Otto Wood The Bandit.” There have since been multiple versions of this song.

So, down to the biggest question of them all. Is Otto Wood a serial killer or a drummer? The answer is simply, yes.

Those Other Guys

In actuality, this band has lasted as long as it has because of the close relationships between the boys, which preceded the creation of the band. For instance, prior to Waterparks, Awsten and Otto were in a different band together that didn’t work out. Their work-life balance keeps their friendship strong and the band relevant.

Awsten Knight is not only the orchestrator behind the making of the band; he plays many instruments and writes most of the songs. Besides Waterparks, Awsten has a clothing brand called Hiidef. The clothes release each drop in seasons where limited items go on sale at 10 am PST on Wednesdays.

Interestingly, Awsten has both heterochromia and synesthesia. His synesthesia impacts the sound and looks of the albums, with the eras adjusted based on how he associates the sounds.

Awsten’s hair color also is tied to the eras of the albums. There have even been brand collabs with Awsten’s hair from both Manic Panic and Good Dye Young, with a Twitter feud erupting between the brands at one point.

Much like Otto, Geoff Wingington is quieter member of the band, although Geoff has a larger social media presence. Typically, Geoff replies to tweets with red heart emojis. The only time he posts is when he is reposting from the main Waterparks accounts. Geoff also has his own Twitch account where he goes live and occasionally plays games with fans.

More like Killer Band

There is so much more lore to the band, as it has been around for over ten years. And the extra publicity doesn’t hurt. Needless to say, it’s compelling to investigate a band whose drummer has been labeled a serial killer.

So now you know everything there is to know about Waterparks, it is time to start streaming Intellectual Property 2 and decide for yourself if you will continue the bit to share Otto’s identity.

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Written By

Ileana (she/her) is in her final year of working on her Journalism degree at College of Southern Nevada. Ileana has previous experience writing album reviews in her high school paper. When she's not listening to music, you're bound to find her deep into a book.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lena

    July 5, 2024 at 8:50 pm

    Love this. Wow 👏🏼

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