Interview: Miles Knox of RELIQA

Words/Interview by Ash Wallace

Sydney's young progressive rock four piece Reliqa have recently released their newest single and video clip for "Mr. Magic" following their 2018 EP release Evertide. The group have played alongside the likes of Sevendust, Voyager and Redhook and gained significant traction after performing at Bigsound Festival 2019 in Brisbane. We got to have a chat with bassist Miles Knox about "Mr. Magic", recent signing with Destroy All Lines and their musical inspirations.

Obviously The whole music and entertainment industry has completely changed over the past few months pretty drastically, how has this time affected you and the band, how are you coping?

As I'm sure is the case for every band out there, it's definitely been an interesting experience adapting to the new times. The thing about being in quarantine for us actually is that we’re all full time students as well so it's been a bit tough trying to juggle both of those aspects but we’ve been focusing on the release of Mr. Magic of course which happened during isolation. We’ve only just started recently getting into the swing of things trying to try out new techniques, trying to see how we can actually collaborate and get the creative process going which can definitely be difficult without having the luxury of being able to be there in person and bounce our views off each other.

You guys have been steady on the scene for a couple years now, but for those who aren’t familiar could you tell us a little about who you are?

Yeah definitely! So, we’re Reliqa, I guess you could call us a prog metal band now, we never set out to be a prog band but I think that's been the natural course of evolution, as we’ve kind of stepped into our own as songwriters and better musicians. It's an exciting umbrella to fall under because it removes a lot of limitations of songwriting structure and we’ve got our awesome front woman Monique who gives us this crazy edge and takes some of our heavier songs into a completely different territory that you wouldn't really expect. We’re from the central coast, Sydney scene and yeah that's us!

And also congrats on the recent signing to Destroy All Lines! That's gotta be pretty exciting, how did this come about?

Yeah it was definitely an exciting thing for us, it was almost too perfect because it's sort of the exact people that we really wanted to be working with, like our ideal scenario. The coolest thing about it was that they approached us and it happened really seamlessly. We had just put out Mr. Magic and they approached us, and we obviously took the time to suss out the details and discuss it internally and externally but it seemed like a really good fit and we’re so excited to see where this new era takes us, we’re so keen to get out on the road and meet the fans because it's been so long since we’ve been able to play a show.

Speaking of your new single Mr. Magic, can you tell us some meaning behind the track?

Absolutely! So Mr. Magic is a bit of a departure for the band for sure. It's kind of a natural evolution of what we were going for on Eventide, at least stylistically, but in terms of collaboration it was a completely different process for us writing that song compared to all our other material. We wanted to focus on making sure that we were all equally part of the collaborative process regardless of who ended up playing what part, we all had equal input on how the song would evolve. It's also a departure lyrically, because all of our previous material has been conceptually based and very theatrical with lots of hidden meanings, and a little bit ambiguous and confusing and Mr. Magic is a bit more direct. Monique definitely took her own with the lyrics on that one and it's born out of a time where the country was on fire and we were all finding ourselves quite frustrated with some of the decisions being made and people in power, but there's a little more nuance in that as well. The cool thing about it is you can take your own message away from it, whoever you want to point the finger at, you probably can, whether it's yourself, people in power, religious figures or whatever it is you want to take away from it, there's a message there, like a call to action.

So with that release, are there any solid plans for a new EP or album in the works?

There's only so much I can say at the moment, but we’re gearing ourselves towards an industry that's kind of increasingly about the singles game, so we’re definitely writing material where we may or may not have new material out before the end of the year. We’d love to set our sights on an album sometime soon but the plan for the moment is to see where the singles game is going to take us and hopefully it won't be too long before we’re thinking about an album.

What bands do you get most of your inspiration from?

Great question! One of the cool things about our dynamic is that we’re so versatile in the kind of music that we listen to and all have our own different music influence. At least in the scene we definitely look up to bands like Northlane, Parkway, even on a smaller scale we really admire what the guys in Windwaker and Redhook are doing too, paving the way for a new generation of Australian heavy music which is really cool!

Like you mentioned before I’m sure you’re all super keen to get back on the road and touring again, what's your plans regarding that for once the world turns to some sort of normalcy again?

Yeah definitely, Destroy All Lines play a big part in that, they're working on a lot of things behind the scenes. Obviously I can't talk about too much there but it's a changing situation everyday as I'm sure you know. So we’re all sitting ducks at the moment, but there's definitely things going on behind the scenes that are waiting to be implemented as soon as the coast is clear. We’re just really keen to get back out there and reconnect with people like yourself and yeah we can't wait!

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