Everyone loves a good underdog story right? You know the one where the hard working protagonist finally scores a big break which changes everything in their lives for the better and the perils of their journey are just a thing of the past? Amy Shark and Ed Sheeran are two prime examples of (at first) unattainable goals becoming a reality and consequently getting smashed not long after and slowly, but surely, we are starting to see similar results for the Central Coast quartet Reliqa, who almost appeared out of nowhere last year, releasing their impressive, genre-crossing Eventide EP (our review here) which blended everything from hard rock, industrial metal, metalcore and nu-metal so perfectly, its as if they had been doing it for decades. But it wasn’t one of those “overnight success” stories you hear about, there’s a lot more behind the scenes when it comes to this band consisting of frontwoman Monique Pym, lead guitarist Brandon Lloyd, rhythm/bass guitarist Miles Knox and drummer Shannon Griesberg…
We personally predicted big things were on the way for them during that review and so far we’ve seen a whole bunch of those achievements come to fruition including their song ‘Hangman‘ placing at #72 in The Faction‘s Hardest 100 Countdown earlier this year, scoring a local support slot with Dead Letter Circus and the addition of their music to several Spotify playlists, which has resulted in their Top 5 Tracks collectively attaining over 430,800 streams and a monthly listenership of over 21,400.
But the recent icing on the cake of their rise to success came over the long weekend when they opened for the incredible Sevendust on their All I See Is War Australian Tour at Sydney’s Metro Theatre, a dream almost unimaginable to a band of their calibre (e.g. being relatively unknown on a capital city level prior to November of last year, now supporting an International heavyweight) but attainable thanks to their incredible musicianship, their passion and desire to break from the mold and not to mention their hardworking team behind the scenes at Collision Course PR including Tim Price who has been working with the band since before their EP’s release and can attest to their motivation and consequential success:
“Essentially, I would say that it’s a real testament to their work ethic. They work hard, but above all, they listen to advice and they do the right shows, push when there is stuff to push, pull back when the timing is right – they are a band who turns heads when shown to others – I can only see a bright future there.” – Tim Price
Reflecting on their latest career highlight, frontwoman Monique Pym, spilt the beans on the moment they found out they were supporting and shared some insights to what happened backstage on the night of the show:
“Funnily enough, the boys and I were in the middle of practice when we first received word, so that cut out the need for all the frantic phone calls to each other! Getting that news all together was pretty special, especially since this was definitely going to be the largest scale show of our career as a band to date. So naturally, we started planning our set right away on that day.”
“To be real, the venue experience for us was just as thrilling and exciting as being billed on such a legendary lineup. Nerves were definitely high and there was a lot of running around, but that all just built our hype for getting out there. Even sound-checking on the stage that we’ve all been in the audience for so many times was pretty surreal! I think we all just really enjoyed drinking in the experience – you only get one FIRST time for everything, so might as well embrace it!”
But for us, having only come across the band within the past year, we didn’t see their earlier struggles and conception that lead them to this point… yes, I’m talking way back in their high school days playing small, friend only shows for the first time, unbeknownst of what was around the corner for them in such a short time, but someone who was there from the get-go was photographer Bree Vane who took part in the band’s historical first show at the Metro, shooting the band with a huge smile on her face, knowing all too well how hard they had worked to be there:
“It was absolutely incredible to watch them attack such a huge crowd of people and have the audience be so responsive. Although it feels like everything’s blown up super recently, I’ve been watching Reliqa perfect their craft for over 3 years now so watching them finally get the love they deserve is ridiculously rewarding.”
“Seeing them play Metro almost brought me to tears, I was that overwhelmed with pride and joy for those talented fuckers…” – Bree Vane
Prior to the release of the band’s Eventide EP, Monique co-hosted our Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall podcast, blissfully unaware of the events that were about to take place in their lives and she explained how they had early backings from their high school music teacher, who would still turn up to local shows, just to make sure they were still giving it their all (despite the group graduating a year earlier), so it seems no matter where this band go or where they’ve come from, the support and nurturing has motivated them enough to keep the ball rolling and for many bands who start out at the same time, it shows the potential of what you can do when your main focus is the beneficial development and progression of the band and musicians within it.
As the band return to their day jobs today, the reality has set in and they’re left with an overwhelming feeling of adrenaline and that rush one gets when they’re doing the thing they love the most as Monique mentioned during our brief chat:
“It’s definitely true what they say about the massive adrenaline rush when you get the chance to play the big stage, and it’s still really stuck with me over the last couple of days, so getting back into the normal nine-to-five now is a bit of an adjustment. I just want to go back!”
But, unlike their increasingly popular song ‘The Halfway Point‘, we aren’t anywhere near halfway of what this band has to offer yet, however, they’re turning the right heads and gaining the right attention for so many reasons and it is bloody comforting to witness it happening to a bunch of talented deserving individuals. There aren’t many bands like Reliqa out there, but when you come across diamonds in the rough like these, you need to watch them shine. You can most certainly expect more to come throughout the year ahead though:
“We’ve got a pretty decent plan for the rest of the year ahead which is definitely something to be excited about” adds Monique. “But like I said – our plans are adaptable for whatever gets thrown at us, so nothing is completely set in stone at this point. We’ve had a really awesome amount of interest in our music coming in from abroad, so I am itching to tour so that we can spread the word and broaden our audience.”
“Whatever happens, know that we will be hard at work!” – Monique Pym
We can’t wait to see what’s next…
Written by Browny @brownypaul
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