Knox is no 1975. In fact, that’s something the up-and-coming 25-year-old singer/songwriter wears proudly. So proudly in fact that he even wrote a song about it. The newest single, “Not The 1975,” is a pop-rock track inspired by true events where a seemingly backhanded compliment turned into Knox’s most highly-anticipated release yet.
The song features a rhythm guitar eerily and playfully reminiscent of our friends, The 1975, along with title tracks “Chocolate” and “Oh Caroline” referenced in both verses before the chorus. Amidst the cheeky references, Knox kept true to his own pop-rock sound with a chanty chorus and a guitar solo preceding a halftime breakdown. Melodic got the chance to speak with Knox about his newest single, find the interview below!
@musicbyknox NOT THE 1975 OUT EVERYWHERE NOW 💛 #foryou #newmusic ♬ NOT THE 1975 – Knox
You sound so excited, and that just tells me everything I need to know about what the fans can expect to hear from this song and the reception of it. Just by the way you’re talking about it, it’s very clear that this [single] is the new thing.
Knox: Oh dude thank you, I mean, from the second I came up with the idea of the song; just the first line “She said I like your confidence but you’re not The 1975.” I came up with that, just that one line ten months ago. And I knew from before the song was written before I even knew how it sounded, I was like “This is so sick, whatever this is going to turn into is going to be so sick.” This has been the biggest reaction to a song that I’ve gotten since my first song “Sneakers,” which was kind of the song that put me on the map. So to see it not only be something that has come to life in such a big way is so special. It feels so good. It’s everything I wanted it to be, you know?
Yes! This has been a continual process of trying to make this lyric work within a finished piece.
Knox: Yes, so there are like three different versions of this song that literally exist. One of them, the whole line is the pre-chorus of the song and we have a whole other chorus that was written instead. So there’s a lot of different trial and error with it. We knew how special that line was and the concept of it, so we made two other versions of the song and both times I was like “Aw, this isn’t it.” This is too good of an idea. And finally, I think we cracked the code. I’m super proud of it.
Was it that line that made you choose this version over the other two?
Knox: For sure. Cause the other two, the line was the pre-chorus and I was thinking in the sessions this line is too meta. There’s something really special about it. And it’s funny cause it’s true in a way. I came up with this idea because I was in LA and I was out with friends and I was talking to some girl, I told her I was a musician and she asked if I really did music. I was like “Yeah, I’m signed to Atlantic.” And she said “That’s cool but you’re not Matty Healy,” and that is literally what she told me. I honestly thought it was so funny because it comes from a real place, I think it’s pretty sick.
It’s the best to have that honesty. Having that moment in any art form with writing, music, film, you draw inspiration from real-life events so if something happens to you and it resonates with you, of course you want to talk about it, write about it. What’s the best way to do this? Let it all out in a song.
Knox: Right. 100%.
So, I’m assuming you do listen to The 1975, is that right?
Knox: I love them. I absolutely love them.
To be compared to them, but in a backhanded way must have been really weird. But it did give you that inspiration! Sonically, how do you take inspiration from The 1975 while still making songs your own?
Knox: I mean, I feel like my thing about The 1975 is that because of the music that I make, I could never make a song that sounded like “Looking For Somebody To Love.”
So like, sonically, I could never make a song that sounded like that because that would just not be me. It’s their thing. But what I feel like The 1975 is so good at is capturing feeling in songs and music. I remember there were a couple different ideas we had where my producer was like “Are you sure you want it floor to the floor the whole time?” And I was like “Yes!” So I live in Nashville and when you’re down on Broadway and there’s a DJ set going on, and “Shut Up And Dance” by Walk The Moon comes on, everybody is like “Shut up and dance with me!” It’s such a feeling. And The 1975 is so good at that and so we went in with the inspiration of how do we sonically make people want to move, but also what is the chanty thing like Walk The Moon’s song?
I think we did a really good job of capturing both of those things. Which I think is awesome.
I think that staying true to the music you want to make while also being able to reference other things is super important because, at the end of the day, the music is supposed to make you feel something. In the same way, The 1975 gives you a feeling, you want to be able to give people that feeling back.
Knox: For sure. Not everybody knows who The 1975 are.
And you don’t have to!
Knox: That’s what I’m saying! I feel like you don’t have to because it sounds on the nose enough that people are like “I don’t have to know what that means, but it feels awesome and I’m gonna sing it!”
Exactly! In making a song that makes people want to get up on their feet and sing along, I saw that you’re going on tour this fall. Congrats for that!
Knox: Thank you!
Is this a song that you’re going to perform life to get the crowd moving?
Knox: There’s another song that nobody knows yet I’m most excited to play live but this is definitely second most. I feel like I personally put out the songs and I cannot put out a song unless I’m like “Okay is this going to be awesome at a show, or is it not?” That’s my gauge of what I put out. I only put out songs that live are going to be so much fun. I am super excited.
I’ve been on tour before but when I went on the road last year, I only had like four songs out, three songs out. Now we’ve had the time and I got the new one headline show where we sold it out and people knew every word which is crazy. I’m excited to see how much people like this song.
I can already see people’s smiling faces and people turning to their friends and singing!
With a following of 700,000 on Spotify and a climbing stream count of his February 2023 EP, How To Lose A Girl in 7 Songs, it’s clear that people have taken notice and a keen liking to Knox’s ability to write undeniably catchy and fun songs. “Not The 1975” is no exception. Fans should gear up to see Knox supporting Nightly this fall on the “Wear Your Heart Out Tour.”
Stream “Not The 1975” on your favorite streaming platform, here!
KNOX Tour Dates: Purchase tickets here.
5-Oct Scoot Inn – Austin, TX
6-Oct The Studio At The Factory – Dallas, TX
7-Oct The Ballroom At Warehouse Live – Houston, TX
11-Oct Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ
12-Oct Music Box – San Diego, CA
13-Oct Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles (LA), CA
15-Oct August Hall – San Francisco, CA
17-Oct Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR
18-Oct Neumos – Seattle, WA
20-Oct The Depot – Salt Lake City, UT
21-Oct Gothic Theatre – Englewood, CO
24-Oct Varsity Theater – Minneapolis, MN
25-Oct Metro – Chicago, IL
26-Oct Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
7-Nov Paradise Rock Club Presented By Citizens – Boston, MA
9-Nov Racket – New York (Nyc), NY
11-Nov 9:30 Club – Washington, DV
12-Nov Brooklyn Bowl – Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA
14-Nov The Underground – Charlotte, NC
15-Nov Center Stage – Atlanta, GA
16-Nov Brooklyn Bowl – Nashville – Nashville, TN