Brisbane punk up-and-comers Columbus have been kicking some serious goals in the past few months. Not only have they been signed to legendary punk label UNFD, but they’ve been on numerous national tours, garnering hundreds of new fans in the process! They have their debut album set for release later in the year, with the first taste being of their latest single ‘Replace Me’. The Push spoke to the guys about their recent shenanigans and what they have planned for the next part of the year.
Looking back over the last year or so, you guys have been super busy with what looks like a whole lot of touring and recording. Up to this point in your musical careers, what has been the biggest highlight for you as a band?
Hey hey! One of the biggest highlights would have to be playing Brisbane Soundwave last year. Such an incredible experience to play on the same stage as some of the band we’ve looked up to for years. Also being able to work with Will Yip last year, a producer we all think highly of was something that really stood out as well.
You’ve just signed to Australia’s leading independent heavy music label UNFD. Congrats! What other big things have you got planned for 2016?
Thank you! We’re so incredibly excited to be working with UNFD, we feel like they’re such a great fit for us as a band and what we want to achieve and couldn’t be happier. This year is looking like it’ll be another big one for us. We just released ‘Replace Me’, the first single off our debut full length, which will be out midyear. In April we’re going to be heading into the studio for about a month to track the full length and hopefully smash out a ton of shows both here and perhaps overseas, in support of the album.
What was it like touring with Trophy Eyes? Were you guys a fan of theirs before you recorded with John Floreani? How did you go about inviting him to sing with you on Downsides of Being Honest?
It was such a great time touring with Trophy Eyes. They’ve become some of our closest friends and that tour sort of kicked off the friendship we’ve got with them. They’re a very talented band and getting to play with them every night across the country ruled. We were all really into all their music before recording Downsides of Being Honest and thought that John’s vocals would fit really well in the bridge part that we’d written. We’d played shows together before, and actually brought the idea up to John at a show we played in Port Macquarie. It all sort of went from there and next thing I know he’s flying up to Brisbane to film the part he tracked for the song.
Who’s been your favourite artist to share the stage with so far?
We’ve been super lucky to get to play with some many bands that I look up to, and even call a lot of them my friends now. Would defiantly have to say playing with With Confidence every night was so much fun. They kill it every time and are always down for a bit of mischief. Getting to play with Luca Brasi and Gnarwolves at the Brisbane show of their tour package was also an incredible experience, as both bands have inspired me a lot.
You’re about to go on tour down the East coast. Could you tell us about the shows and what we can expect?
Hopefully a lot of fun! We’ll be playing ‘Replace Me’ for the first time since it’s been released. These will probably also be our last shows before we knuckle down to finish the album, so could be a farewell to some older material. Sydney’s show is FREE and at one of the coolest bars in Australia, Frankie’s Pizza. In Brisbane we’re lucky enough to be playing the iconic Crowbar, as venue that does so much for punk and hardcore in Brisbane. We’re also lucky enough to be squeezing in an all ages show at a cool new record store in Brisbane called Foundry Records, so cannot wait for that one either.
Any part of the tour that you’re looking forward to in particular?
It’s gotta be the 30-45 minutes we get each night to actually play music that I look forward to the most. It’s so easy to get caught up in the drag of long drives, often over night, loading all our stuff in and out etc., but when you’re up there, finally playing and getting to interact with everyone, it makes it all so worth it.
What do you set out to achieve with your live performances and how do you feel when you’re performing on stage with a live audience?
I think we really set out to articulate the message and energy of our music through live performances. We really want to bring a new energy and experience to our songs when we perform live, something that people can’t just get by listening to our record. Honestly, performing is probably one of the best things about being in a band and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.
When you’re creating your music, do you try to you pay homage to any of your influences or do you try to completely blaze your own trail?
It is probably a bit of both, to be honest. When writing, you’re always going to have bits and pieces of your influences coming through in the music, but also trying our hardest to write something that represents us and is as original as possible.
Last question: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Maybe something you can share and pass on to other young bands trying to crack the music industry?
Probably to just get out there and do it. If you want to tour, then hit up other local bands in the areas you want to tour to and harass venues until someone will put your show on. If you want to write a record, then write it to the best of your ability and throw everything you have at recording it and releasing it. Also there’s so much to be said for networking offline these days. Go to shows, talk to people, and hand out your cd to anyone who will listen, tell everyone you meet about your band. The more you talk about your band and the more you promote, the higher your chances of being successful are.
Where can fans find out more about you and your upcoming shows?
You can check us out on all social media! Just search Columbus on Facebook or @columbus_bne on Instagram/Twitter!