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Columbus talk their new single and label break-up

East coast trio Columbus were one of the last bands that Blunt Magazine interviewed before our hiatus a few years ago, so it’s only fitting that upon our return, Columbus also come back with the goods. With new single ‘Out of Time’ now out in the world, we caught up with frontman Alex Moses to talk about where the band are at.

Tell me about ‘Out of Time’. You chose to release it during a pandemic, what was that thought process about?

We kind of had a release schedule organised and plans to put another single out, before the whole Corona thing happened. And we recorded a couple of songs late last year. One of those was ‘Can’t Hide From What Hurts‘, which was a song we put out late last year and we also recorded ‘Out of Time’ then as well. And originally it was going to come out a bunch early but when all this Corona stuff happened we delayed it a bunch.

And I don’t know, it felt kind of like the state and what the song is about… Because the song is a lot about worry and fear and this idea that you’re not only running out of time, but there’s an immediate right now threat and a problem. And it felt apt to put it out around the time of a global disease pandemic when people are quite worried and scared and unsure about what’s going to happen. So it felt appropriate to put it out. And we also, as a band, wanted to keep releasing music and not have to just sit home and wait, as well. I think personally, for us, it was really nice to keep it rolling even though it’s not the perfect situation.

I mean, that sounds extremely apt for this time, especially since you wrote it prior. What’s the reaction been like? It’s been sort of quiet from the Columbus camp and then you just come out and release these really good songs.

Oh, thanks. Yeah, we were quiet. We didn’t call it… people have been saying hiatus, but we never really said that. We were quiet for a while. Life happens and things like that. And I think we were all kind of busy and we… Columbus was always a priority, but we were writing for a while and doing that thing where you’ve done a lot of touring and we were keen on just writing and hanging out and taking a bit of time, which was really nice. Around that same time, Lauren joined the band, as well, and we were hanging out and writing and recording and stuff like that. And then kind of got plans to put out a bunch of songs and book some tours and stuff. And that’s what happened late last year and early this year with some new music and then Corona happened so we had to cancel a few things but we do have a lot of shows locked in for the end of the year now.

So you already have them locked in? You’re not worried that something else might happen?

We have a tour in November/December with Sly Withers and we have some shows booked before that, which aren’t announced yet. So we’re praying that’s kind of the end of the year. So, I guess, no one knows, right, what’s going to happen right now, but we’re praying that the end of the year we’ll still be able to get on planes and tour, and that we’re allowed to have shows. Of course, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with rooms of 500 people, if that’ll be allowed. But we’re hoping.

“…we’re all just kind of in this together hoping it doesn’t take too much of a blow. ”

They’ve been saying maybe social distancing will be implemented at shows, which just seems really odd to me.

Well, if that’s the case, we’ll be able to sell out in two minutes, which will be good. But I mean, it’s not awesome, but we’re just trying to do the best that we can and I know that a lot of other bands are in a similar situation to us, really missing shows. And I know that… I love going to shows and I’m as much a music consumer as I am someone who likes playing music and I’m missing seeing my favorite bands and stuff. So we’re all just kind of in this together hoping it doesn’t take too much of a blow. And if there’s no shows around the end of the year, the next few months, I think Columbus will keep recording and trying to be active as a band as we can with those restraints, as I’m sure a lot of other bands will too.

I wanted to ask you about the whole label thing. Columbus were signed to UNFD, but now you guys are independent.

No hard feelings. We did two records through UNFD which was really great. And it was lovely to work with a label. We really enjoyed it. We are not with them anymore and we put the last two singles out independently, which works quite well for us actually.

There’s benefits and losses for working with a label. And there’s a lot of benefits to working with one and they can support you financially and put you on tours and help you out and stuff like that. And we had a really great relationship with UNFD, it was really positive. And we still kind of keep in touch nowadays, even though they didn’t release our last songs, we played the festival and other stuff like that. So we still have a bit of a relationship, but we’re not signed to them anymore, which is… For a band like us, it could be a blessing really, because… I don’t know. Being an independent artist, it means that you have complete freedom creatively in plans and you don’t have a label influence. You can just do whatever you want, which is cool. And I think that’s something that Columbus kind of wanted as well.

Is there an album that’s ready to go right now?

No album that’s ready to go.

We’ve done two full records. We’ve been writing a lot and I think a third album is on the cards, but we don’t have one waiting to go. And I’m kind of happy we don’t because, given everything that’s happened with the world and stuff, I think that we’ve got some songs now, which we really love. And if we had already recorded a record, a bunch of tracks that I think are good would’ve missed out. So I’m really happy we’re are at the stage we’re at. And we’ve got a bunch of really great songs. I’m so excited to kind of keep it moving and have like a really energetic end of this year once we can finally go back to shows and travel.