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Glory People – Columbia

Cardiff indie rock four-piece Columbia recently released their new single ‘Glory People‘ and it’s one you definitely need to check out. The band formed three years ago and have risen through the UK indie music scene, with previous singles ‘Fall Into The Sun’ featured by A&R Factory and ‘Keys To The Kingdom’ both being well received by the media, the latter gaining radio play on Mark Speller’s ‘The Rise of The Indie Artists’ show and The Premium Blend Radio Show.

Glory People‘ enhances the band’s growing reputation with its blend of raw aggression, incendiary guitar riffs, thunderous drums and a volatile energy. The guitar intro gradually builds to the first verse but doesn’t prepare you for the full force of the rousing chorus which follows. Think of mid-nighties The Verve crossed with Oasis and that will give you an idea of where the sound is.

We caught with Craig and Sten from the band to talk about the new single and their plans for 2022.

Your new single “Glory People” is out now and is an absolute belter! When did you record it and what was the inspiration behind it?
Craig – Thank you! We knew it had the potential to be a big song for us. The song has been kicking around for a while but we’d never recorded it properly or really nailed it live. When we went into the studio last summer to finish off the album, it was the one song we knew we had to get right. The writing process: I can remember really liking the single Sunshine People by Detroit Social Club (2010). The chorus to that song and also The Rolling People by The Verve (1997) just had a great feel when you listened or sang them. I wanted to write something similar that had the same driving sound and anthemic chorus. I wanted it to be a big positive song about hope. The whole song is about making the most of every situation. “We are the glory people and we shine!” basically means that whatever we face, no matter how difficult, we can get past it and still shine.

Asha Jane provides backing vocals and really helps to elevate the track. Was this something you planned or did you feel the song needed something else?
Craig – it definitely wasn’t planned and was very much the last thing we recorded on the track. I just felt that a female vocal would sound great on it. I kept listening to the song over and over and I could just hear it. Our producer Sanders suggested Asha, who he’d previously worked with, and it turned out to be a master stroke. She came into the studio, and was only in there for an hour. When she left she’d left behind a vocal that was absolutely amazing. That vocal left in the hands of Sanders and what was created was what you hear on the record. Probably the biggest song on the album.

If you could only listen to one record, what would it be?
Craig – For me, it has to be Definitely Maybe. One of the greatest albums ever, and to think it was their debut just blows my mind. It has everything on that album and bonafide classics that still sound as good today as they did then!
Sten – Use Your Illusion I (Guns & Roses) The first rock album that got me learning bass and drums!

Your debut album “Embrace The Chaos” will be released next year – what can we expect ?
Craig – to be blown away! I think we’ve made something very special. it has something for everyone: fast paced, energetic rock n roll; driving basslines, thunderous drums and explosive and swaggering guitar riffs. There’s also a couple of slower acoustic tracks too.
Sten – Loud guitars, fast drums, booming bass and moody vocals.

What classic album cover is your current mood?
Craig – I’m going for a single cover instead of an album cover: History (The Verve). I think the cover art which reads “Life is not a rehearsal” sums up where we are now as a band. I feel like we’re at a place where everything we do has to be great, if we’re going to get where we want to be. We have to show people what we’re all about and how good we are as a band. We haven’t got the luxury of a rehearsal. We have to be on it!
Sten- Pull The Pin (The Stereophonics). In a world where everything said can be taken out of context, it feels like words can be used as ammo for someone’s agenda!

Who are your musical influences and are there any new bands or records that you currently have on repeat?
Craig – for me personally, growing up in the 90s, it was always the Britpop and Manchester scene. Early Oasis, The Verve, Doves, Kasabian. Then later on The Enemy and The Music and Exit Calm. The only artist that’s really doing it for me lately is Sam Fender. Ben (lead guitarist) and I went to see him last month and he blew me away. He was great.
Sten – Duff McKagan is the main reason I started playing bass but solid influences in my sound and style is Duff, Chris Wolstenholme (Muse), Mike Dirnt (Green Day), Barry Fratelli (The Fratellis), Nick Oliveri (ex-Queens Of The Stone Age). — Currently got IDLES on repeat. Loving their new album Crawler!

Photo Credit – Chris Milligan

Tour dates for 2022 should be out soon – can we expect to “Embrace The Chaos” at the gigs as well?.
Craig – Absolutely! There’ll be plenty of energy and loud rock n roll! We’re definitely a force to be reckoned with live and I’d back us against anyone. You’ll definitely remember our gig and would be excited to come back for more.

What would go on your signature pizza and what would it be called?
Sten – Pepperoni, pepperoni, pepperoni, pepperoni. I’d call it the PepperoniPunch!

2022 is already shaping up to be a big year for the band. Will you be playing any festivals or do you have anything else planned?
Craig – Our management is in talks to get us playing at some festivals, and we’re hoping to be able to announce our album launch and tour early in the new year. We’re also already booked into the studio to record a few acoustic tracks and start working on album #2!

Columbia is comprised of frontman and rhythm guitarist Craig Lewis, Ben Rowlands  (lead guitarist), Chris Webber (drums) and Aron ‘Sten’ Stennings, (bass), and if the constant friendly banter between them is any indication, this band could rival the Beatles for witty humour and a close-knit bond that is easily transitioned into a cohesiveness in their onstage performance which quickly sets them apart from other up and coming independent alternative rock bands.

Columbia’s rapidly gathering momentum is set to continue on an exciting upward trajectory, with the highly-anticipated debut tour dates soon to be announced, followed by the release of their debut album, currently scheduled for release on February 25th, 2022.  Make sure you get yourself to a gig – you’ll want to be there to embrace the chaos and the sheer musical force of nature that is Columbia.

You can get more info on the band at their website https://www.songsofcolumbia.com/ and follow them on Instagram and Twitter for updates

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