Columbia Mills interview – Restore Factory Settings

Columbia Mills

Indietronica duo Columbia Mills made an impact earlier this year with the release of their stunning single ‘Never Gonna Look At You The Same’. Now the band have delivered on this initial promise with their debut E.P. Factory Settings.

Both Ste Ward and Fiachra Treacy met with T.L.M.T recently to speak about the record ahead of its release and launch this Saturday, November 29th in Whelan’s.

“That song is the beginning of it all really” Ward recalls about the writing of ‘Never Gonna Look At You The Same’, which features on the band’s new E.P. ‘It was written about two years ago, for a film that never happen and were left with this beautiful song’.

“We weren’t even going to release it as single” Fiachra comments. “We were going to release something more up-beat, but everyone we play it (‘Never Gonna Look At You The Same’) to said instantly that it should be a single”.

Indeed Columbia Mills’ cinematic and tonally dense sound has evolved since the writing of their first single. Resulting in the atmospheric indietronica of Factory Settings. “We’ve written a lot of stuff in those two years” Fiachra states. “But if you go home from the rehearsal room and it doesn’t stick with you or doesn’t feel right we will discard it. I think the E.P. is a very good introduction to the band. You get to see the journey we’ve been on leading up to this.”

Throughout Factory Settings Columbia Mills not only evoke mood through music but also through the record’s lyrical content. Something that’s very important to the duo. “It’s kind of about a broken relationship”. reflects Treacy. “It was tough at the time on both people. I remember thinking I’d rather forget we ever met and just returned to our factory settings and then you wouldn’t be hurt, you wouldn’t remember it all.”

“A lot of the songs are about that” Fiachra continues. “It’s about going back to the beginning in way and resetting yourself.”

“When you listen to the E.P, it’s very atmospheric” says Ste. “It’s really about the feeling you get from it. There’s an attention to lyrics that we have as well. Fiachra’s lyrics are very dark and I try to come up with something on the guitar to go with that. We like the “less is more” approach. We try not to clutter things up too much.”

With the large electronic tinged sound of Factory Settings, Columbia Mills look to make a similar impact during their live shows. “The songs will sound a lot more “in your face” during the live set than they do on the E.P.” insists Treacy. “They’re the same songs but when you see us live, we have a live drummer (Paul Kenny) and that brings it to life”.

“We love that Glas Vegas/Depeche Mode sound” Wards says. “We use a lot of reverb, and try to make a small room sound like an arena.”

Columbia Mills play Whelan’s this Saturday night, tickets are €8 and doors are at 8pm. Factory Settings by Columbia Mills is due for release on Friday, November 28th. Read T.L.M.T’s review here

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