If there’s one band out there who know just important it is to take a stand for the world that we live in Brisbane’s Columbus.
For decades now, the threat of climate change has been far too real. In recent years, the fear of a dying planet has become even more prevalent as scientists tell us we’re edging ever closer to a climate catastrophe.
While politicians ignore these warnings and blindly chase the almighty dollar, countless activists have been doing their best to speak for those without a voice, and to help use their influence to make a change in the world.
Some of these activists in particular have been musicians, who link their art to the cause at heart in an attempt to bring attention to the issues we’re facing, and promote a positive way forward for both the environment and the perils of climate change.
With their latest single, ‘Can’t Hide From What Hurts’, written about facing the pain in your life head on, and finding the strength and courage to move past it, we spoken to Alex Moses of Columbus to learn more about the artists taking that same approach to issues of climate change and environmentalism.
Read more about Alex’s list below, and keep on scrolling for more info about Columbus’ upcoming tour dates.
Check out ‘Can’t Hide From What Hurts’ by Columbus:
10 artists making a difference in climate action with Columbus
I was a bit late to the party regarding climate change. It took me until my early 20s to really understand the importance of looking after our environment and the effect our choices can have on the planet and other living things.
This interest in climate change intersects with my passion for animal rights and veganism, as reducing intake of animal foods is a simple way to reduce our impact on the environment.
Here’s a playlist of a few of my favourite artists who have made a difference in the world of climate action, and have had an impact on the way I think about these issues.
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1. Kisschasy – ‘Factory’
Kisschasy frontman Darren Cordeux has not shied away from being the face of animal rights campaigns, nor from writing songs about animal and environmental issues.
The lyrics of their 2007 track ‘Factory’ – “Right, is it right to take a life for the taste
Of a mother or her child/Can you taste the factory inside your chest?” – poured out of speakers and 128mb MP3 players into the ears of teenagers who had never thought about these issues.
As one of the first pop punk/rock bands I heard sing about social issues, Kisschasy played an important part in my own values.
2. Enter Shikari – ‘Juggernauts’
Enter Shikari have dedicated albums to political and environmental themed music. ‘Juggernauts’ is a song which is overly weary of the fragility of our earth and the environmental and societal damage caused by our capitalist system.
Their later records all play with the fear of environmental collapse, and how important it is to change our behaviour which has had a huge impact on heavy music fans.
3. Goldfinger – ‘Behind The Mask’
Goldfinger’s ‘Behind The Mask’ gives me chills. The prolific punk rock/ska band fronted by famed producer John Feldman, helped lead the charge of political punk rock in the early 2000s.
Feldman – a vegan activist – often sung about animal rights and environmental issues. These themes feature in ‘Behind The Mask’, an upbeat ska tune which critiques animal slaughterhouses and the meat industry for deceiving society.
4. The Vines – ‘Killin The Planet’
I first heard ‘Get Free’ by The Vines in the soundtrack to an Xbox tennis game. It was only years later after release of their 2014 album Wicked Nature, that I learned of their interest in the environment.
‘Killin The Planet’ worries about environmental catastrophe, and singer Craig Nicholls professes against driving a car or using consumer technology.
5. Coldplay – ‘Paradise’
I’ve always been a Coldplay fan, mostly because of Chris Martin’s lullaby melodies and Will Champion’s shimmering guitars. Coldplay have however throughout their career made a big impact promoting climate change activism.
Mostly recently, the band has announced they will not be going on a world tour of their latest album Everyday Life, due to the negative environmental impacts of large-scale concerts. The band has noted that a dream, “is to have a show with no single-use plastic – to have it largely solar powered.”
6. Tim Minchin – ‘Canvas Bags’
Tim Minchin has subtlety snuck pro-environmental messages into many of his popular comedy-songs. As a teenager it was his not-so-subtle ‘Canvas Bags’ that grabbed me, reiterating the negatives of single-use plastic bags.
Released in 2007, it’s satisfying to know that his dream has largely come true, and ‘single- use’ plastic bags have been largely phased out in Australia.
7. Outright – ‘Troubled’
A hardcore band from Melbourne, Outright’s lyrics commonly criticise the socio-political landscape. The band has a history of contributing to environmental and animal rights causes, such as running vegan bake-sales and donating funds raised to Edgar’s Mission Animal Sanctuary.
8. Cro-Mags – ‘Say Goodbye To Mother Earth’
Going through multiple line–up changes, legendary punk hard-core band Cro-Mags often featured environmental and animal rights themes in their lyrics.
Vocalist John Joseph, an active vegan and environmental activist wrote lyrics on multiple Cro-Mags albums, and was largely the influence for their pro-environmental stance.
John has since spoken about veganism on The Joe Rogan Experience and runs a YouTube channel promoting the health and environmental benefits of an organic vegan diet.
9. Blink-182 – ‘Cynical’
Growing up Blink-182 were one of my favourite bands. In 2019 it’s heartwarming to still align with my childhood heroes, as through their reach and influence the band is having a major impact promoting a vegan diet and environmentally sustainable living.
With the band being mostly vegan, (Hoppus says he eats ‘mostly vegan,’ while Skiba and Barker are 100% vegan) they are helping to influence fans of all ages towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Drummer Travis Barker has since opened a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles called Crossroads.
10. The Veronicas – ‘Untouched’
While not overtly promoting environmental messages in their music, Australian sister icons The Veronicas have since the late 2000s engaged in environmental activism.
While I was religiously listening to their debut album The Secret Life Of… on repeat, the duo were spokespeople for Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors Worldwide and Origliasso was posing for a PETA campaigns.
Columbus Tour Dates 2019
Friday, December 6th, 2019
(with Young Lions)
Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday, December 12th, 2019
(with Young Lions)
Rocket Bar & Rooftop, Adelaide, SA
Friday, December 13th, 2019
(with Young Lions)
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday, December 14th, 2019
(with Young Lions)
SlyFox, Sydney, NSW
Saturday, January 11th, 2020
Tarwin Meadows, VIC