Local Band to Take Final Bow as Students in Athens
CLUBHOUSE, (a student band at Ohio University), will play their last show as OU students on March 22 at The Union Bar and Grill.
Drummer Zak Blumer and his brother Ari Blumer, lead guitarist, unofficially established CLUBHOUSE when they met lead singer Max Reichert in elementary school.
“I don’t even know if you’d want to call it a band,” Zak says. “We would play like one show a year and cover the Foo Fighters or something.”
It wasn’t until Zak and Ari started school at OU, where Reichert attended, that CLUBHOUSE got its official start. Eventually, Zak met bassist and singer Ben Saulnier in his dorm hall, and Michael Berthold, who plays the keyboard and synthesizer. Berthold was a student at The Ohio State University and met Zak when he visited OU for a weekend.
“It was pretty obvious that we wanted both of those guys in the band and then we released ‘To the Ocean’ and things took off a bit faster than we thought,” Zak says.
‘To the Ocean’ was the first single the band released as CLUBHOUSE.
As students studying engineering and physics, marketing, accounting and audio production, the band members have learned how to balance academics with music. This includes sacrificing studying for rehearsal, or staying home on the weekends to write music.
“The connections are great, the exposure is great. It definitely had its tough moments as well, but it’s about what you would expect,” Ari says. “I mean I think that there were some real hard moments in [our] hardest classes during [our] four years...but now we’re excited to graduate and be able to spend a lot more time focusing on music and developing.”
CLUBHOUSE draws influence from many genres of music. Ari says it ranges from 80s music to electronic dance music (EDM). The band incorporates the new music they’re listening to, while trying to keep their sound original.
“I think we’re a pop band in the sense that we write music to be accessible to the majority of people,” Zak says. “That being said, I think that we’re more on the alternative, indie, electronic end of pop.”
The band hopes to release new music soon, and it will contain different elements from what they’ve done before. Zak describes one song as ethereal and dreamy, while another song sounds like EDM. Some of these new songs will be performed for the first time at The Union show on March 22.
Over the years, CLUBHOUSE has played a variety of headlining shows and has accompanied other bands at their own shows, as well as playing multiple music festivals. Even after playing music festivals like Firefly and Bunbury, the band enjoys playing smaller venues.
“[At a festival] there’s going to be a lot of people that haven’t heard you that are coming to see you for the first time,” Ari says. “Whereas when you’re playing a show, hopefully there are a decent amount of new listeners, but a lot of your people that are going to be coming already know you.”
The Union in particular has its own special connection with the band, Zak says.
“Everyone’s sort of friends and Athens in itself is like a really close knit community,” Zak says. “And it really just promotes the most fun show atmosphere ever.”
Ari says fans can expect a lot of energy and dancing at a CLUBHOUSE show.
“We really want people to forget about everything for a little bit when they come to our show,” Zak says. “We feel like we can do that by just bringing as much energy as we can and just putting on the best performance of our music that we possibly can.”
OU students, 90’s Kids, and Cincinnati-based Harbour will join CLUBHOUSE for the show on March 22. The bands have previous connections with each other, but CLUBHOUSE has never played a show in Athens with either of them.
Harbour opened for CLUBHOUSE at a show in Columbus in 2016. Corey Mouch, a senior at OU and the lead singer of 90’s Kids, opened for CLUBHOUSE with his old band but has never played with them as 90’s Kids.
“[90’s Kids has] developed their new sound and we’re really excited to hear them for the first time because we haven’t necessarily played with 90’s Kids per say and Harbour always puts on a great show,” Ari says. “We think it’s going to be our best show in Athens yet.”
Grab your tickets for the March 22 show at clubhouseband.com. Doors open at 9 p.m. at The Union Bar and Grill, 18 W. Union St.