Interview: Clubhouse Discuss Ohio's Music Scene, New Single, "Kyra" and Plans For 2017
Ohio's Clubhouse might be a relatively young band, but they're quickly making their mark on the Columbus music scene with immersive and energetic live shows and honest tunes, including their recently released single, "Kyra." The new song follows the band's recently released, "Blame The Weather" and serves as a teaser for what's to come. With plenty of upcoming shows in their hometown and surrounding areas and plans to release an EP later this year, 2017 might very well be Clubhouse's year!
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Clubhouse for any readers who might not be familiar?
Ari Blumer [guitar]: Clubhouse is an indie-electronic pop band from Columbus, Ohio, comprised of Max Reichert (lead vocals, guitar), Michael Berthold (backup vocals, keyboard), Ben Saulnier (bass), Zak Blumer (drums), and Ari Blumer (guitar).
Zak Blumer [drums]: We’re a band that likes to create music to make people feel good. We try to incorporate all of the music we listen to into one unique sound that hopefully gets people dancing and having a good time!
What has it been like getting your start out in Ohio? How do you feel the music scene in Columbus has affected you as musicians?
Mike Berthold [keys/vocals]: Moving down to Columbus really opened a lot of doors for me musically. Not many people know it, but Columbus is a huge hotbed of musical talent. Living on campus at OSU and being only a block away from the Newport Music Hall really opened my eyes to the indie music scene. I had never lived in a place where bands I listen to were rolling through to play shows at what seemed like a daily rate. It really excited me and created an even stronger passion for music in me that I didn't think was possible. Being able to see just about every artist I could ever want to in this city has really strengthened my desire to keep working to take our music to the next level.
Zak Blumer: Ohio is a home base for all of us, and Columbus has been an essential part of that. Max, Ari, and I all grew up outside of Columbus, so we started writing music here. The fans here have been more supportive of local music than we could’ve ever asked. It’s really been a pleasure to be a part of the music scene here. I think that we take influence from every venue we go to, every artist we meet, and all of the fans we come across.
As a relatively young band, are there any musicians local or national that you really look up to as mentors or for inspiration?
Max Reichert [vocals/guitar]: In terms of inspiration for our band, it's constantly changing. One minute we could be really inspired from a Frank Ocean track, the next it could be Whitney Houston or Flume or MUNA. We're kind of all over the place in that aspect. When it comes to mentors, we have been lucky enough to work with a guy named Dan Mufson of Scavenger Hunt (if you haven't heard of them, LOOK 'EM UP). He has helped us really push ourselves as songwriters and performers. We can't thank him enough for all of his help.
Ari Blumer: Having recorded and produced our last two singles with Dan Mufson of Scavenger Hunt, he has been a sort of mentor for us. Other artists like Twenty One Pilots and Walk The Moon have also inspired us by watching them go from local Ohio acts to some of the biggest in the world.
You guys recently kicked off the new year with the release of your new single, “Kyra.” I understand that this song has a pretty personal meaning to you, so could you tell us a little bit about it?
Max Reichert: So "Kyra" is about a friend of mine who passed away a little over a year ago in a car accident. It's also about that frustrating feeling you get when coming to terms with losing someone.
What would you like listeners to be able to take away from “Kyra”?
Ari Blumer: "Kyra" is a very special song for us. It’s written with an upbeat feel to it, but the lyrics obviously have a more serious subject matter. We want listeners to be able to relate to that, and to see the better parts of a tough situation they might be going through.
“Kyra” follows your single, “Blame The Weather” that you released late last year. With these new songs out, should listeners be on the lookout for any more new material soon?
Max Reichert: Definitely be on the look out for an EP Spring/Summer of 2017. We've been going 175% & can't wait to do 2017 with all of you!
Zak Blumer: We’ve been working hard on new music for a while, and we hope to share it with everyone as soon as possible!
You’ve got a couple of shows coming up this month and next in Columbus and Athens. What about these two shows are you most excited for?
Mike Berthold: I'm excited to get back on stage 'cause there's nothing I crave more than the energy our fans give us. It seems like each show we play in Athens gets a bit rowdier and I have a pretty good feeling the next one will follow suit. Im also super pumped to play with Vesperteen as he has really been blowing up as of late and I'm a big fan. I know the whole evening is going to be packed with high energy performances.
Ari Blumer: Our next show is with Vesperteen at The Rumba Cafe in Columbus. We’ve never played with those guys before but we’ve only heard great things so we’re very excited for that. On March 23, we’re playing a headliner in Athens and that’s always a fun and energetic crowd. We also have several gigs in the works for the coming months so keep an eye out for announcements!
Do you have any other big plans for 2017 so far?
Mike Berthold: After this semester of school is over I think we will be able to make huge strides as we plan to do nothing but write music and play shows this summer. There will be no class or jobs to distract us, which will definitely be a relief. Hopefully we can venture out of the Midwest area and play some shows elsewhere in the country. Being able to tour would definitely be a dream come true.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Zak Blumer: Thank you for taking the time for interviewing us! :)