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Columbus’ Own: Local band Clubhouse moves on up

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Columbus’ Own band Clubhouse during a show. Credit: Courtesy of Evan Leonard.

Columbus’ Own band Clubhouse during a show. Credit: Courtesy of Evan Leonard.

In an attempt to shine light on local music, The Lantern’s “Columbus’ Own” is a weekly series that will profile a new Columbus band each week.

Clubhouse is moving up to what could be considered a penthouse: the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion.

CD102.5 announced on Monday that Clubhouse beat out two local bands to open for the sold-out Holiday Show at the LC Pavilion this Saturday.

“We’re just completely without words about playing at a place with this kind of stature behind it,” said drummer Zak Blumer. “We go to countless shows at the LC, and to be on the same stage as some of the greatest artists who have ever lived is amazing.”

Twins Zak and Ari Blumer and close friend Max Reichert started playing together back in 2010 when they were just 13 and 14 years old. Over time, and with the addition of keyboardist Michael Berthold and bassist Ben Saulnier, the band found their sound.

“It’s really cool how the songs come together because you can hear each person’s influence in the songs,” Reichert said.  

Like any other pair of siblings, Ari and Zak Blumer have had their fair share of verbal fights, but they said playing music together has helped them be more in sync.  

“It’s cool when we have a big gig and I just look over at Zak while I’m playing guitar, and I’m just like, ‘Damn this is cool, that’s my twin,'” guitarist Ari Blumer said.

Zak Blumer added that there is a sense of brotherhood among all of the band members beyond the shared blood between him and his twin.

“It is really cool to look onstage and see your identical twin brother jam out with you, but I think it’s pretty cool to be doing it with your best friends either way,” he said.

Friendship was important when choosing to add members to the original trio.

Berthold became friends with Zac Blumer through mutual friends in their dorm at Ohio University, and he comes from a musical background. From a young age, he would go onstage with his father’s cover band and sing when they would play “American Pie.”

Bassist Saulnier has a musical background as well, but he had only been playing the bass for two months when he was given a shot to be in the band. Saulnier said that being in a band was a childhood dream of his.

“We didn’t just want Ben in the band because he was good at his instrument. It’s because we all vibed,” Zak said.

Rechiert added, “Vibes with our friends definitely is way more important than skill, I’d say.”

The band enjoys spending time together in a spare room “clubhouse” connected to the Blumers’ home, which inspired the group’s name.

The band has spent almost every weekend together since it formed in early 2015.

Over the summer, Saulnier would come from Cincinnati and Berthold from Cleveland to meet the Blumers and Reichert in Columbus. Even during the school year with four members attending Ohio University and one at Ohio State, the five of them have continued to convene in Columbus to practice each weekend.

Keyboardist Berthold, a second-year in accounting, is the lone OSU student.

“I think it’s good that we have someone here because there’s such a large fan base and so many people here,” Berthold said.

The band sees benefit in being involved in both schools.

“I think OU and OSU are two great schools. Both of them have their benefits. People just get too focused on hating one or the other or one being better, and I think they both have their certain charm,” Saulnier said.

Clubhouse has gotten a reputation for its light, summery vibe, but it intends to release more songs with different tones while staying true to the pop genre.

“I think that there’s a stigma that goes along with pop music that just because it’s pop music means that it just has to be fun, upbeat, lyrics about going out and partying. But you can make as much depth to it as you want to,” Reichert said.

Berthold added, “People that don’t listen to this genre of music might think it’s a little weird or not like it that much, but the people who do listen to it are, I think, some of the most devoted fans in the music industry. I don’t know if you can say that for other genres of music.”

Clubhouse will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday as a part of CD102.5’s Holiday Show at the LC Pavilion.


Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Dec. 2 to correct the spelling of Ben Saulnier’s name. 

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