Anything but cliché

Max Schwartz, Reporter

Junior Jaren Goldberg and his band, Clishae, want everyone to know that they are anything but cliché. Clishae, which entered the Fairfax, Virginia scene almost a year ago, enthuses the crowds with their electric punk rock music. Each band member has a diverse skill set that’s made the group such a success. 

Clishae had been in the works for many years prior to its inception in August 2020. Goldberg and his bandmates, Simon Bhatia, Vinny Nurmi and Dylan Brooks all met at “School of Rock” camp back in middle school, and immediately realized the potential this group had. Goldberg’s bass skills caught the attention of the other bandmates who figured they should put their skills to good use. 

“I was also playing some hard songs, and they saw me as a good bass player,” Goldberg said. “One of them was a drummer and the other was a guitarist, so that was enough to make a band.”

Once they agreed to start the band, they all fully dedicated themselves by working a couple of hours every week to perfect their craft. They began piecing together original pieces into three to four-minute songs. Once they developed a strong enough chemistry, they felt ready to begin performing in front of live audiences. 

Now, Clishae has performed seven times at parks, pools or a band member’s basement. They typically draw around 50-100 people to come to watch them play. The crowds are always loud and engaged, relishing the “Clishae” experience.

“I’ve been to three of their concerts, and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them,” junior Jonah Gross said. “The music is fast, loud and fun.” 

Goldberg’s favorite performance happened this past August, when their originally scheduled pool show got rained out, forcing them to find a new venue fast. They settled on their guitarist’s basement. They packed the place with around 50 people, playing late into the night. Goldberg dubs it their “best ever show.”

“We brought in some nice, cool lights and it had the feel of a party in that basement,” Goldberg said. “We played some of our originals and people were jumping around, having a lot of fun.”

Music-making comes naturally to the band members now and they can create songs far more efficiently. At this point, they have around eight to nine five-minute songs that they play regularly at their performances. 

“I just enjoy playing music with Jaren because I don’t have to say anything,” band member Vinny Nurmi said. “We just talk through our instruments.”

While Goldberg is satisfied with the current state of Clishae, he has larger aspirations that he feels this band is capable of reaching. They’re currently exploring the idea of playing at colleges and other big venues, such as Union Stage in Washington, D.C.

Although the older band members have started leaving for college, Goldberg and the other band members still at home all have access to recording software, and they plan to continue to make music. 

“We’ve been able to do stuff online over the past year, during COVID, so it shouldn’t be that hard to continue,” Goldberg said.

Seeing the way Clishae has grown over the past year, it’s hard for band members to imagine it going away anytime soon. 

“The name Clishae, especially with it being spelled wrong, perfectly sums up our band because we’ve never had a perfect show, but we always have a good time and give everyone something to remember,” Goldberg said.