The Story behind 'Just Us (feat. Clubhouse)'

J U S T U S  //

LANY is hands down my favorite band of all time. There is no doubt about that. Also, the two biggest LANY fans in the world are probably me and my friend Dylan Lee. Last March I got a text from Dylan saying he met the third biggest LANY fan in the world. It just so happened it was this guy named Max Reichert, the lead singer of an Ohio Native band called “Clubhouse”. He was working on music with Dylan at the time, and Dylan had only great things to say about Max’s voice and creative energy. I immediately knew I had to meet this guy. Eventually Max and I started a conversation over an Instagram Direct Message. I don’t exactly remember, but the conversation most definitely started off of a LANY reference haha. We clicked so well, and surprisingly had a lot in common.

After staying in touch for a couple months, Max told me that he wanted to fly out to Los Angeles for a week to work on music with me. At first I didn’t believe him, but next thing I knew he told me his flight was already booked! He flew out from Ohio last July, and we met in person for the first time when I picked him up from the airport. The first day or so he was at my house, we made a beat here and there, but nothing quite clicked yet. After taking some time to just hang out and get to know each other more, we started to feel more comfortable in our creative space. We literally had about 5 good songs we both genuinely loved, and constantly listened to as reference to what we wanted to create. As soon as we sat down in my tiny bedroom studio, I began to lay out the instrumental for what then became the instrumental for ‘Just Us’.

It was such a simple beat with a moving chord progression, we were instantly hooked. We started writing vocal melodies for it and after we had the melody down, we had to write lyrics. I decided to call Dylan, my Songwriting partner in crime, to come write lyrics with us. That night, we went over to his house in Venice, and cozied up in his little attic with only a microphone, one Yamaha HS5 speaker, and a laptop to record vocals on. We didn’t have much, but the vibe was better than it ever could’ve been. The window was open and fireworks were going off, I remember taking in that moment as much as I could. After a few hours and a couple glasses of wine were in our system, we finally had lyrics written on our iPhone Notes app to sing. We were up until 5am in the morning finishing the record. Dylan went to sleep, and Max and I took an hour drive back to my house with nothing but a smile on our faces.

Max flew back to Ohio later that week, and I took some time to focus on releasing my first song ‘Holding Out’. A couple months later I then found out that Max was supposedly coming back out to Los Angeles to work with my good friend Dan. I was looking forward to it, and even thought that maybe we could write another song together. I then remember waking up the morning he was going to fly out, and reading a text from him saying he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone marrow Cancer, and couldn’t fly to Los Angeles anymore. I was beyond shocked, and at first thought he was joking with me. I started to realize that he was being serious, and it truly broke my heart to hear that.

It began to put me into perspective on how short life is, and how time can’t be taken for granted. I knew that I had to work harder and push myself to make the most out of every single day. With that in mind, I decided that I wanted to release our song as my second single. After my first single ‘Holding Out’ was released, I spent a couple weeks making finishing touches on ’Just Us’ and making sure it sounded the best it ever could. Little by little the song started to come to life, and eventually the finished product was right in front of my eyes. To see it finally out truly means the world to both me and Max, it is hands down one of my most favorite works I’ve made.I decided to donate part of proceeds earned from the song to Cancer Research and also create a merchandise collection, with a non profit organization called ‘Good People Make A Difference’, to donate all proceeds to both Special Olympics and Cancer Research in honor of Max’s on going journey with Cancer. It was great cause supporting a very special song. However, this truly wasn’t just “a song”, it was a story we wanted to tell, and a moment we really wanted to share. I am so happy to say that my second single with Clubhouse, ‘Just Us’ , is out now and forever.

Anton Khabbaz