Nick Zimmer, the 21-year-old drummer for local band RuHaa!, poses for a portrait on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Athens, Georgia. The band recently had their farewell show. (Photo/Gabriella Audi, www.gabbyaudi10.wixsite.com/mysite-1)

On Thursday, Aug. 22, Athens band RuHaa! had its farewell show at Caledonia Lounge with accompanying artists Daniel Hardin and Mitchell Powers. RuHaa! consisting of Nicholas Zimmer, Emily Olson, Logan Grailer, Zach Watkins and Cristian Gutierrez have split up and will be going their separate ways. 

From multiple encores to a sentimental final group hug, members of the band hope to  hold onto the memories of their final show and the band as they go their separate ways.

“It was the best way we could have gone out,” drummer Nicholas Zimmer said. “We couldn’t have done anything better”.

Aside from the farewell show, the band lacked an official statement explaining why RuHaa! decided to part ways. During RuHaa!’s run, the members also got involved in other music projects. This led to stylistic differences between the members which eventually led to the end of RuHaa! in order to pursue other types of music.

“We were just going different ways,” Zimmer said. “Logan and I are going to do metal and Cristian and Zach are doing their own thing. I’m actually a drummer for them too, and Emily is just kind of going solo for a little bit.”

Zimmer and bassist Logan Grailer are both involved in the heavy metal band Actus Reus from Buford, Georgia. Zach Watkins and Cristian Guttierez are in their own indie rock group called Retrophile, while lead singer Emily Olson was involved in some of her own solo work on the side during her time in RuHaa!.

“I love them [RuHaa!], they’re all great people,” Grailer said.  “I loved hanging out with them but the music was just getting kind of old for me and I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I used to.” 

RuHaa! had its start back when the members were all freshmen. Zimmer  lived in Russell Hall on the same floor as Watkins and Guttierez, while Grailer lived two floors down and was pledge brothers with Zimmer. 

The band started out without a vocalist, but RuHaa!’s lead singer, Emily Olson, was finally discovered a couple of months later through a Russell Hall talent show.

“I think that it’s really cool as far as showing people just moving to Athens that if you just go around and meet everybody you can, it can be possible to start a cool band like RuHaa!” musician Daniel Hardin, who has previously played multiple live shows with RuHaa!, said.

After the band had finally found all of its members, RuHaa! had its very first show in January 2017 at Caledonia Lounge. For the next two years, the group played in other venues such as The Foundry, Hendershot’s Coffee and even had the chance to headline at the 40 Watt Club. 

“We were just in the lounge of Russell Hall beating on buckets and pickle jars,” Grailer said. “It’s crazy that you go from there to headlining the 40 Watt last semester.”

With these live shows, the band has also had the chance to perform alongside other local artists in Athens, including bands such as Honeymoon Handshake and Nocturnal Animals, as well as other musicians like Daniel Hardin.

“They became super supportive of my music to the point of where they would come to my shows,” Hardin said. “Even if they weren’t playing, they would show up there and support me.”

Listeners can still find RuHaa!’s music on Spotify, such as, the band’s EP “Ready to Go?” which was released in 2018. In the near future, RuHaa! plans to release songs that were performed at their live shows such as “Frame of Mind” and “Fly High,” as well as a re-recorded version of “Slow to Forget” from their 2018 EP.


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