Sunday, October 30, 2011


Full-time jobs, full-time families, part-time band. Maritime is an interesting band and project, for four gentlemen from Milwaukee, they play passionate rock and roll but never rush to any release or demand. Martime, who released their fourth album, Human Hearts earlier this year on Dangerbird Records, took years to make. Not because they could not get inspired or excited to make music, it was because their daily lives became center stage rather than the band. Maritime, which features former members of The Promise Ring (Davey von Bohlen and Dan Didier), have already made their conclusions about the business and art of making music, so for Maritime, this band is nothing but fun and an outlet to escape the daily grind. I spoke with the band, who are currently on the road supporting Human Hearts. Take a look at my interview with Maritime below.

There was a four year gap in between Heresy and the Hotel Choir and Human Hearts, why the long wait?

Dan Didier: Oh, you know, things. We, the Vehicles and Heresy came out relatively soon after one another so we decided; well, not decided it just sort of happened, that some of us would finish school, have another kids, etc. So basically life happened. We were active between these last two records, just not AS active. This gave us the opportunity to really work on the songs for Human Hearts and get them exactly how we want them and on our own schedule which was actually really nice.

Dan Hinz: Why the rush? I think the more time that passes between writing and recording an album, the more time you have to be inspired and influenced by events in your life. For some, this might pose the danger of "losing your sound" or "losing your audience" to the next big thing. As a band, we've found a way to conquer the fear associated with seconds fleating from the clock. It's quite liberating and probably why the first song on the record is called "It's Casual." It's our new credo.

The music world has changed dramatically in four years; do you feel like you are reintroducing yourselves again?

Davey von Bohlen: I have always felt every time I have ever gotten on stage that I was in a way reintroducing myself. It is my way of reminding myself that I am probably sharing my music with some people in the crowd for the first or last time and to leave the realest/best impression I can. To think any other way, to me, feels like the latter Elvis years where we would all be there to remember or try to conjur our memories of how awesome we were. It would be sadder than good.

With Human Hearts being your fourth album, how do you feel the band has evolved over time?

Dan Didier: Honestly this band has evolved pretty extensively over the years. It started with Davey and I and our ProTools rig. We actually had Justin play bass on the original Glass Floor demos (before we got Eric involved). Then we had the 'Eric' years which was really fun and different and difficult since he had to fly in to rehearse and to tour and we didn't have a solid guitar player so we were borrowing Mike Kinsella (Owen), Mike Feuerstack (Snailhouse), Matt Clark (Ambulete) and even Jeremy Gara (Arcade Fire) on keyboards. Then, when Dan Hinz joined we FINALLY had a solid guitar player, but then Eric left. In comes Justin, before we wrote and recorded Heresy, and we finally have a solid four piece. So, there is the actual evolution of the band. As crazy this all sounds, though, our label situation was even crazier. We were dropped by Anti- after delivering Glass Floor so we went to DeSoto for that record and half of We, the Vehicles. The half came from DeSoto licensing "W, TV" to Japan and Europe right before Kim decided not to be a label anymore. SO, we signed on with Flameshovel who released the domestic version. Then they released Heresy and all was well until THEY stopped being a label. So, it certainly feels good to be on Dangerbird right now!

This probably didn't answer your question, as you were most likely asking about our sound, but the above wackiness played a pretty crucial role in the song writing process of this band.

What was it like recording Human Hearts?

Dan Didier: It was really fun because we did it on our own terms. We tracked all the guitars, bass, vocals and keyboards ourselves at our own studio. The drums, you know, the most important part of the recording process if I do say so my damn self, were recorded in a more upscale studio then our own in Milwaukee. This gave us the opportunity to experiment more with the sounds. The laid back atmosphere that we recorded in I feel comes out in the record.

The band formed from the ashes of Promise Ring and Dismemberment Plan, did you bring any experience and influences from those bands in crafting Maritime’s music?

Davey von Bohlen: Not consciously, of course, but how does one go about shedding experience? So in that way, yes. We bring all of our experiences good and bad with us to every new thing we do. As far as influences, that is also an odd thing to consider. Dan and I are still influenced by life as individuals in the same way we ever were, so I think the answer is yes initially. If the question is asking if our sound is somehow a carry-forward from those bands we used to be in, then I think no. If anything, I would guess we would want to turn away from a sound we have already explored, instead of redoing it. But again, none of these things are discussed or even considered on a conscious level, so they might be better observed from the outside than from where I stand directly on top of the thing.

Human Hearts was released on Dangerbird Records, what’s it like being apart of the Dangerbird family?

Justin Klug: Really great. Dangerbird has carved out an interesting niche in the music world and because of that has been able to position itself as a label that can really focus on their artists. Not being stuck in the old label paradigm has been a big part of their success and they project he resulting energy & enthusiasm into everything they do. It's actually super refreshing.

You have spent nearly a lifetime on the road touring, with the release of new material, does the thought of touring exhaust you or excite you?

Davey von Bohlen: Exhausts and excites us. It is an old friend, and one that I don't think we can hang around with much anymore, but the relationship is comfortable and casual and still a lot of fun. Probably more fun than it was in the waning of our "on the road" years.

What is next for Maritime?

Justin Klug: I don't think anyone can say with any degree of certainty, but we'd like to try to do as many shows as we can through the end of the year in support of the record. We don't / can't tour as much as we used to, but we are committed to trying our best to get out there-even if there aren't any big tour plans. After that, maybe we'll write some new songs.