Maritime's Dan Didier: The Daily Vault Interview

by Darren Paltrowitz

A collective made up of four Milwaukee locals, Maritime formed in 2003.  In an age where bands take years between albums, Maritime stands out as a prolific quartet.  Issuing three albums and an EP since formation, Maritime's latest is Heresy And The Hotel Choir, an album that has found its way into my Top 10 for the year.

Even if the group’s members come from The Promise Ring (vocalist/guitarist Davey von Bohlen and drummer Dan Didier), Decibully (bassist Justin Klug), and The Benjamins (guitarist/keyboardist Dan Hinz), Maritime is standing on its own eight feet.  The year 2007 saw the band playing European festivals and touring the West Coast with Jimmy Eat World, while 2008 will bring Maritime on another Japanese tour.

Before taking the stage for a sold-out headlining show at New York’s The Mercury Lounge, drummer Dan Didier took the time to answer some Q&A via e-mail.


Darren Paltrowitz: What do you wish more people knew about Maritime?

Dan Didier: I don't think there is anything that I would want people to know about us that isn't already written somewhere.

How would you describe Heresy And The Hotel Choir in comparison to Maritime's prior albums?

It's a more cohesive record to be sure. We, The Vehicles and Glass Floor were written over a greater period of time due to the fact that one of our members lived in a different city. The swapping of files and the flying in and out just elongated the process, so now that we all live in the same city we can focus on the songs on a weekly basis. That keeps us a bit more focused and gives us the ability to create at a much faster pace.

I read somewhere that Heresy was written together by the band, rather than through demos being sent around via the Internet.  Is this planned to be the status quo from now on for Maritime?

I hope it will be the status quo from here on out. I really enjoyed the "all in the same room" writing process. That being said, the next record may take a different path. We'll just have to see.

When Maritime began, people pegged the band for being an "ex-members of" band.  When did you notice Maritime to start becoming a band of its own?

Oh, we still get it. All the time, actually. I had a conversation with an editor friend of mine about this very topic and he said you  will always be pegged as "ex-members of" until the current group outsells the old. I hope that happens.

A lot of successful American bands are virtually unknown in Japan, and a lot of indie American bands are on majors in Japan.  I see Heresy is your second album for a Sony-distributed label in Japan. To what do you attribute your overseas success?

Luck. The label that we are on in Japan used to release one of our member’s old band. We already had an "in.”


maritime_glass_150         maritime_vehicles_150        maritime_heresy_150

Japan isn't a country where digital downloads mean much, but here it is the world.   Where does Maritime stand on the whole "giving the music away for free and making a living on the road" model?

Well, seeing how we are all family men, the "making a living on the road" model doesn't work well for us. As far as the music side goes, I like the "Radiohead model" of pay what you will for the music. That is something I would like to look into.

The band Ash recently announced that their new album was their "last album."  In other words, they were only going to release singles and EPs through their website at their leisure.  Would you envision Maritime doing that at any point?

We are already discussing something similar, but we would still release records proper and then open up the possibility of doing other things for people to get from our site.

When should we expect more music from Maritime?

Pretty soon. The touring cycle is coming to an end so when we get back the writing cycle will begin.

Finally, any last words for the kids?

For our kids? Sure. Be kind to your mommies. Daddies will be home soon.

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