After closing the book on the Milwaukee's seminal emo stalwarts, The Promise Ring in 2003, Davey von Bohlen and Dan Didier along with Eric Alexson of the then recently disbanded The Dismemberment Plan formed In English. The bands first label passed on their J. Robbins produced debut, so a new label and a name change was in order and Maritime was born. Alexson exited in 2006 and was replaced by Justin Klug. What they have lacked in prolificacy, they more than made up for in quality, with three albums and an EP filled with sterling pop songs that have aged extremely well. The albums seemed to come in quick succession until the release of 2007's Heresy and The Hotel Choir and then Maritime went quiet. Their fourth longplayer was released earlier this week. Human Hearts, a record four years in the making is proving to be well worth the wait. Earlier this week the members of Maritime agreed to answer a few questions from us on the new album, their new label, and the legacy of The Promise Ring. A huge thank you goes to the members of Maritime for so being gracious with their time and to Dangerbird Records for supplying us with a copy of the album to give away. More on that at the end.
Bryan Hamill: It's been four years since you released Heresy and the Hotel Choir, whysuch the long wait between albums?
Davey von Bohlen: Life happened. As important as the band is, it is important to experience life outside of it too. It is has been an especially busy outside time.
Justin Klug: Yeah, In large part it's due to the fact that we all have families & jobs that keep us pretty busy. With music taking more of a backseat in that respect, we haven't really felt the urgency that we may have in the past.
BH: Was Human Hearts a product of four years of writing or are the 10 tracks on the album newer compositions?
Justin Klug: It was definitely a product of all four years. Looking back,we've played a handful of these songs for quite some time. Without having any sort of real deadline, we were able to work on individual tracks for longer periods. For better or worse, each song on Human Hearts has been the product of thorough vetting.
BH: I read somewhere that you recorded the bulk of the album on your own, was there a conscious decision within the band to record that way , instead of bringing in a producer?
Dan Didier: Well, for this record we had Billy Bush (not the Access Hollywood Host) as the Executive Producer and we produced it ourselves. We bounced ideas and sounds off of Billy throughout the process and recorded everything but the drums at our studio. It is something I always wanted to do and I feel weall enjoyed the freedom to set the recording schedules ourselves. In contrast, for Heresy we only had two weeks to record it all. Going into this record I certainly wanted to not do that again!
BH: Human Hearts was released earlier this week, the first for your new label. How did the signing to Dangerbird come about?
Davey von Bohlen: Jeff managed our old band, and we ran into one another at a benefit show for the organization (Pablove) Jeff runs with his wife. It was a right time right place thing.
BH: With families and jobs is it hard to get away on a full fledged tour these days?
Davey: Yes, to put a fine point on it. There are a lot of people to consider, most under 3 feet tall.
BH: How does this album differ from the bands past releases?
Dan Didier: I think it is a natural progression from We, the Vehicles to Heresy to this one. The difference, though, is most likely from the relaxed recording environment.
BH: What are the band plans for the rest of 2011?
Justin Klug: Well, we hope to get out and support the record with as many live shows as we can. Given that we really don't tour in the traditional sense much anymore, we have to be a bit more discerning with our time. We try to do as many regional shows as possible and then plan longer weekend-ish trips out to the coasts.
BH: The music and legacy of your former band, The Promise Ring, means a great deal to many, myself included. How do you look back on the time you spent with the band?
Davey von Bohlen: Fondly. The further away I get from it, the luckier I feel that I was part of it.
Dan Didier: Yeah, I agree. There are definitely worse ways to spend your twenties.
Contest/Giveaway: If you would like a copy of Human Hearts just send an e-mail to us at email@example.com with Maritime in the subject line. We will pick and notify our winner on Friday at noon. Or you could do what we did and take chance out of the equation and order it from Dangerbird.
Maritime - Paraphernalia
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