Courtesy Mark Dawursk
Maritime’s We, The Vehicles, an album of sparkling, witty post-emo, remains a Rawkblog favorite and one of my top 10 albums of 2006. With follow-up full-length Heresy and the Hotel Choir due in October, drummer Dan Didier took the time to call in and talk numbers: the group’s two new members, doing their first ballad and playing a second Daytrotter session.
The Rawking Refuses To Stop!: Bassist Eric Axelson left the band before the release of We, The Vehicles. How did that change the dynamic on the new album?
Dan Didier: I love Eric absolutely to bits but it just seemed like the fact that he was away was putting a strain on the band. If we found someone in Milwaukee, that was really appealing to me because [with] this long distance stuff, it takes so long to get anything done. You work really intensely for like a week before a tour, and then you go on tour, you get back, you work really intensely for two, three weeks or whatever, and then nothing. It’s been great, having Dan [Hinz] and Justin [Klug] with us. I think this record is the first true Maritime record because it’s the first time we as a band have recorded a record with the same four people who have been on tour together. It felt good to know we’re a four-piece and we’re starting to write this record from scratch all together. This one is mainly us playing together in a room, getting in fights, getting in arguments, collaborating and working it out.
TRRTS!: Will there be a tour?
DD: Right now we’re looking at early November to go out west and then sometime in December do the east. We are trying to work out CMJ, going out there just for the weekend – Flameshovel is having a showcase.
TRRTS!: What’ve you been up to lately, besides rehearsing?
DD: We did another Daytrotter session, we did four songs off the new record there.
TRRTS!: The song “First Night on Earth” is a big departure for the band. Why record an acoustic ballad?
DD: I didn’t want that to be on the record. I remember specifically listening one time to a rough mix of that song and then going to Stuart [Sikes, the album’s producer] and saying “that sounds pretty good for a Japanese b-side.” He almost killed me.
TRRTS!: What did Sikes bring to the album? I know you recorded it very quickly.
DD: There was a sort of immediacy because we only had two weeks to do it. Stuart flew from a session to our session and from our session to a different session. So I think that might have helped or hurt the record, I don’t know, I guess the jury’s still out. To the record’s benefit, in my personal opinion, it helped it that we couldn’t tinker with the songs. We worked really hard at the pre-production and doing the demos, nailing down our parts and what the songs were going to feel like, so when we got to the studio we all knew we had two weeks. I’ve worked with him before and that’s one of the reasons why I tried really diligently to get him for this record. Whatever situation we threw at him, he would find the best way to deal with it.
TRRTS!: For a while, you didn’t have a U.S. label. How does it feel to be putting out a third Maritime album?
DD: It’s weird that every time you put out a new record, you have to reinvent what you do. Right now things are happening so fast – the way things are with the music industry, everything’s falling apart, blah blah blah, but there’s power in that. The power goes back to where it should be and that’s the fans. That’s exciting right now with the blog attention that we’ve been getting, it fascinates me. That wasn’t necessarily there for us with Glass Floor, in particular. So I think that’s sort of an exciting time with this new record is to see this now, to be a part of it as far as seeing what happens to this record in the hands of fans, of blogs. So for the next record, who knows?
TRRTS!: Do you have any songs left over for a fourth album?
DD: What we didn’t finish for the third record, we’ll go back to and see if it makes sense. We haven’t gone down that road.
Maritime – “For Science Fiction”: mp3
Maritime – “Guns of Navarone”: mp3
From the still-amazing We, The Vehicles:
Maritime – “Calm”: mp3
Maritime – “Parade Of Punk Rock T-Shirts”: mp3
(Heresy and the Hotel Choir is due October 16 on Flameshovel; check back closer to the release date for the second half of this interview)
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