DRUMMERS: Totally obvious. I can’t help it. It doesn’t matter what band I see, my eyes are always fixed on the drummer. I am mentally taking notes to attempt to decode the decisions that he or she is making at each part of the song. “Why did they do that?” “That didn’t really work.” “Whoa, that was amazing!” Now, I am certainly not a tech geek and I am not one to “talk shop” at shows (I have been using the same drum kit for 15 years), but I do appreciate the techniques and style of someone else’s play. I find inspiration in that.
MY FAMILY: My wife and two daughters are everything to me. My wife keeps me honest, for sure, and I cannot appreciate that enough. She is a wealth of good ideas, and bouncing stuff off of her always yields positive results. Now, my daughters, they love to sing and dance, which keeps this curmudgeon from steeping in too much darkness. All the singing they do yields some amazing melodies that get stuck in my head for days and our impromptu dance parties in the kitchen always end with us laughing hysterically. Their vibrancy resonates with me when I play on stage.
MILWUAKEE: There is soooo much to love about this city, and it is not because it is where I have lived my whole life. I have toured the world extensively and this city has always been a pleasure to come home to. There is always enough stuff going on to never feel bored, but it also isn’t too hectic that you get worn out or overwhelmed. This is a Do It Yourself town that has an immense wealth of talent. If artists, musicians, or filmmakers have commercial success or not they are still going to do what they do and do it well, and I love being around that.
DAVEY VON BOHLEN
EERIE QUIET OF WALKING IN WINTER AT NIGHT: Maybe it is being born and raised in the upper Midwest, but I rarely feel the mysteries of life as strongly as I do when I’m outside by myself, the snow acting as sound proof, and most everyone hidden inside. As an urbanite, we rarely see these times, and it takes the harsh conditions of mid-winter to awaken this clarity. It also conjures so many feelings from younger times, when so much less was going on that you had time to look around you and take every little bit of everything in.
BASKETBALL: I am almost never as happy as when I am holding a basketball. I think that I am maybe a total drug casualty in wait, as soon as they are able to mimic the endorphin high of exercise. Further, I don’t really have the complete focus that I see in others, so I am almost never released from things that weigh on me. The only two ways I’ve found to release myself from that is to play music and play sports. I think it is deeper than that though, as well. My wife used to refer to it as my “sports goggles,” as I would be completely disconnected when a game is on. There is something about the strategic struggle that thrills me absolutely.
PARENTHOOD: I never really knew growing up how I would react to being someone’s dad, but it is so unpredictable, challenging, and rewarding that I am really happy I’ve been lucky enough to be given the opportunity. Their successes and defeats are so much more intense than my own, that everyday life is fraught with intense fear and joy. I am constantly caught between wanting to freeze them at their current age and dying of excitement to find out who they’ll become.
CARPET: While I love the way hard wood floors look and feel, I’ve lived in 3 or 4 houses over the last 15 years with no carpeting at all. Last summer, my family moved into a home that has a family room facing the backyard that is a large open room that is carpeted. We spend about 95% of our waking hours here, wrestling, playing sports and games, watching TV, reading. It is the space we start and end our day as a family, where we play, eat, break, and repair. It is a barefooted, lay on the floor with the dogs, watch the kids in the backyard while I strum my guitar sort of room.
INDEPENDENT NEWS WEBSITES: Sites like ProPublica, Democracy Now!, and Truthdig are dedicated to in depth, fact based reporting in an age where sensationalism reigns. They’re an invaluable resource for those who crave more from their media than opinionated sound bites, celebrity gossip, and corporate/state sponsorship. I admire their passion for fact and their drive to get their message out there. They seem to me something akin to modern day pamphleteers.
SECOND HAND ITEMS: I’ve always liked things that have been used. From cars and clothing to hardware and homes, there’s just something that appeals to me about things that have been around a while. I’m not necessarily talking about antiques, though I’m fond of those too, but more specifically, things like wood and clothes just look better weathered and worn. An old guitar will always feel better to me than a new one. I feel like keeping a balance of new and old items in my life keeps me connected to the past in a way, so as to not get lost in the hum of technological advancement.
GOING TO THE MOVIES ALONE: There’s definitely something to be said for enjoying a movie, in a theatre, without company. I love the solitude. It’s a casual retreat from the world where, for about two hours, you’re able to let all your concerns slip away in the dark and focus solely on the story unfolding on the screen. It’s an occasional respite from the noise of everyday life.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based indie-pop group Maritime are Davey von Bohlen (vocals, guitar), Dan Didier (drums), Justin Klug (bass), and Dan Hinz (guitar). They released Human Hearts, their fourth album and first for Dangerbird Records, back in April.
Photo Courtesy: Dangerbird Records (pictured from left to right: Hinz, Klug, Didier, von Bohlen)