Maritime’s new album comes from the heart

Maritime, composed of (from left) Dan Hinz, Justin Klug, Dan Didler, and Davey von Bohler, formed in Milwaukee in 2003. Photo via Maritime.

College life often feels full of order, structure, stress and planning. As students, we make decisions every day that we hope will pave a structured path toward a successful future.

The future of local indie pop/rock band Maritime, on the other hand, seems to rely on the slightly less shackled perspectives of its musicians, who recently spoke to Marquee about their new album “Human Hearts,” released Tuesday, and their CD-release show at Turner Hall Ballroom on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Lead singer Davey von Bohlen said their approach with “Human Hearts” was somewhat of a non-approach. Even though the album doesn’t have a distinct focal point, von Bohlen said the title fits perfectly because the record serves as an amplification of the human experience.

He said he feels the album is the best thing Maritime has ever done, and that’s the way it should be.

“It’s really not our thing to sit and overanalyze ourselves,” von Bohlen said. “But we know if we’re not getting better at making music, we’re wasting our time and everyone else’s.”

Drummer Dan Didier said “Human Hearts” is a document of everything the band has experienced in the past four years. He said this album took longer to write since the band recorded everything in their own studio for the first time.

Because Maritime spent four years on it, bassist Justin Klug said “Human Hearts” is better off. He said it’s the band’s most mature record yet, since they’ve had more time to edit their work and “grow into the record.”

Didier said the band looks forward to the CD release show, hoping the hometown show will be a successful promotion of “Human Hearts.”

“Once (an album) is released, we’re sort of liberated, and we can just enjoy performing the songs,” Didier said. “Everything else is out of our hands at that point.”

Four albums earlier, von Bohlen said, Maritime formed in a roundabout way when he and Didier were recording with their previous band, The Promise Ring. As a pair, von Bohlen and Didier compiled a handful of their own songs. When The Promise Ring ended a year-and-a-half later, that handful of songs became an “accidental band” in 2003.

“I didn’t have a plan for how things would work out because that’s not how I approach life,” von Bohlen said. “We just felt like we had more to do, more to say, and weren’t finished playing music yet.”

Now, Maritime holds a clear significance for each member. For Klug, being part of the band means contributing to an outlet.

“It’s an opportunity to play music with people whose company I really enjoy. At the heart of it, we all enjoy creating,” he said. “We each have our place, and we each bring something to the table.”

Von Bohlen said there isn’t a conscious or tangible level of accomplishment he’s trying to reach through Maritime, but he believes he won’t have a handle on the band’s impact until he stops playing music.

“For better or worse, it makes up 95 percent of who I am,” he said. “So when it’s gone, I don’t know what I’ll find to replace it with.”

Until then, von Bohlen and Maritime have high hopes for “Human Hearts” and for its release show this weekend.

“It’s really the icing on the cake to perform songs live,” von Bohlen said. “It feels much more meaningful when human beings are actually there.”

As a band, Maritime proves there’s more than one approach to a successful future, as long as the path is paved with purpose and, most importantly, with heart.