"So about six months ago, I did an interview with Mike Kinsella (Owen, American Football, The Owls, etc. etc.) and Davey Von Bohlen (The Promise Ring, Maritime) while Mike was touring as a second guitarist with Maritime. What follows is approximately forty minutes of me making an ass out of myself in front of two of my favorite musicians. We talked about everything from Pugs to Ewoks, and even some music. The pain of listening to myself on tape is why it took me six months to finish it. I probably wouldn't even have done it, except Scott threatened to punch me in the throat if I didn't finish. "
Owen recently released a new EP [remarkably titled (the ep)] on Polyvinyl Records. You can read a review of that here. Maritime has their debut LP Glass Floor coming out on May 31st via DeSoto Records. If DeSoto ever decides to send us a copy of it, we'll review it.
Did you know that your first name is actually my last name?
DAVEY VON BOHLEN: Your last name's Davey? Nice. I love that as a last name, I wish it was my last name and not my first.
MIKE KINSELLA: It'd be Davey Davey and that'd suck.
D: No not really.
M: You'd get a lot of shit growing up.
D: I think Davey Davey'd be all right.
It'd be like D squared or something.
D: Yeah Iâd have cool nicknames I would be into it but I don't… it's… I don't know, you get a lot of Davy Jones.
D: And Dave and David are like…
I have questions from users.
Some of them are kind of strange…
D: The stranger the better.
Okay, we'll start with the first one, which is actually kind of normal. The Promise Ring toured like crazy, hundreds upon hundreds of dates all over the US and Europe, towards the end of their reign it seemed to really be catching up with the guys in the band it seemed like-
D: That's just hilarious.
There's more… it seemed like you had given up on music all together.
D: Me? Or you plural?
You, specifically, that's rough.
D: Wow, that's rough.
But now Maritime has come along, what are the plans for the band? Will Maritime mainly be a studio band with a few dates or the big touring thing like you did with the Promise Ring?
D: Umm… we don't really have any intentions, I think we're too old to have any big plans, we're too old and washed up and having our asses whooped by music to really have any… I think we had a lot of master plans with the Promise Ring in the beginning and we were really young and really ambitious and now we're… I think we're more day to day, like if we feel like touring we'll do it and if we feel like sitting on our can and not doing it I don't think we're going to feel like any sort of responsibility to do it, but I, especially with this group, I think live is going to be… like Iâve always wanted to be in a group that played I really honor what the Apples In Stereo do, because I think they do, they record records that have nothing to do with their live show, the same songs, so like you can, they're still user-friendly, but seeing them live is completely different than listening to the record, like Iâve never ever wanted to be the band that's like "this is what our record sounds like" with me standing here doing it, which is something that most bands really strive for but just never, I can't live up to it, Iâm just not that, Iâm not that detailed in my abilities, and uh, so, so, uh, so yeah, that's crazy, Iâm sort of blown away that… I thought that I was… the live shows at least I thought that I was carrying my weight, butâ¦
I thought you were fine… I saw you guys…
D: It depends on the night, some nights itâs hard… some nights I think um, it depends, you can see you know… lets say Iâm sick, Iâm going to look kind of whatever, you know, fighting with the soundman and all this and he's just kind of messing with me about you know feeding my monitor back in my face and stuff like, its hard to be like (mimics playing with a big smile on his face) oh yeah this is great, I think that's really… I grew up enough to realize that Iâm me, you know, if Iâm upset, like, its almost better if you see me upset than me being like no itâs cool, check it out, here's me bobbing my head, like all fake and plastic, I just don't want to, I mean there's a line I draw, I think you know you got to play live music as, like I feel a certain desire to make it fun for everyone, like you came here, I want to make it fun, but at the same time like, Iâm not going to make, Iâm not totally going to fake it for you every single night, whatever, that's stupid.
On that note… plans to record a full length any time soon?
D: Yeah, we did it in June, uh we're just trying to finish… figure out where our home is going to be.
Oh that would be a question we had further down…
D: Oh well, X it off! Unless that's coming from a label, in which case, bring it. Mike, are you guys planning on making this a full time thing or you just going to do the tour… see where it goes?
M: I think itâs just the tour.
D: That's sort of an awkward question to ask too, you know?
M: They haven't asked me yet…
D: You don't go up to a couple in a bar and say are you guys sleeping together or is this like a real dating situation? Uh, I was going to bring that up to him later, thanks.
No, because Iâm just sitting here thinking, indie rockers would be peeing their pants, you've got members of the Promise Ring, Eric from Dismemberment Plan, and then you've got Mike, and he's a Kinsella.
M: Timâs little brother.
D: We've got Timâs little brother on guitar.
Well no, you've got American Football, Owen, the Owls; people want to know what's going on with the Owls? Anything?
M: I quit the band, and I think that they… they toured with a replacement drummer and then and then they couldn't find Victor and I think they broke up maybe, but Iâm not sure, I guess don't quote me on that.
D: Quote me by saying don't quote me.
Davey, there's actually a question about your name… have you ever thought about changing your name from Davey to Baron? because..
D: Baron? Oh cause then my name would be Baron Von Rovsky, see, that's what's so great about my name, no uh, the wrestler, with the claw. No, I did consider changing my last name though.
D: Yeah, I was going to take my wife's maiden name when we got married but it didn't really suit me, I mean, you know, I would change it for the right name, but, but once I started saying oh I think Iâm going to change it, people like, lost it, all my friends were like "you can't change Von Bohlen" all of a sudden there was this huge rally in defense of Von Bohlen.
It's got a good ring to it.
D: It's not someone else's name, which is why I kept it.
D: But no, no Baron.
D: Change it to Mike maybe, I might take Mike later on.
That could work.
D: Michael Von Bohlen, that's kind of nice.
M: Michael Van Halen.
Mike, since you're not permanent yet, they've already replaced you on Punknews.
M: So who's playing guitar tonight for Maritime?
For future tours, rather than Mike, would you agree that you would be much better off inviting Zak Wilde? Heâs a bad ass and you could give him emo glasses.
M: Do you know who he is? He was in for Ozzy after…
D: No no no, I wouldn't prefer Zak Wilde to actually answer a silly question… no actually, you know, I would say this if you weren't here, but Iâm totally impressed with mike's ability to make like my sorta remedial lead guitar parts sound…
M: More remedial.
D: No that's not true, I think everyone knows that he's a good guitar player so I don't need to tell the world that but uh, no, I wouldn't take Ozzyâs guitar player although that person's obviously a good band member because if you can deal with that whole fiasco, shit, certainly you're… I don't know.
I saw you guys when you were "In English" at the Metro in like… May? And my friend and I were so excited, and we're so pumped up for this, how have the shows been going? Howâs the reaction been?
D: Um, yeah, itâs nice to have a clean slate, no music and no expectations; usually they're like it really depends like…
I don't know about no expectations… ex-Promise Ring, no expectations.
D: I don't feel like ex-Promise Ring carries any expectations, maybe other people do but they weren't in the Promise Ring so I know what it was like at the end and I know how people reacted at the end, so, I don't know how we played at the end, so I um just don't really I think its weird that people who liked the Dismemberment Plan are listening because so far, Eric's influence has been stunted by his late entrance into the group and uh so he's, uh, I think we'll see more of Eric after his work.
D: Oh no his dancing's great.
M: He's got a stage show, he's really good.
D: For sure, there's no, I don't know, I don't really…
Anybody shouting out Promise Ring songs?
D: No, I guess I never, someone else asked me that, it never occurred to me that anyone would but I think, probably having Mike and having Eric there, its like you can't… you can't like yell out one of our songs, like it'd be weird to yell out "Timebomb!" at me, you know? cause Iâd be like, Iâm obviously notâ¦
D: Right, nor am I like, it'd be weird to yell Promise Ring with Eric there, so I guess we defend each other that way, we're not just like ex-this band or whatever.
You've got a little of everything…
D: Well we don't get a little of anything, its like we cancelled each other out, its weird.
The name change what brought that about?
D: Oh that's not me.
D: I mean it wasn't a great name, we didn't, I don't know, a lot of things Iâm good at, naming bands is not one of them.
M: Naming dogs!
D: Yeah, I can name a dog.
M: It's a good name for a dog.
D: It really suits him. I have a pug. but I could probably name-
Wait wait wait.
D: Back up, struck a nerve!
What color is your pug?
D: He's fawn.
D: Two years in January.
What does he do while you're gone?
D: He's sleeping right now isn't he? Atticus?
D: He's a New Year baby to make him even infinitely cooler, he was born on January first, so they tell us, that's probably what they tell everybody.
(Davey's wife): he just got over a weeklong kennel cough.
D: Yeah he was sick.
Does he get to come with?
D: He came one time we played the Empty Bottle, but its hard because a lot of places volume's an issue and its kind of hard to like, you know you can put headphones on a baby you can't very well do that to a dog, so, just stick a bunch of tissues in his ear? It doesn't really work that way…
I just have a thing for pugs.
D: No he's at the top of the list, he's a really good one and part of me is of course wildly biased and the other part, but Mike kind of took to him and he's only met him a few times.
M: I loved him.
D: I mean, he really…
M: I want to go get a dog now.
D: All he really wants to do is love you, which isâ¦
M: Are we talking about me or the dog?
D: Hey yeah you know.
No, my dream dog is a little black pug and Iâd name her Isabella, but that has nothing to do with anything.
D: I wanted to, we wanted to, we still may get a black one to match the fawn one since that's how they're supposed to be or whatever, but I want to call it Mono which is the Spanish word for Monkey I don't know why but…
Could be cause for an identity crisis if your dog was named Monkey…
D: I don't think we speak enough Spanish around the house for it to really matter.
Why were you released from your contract with Anti/Epitaph?
D: For whatever reason, they didn't want the record and I don't know, you'd have to ask them that, they didn't want the record so then it became ours.
Any chance of returning to Jade Tree?
I thought that too.
D: That would probably be a good question for Jade Tree, um… they know we don't have a label, I mean, I certainly wouldn't approach them, I think it'd be in poor taste, I don't know, I doubt it just in the way that, its like, you can't, it's like once you, it's kind of weird, Iâd put it as unlikely although I think its a great place for a band to be, just it might just be a little bit, they've changed and we've changed and it'd be kind of unrealistic to go back to, "we'll go back to the way it was in '96" it was a great thing for both of us and I don't know and without them coming and saying "we'd like to put it out" certainly you know, its a hard question to answer.
These kids have some tough questions.
D: Well the first one was the roughest!
Mike, any plans on doing a tour without Joan Of Arc, etc?
M: Without them, or with them?
It says without them… but…
M: But sure I am, plenty of plans for that…
D: He's playing twice tonight!
How's that going? double duty?
M: Itâs fun.
M: Itâs fun to do different things.
Which is more intimidating?
M: Playing by myself is a lot more intimidating. Thatâs like, one of the reasons I agreed to do this, because I wanted to do a tour where I got to like, play somebody else's songs, it's a lot more fun.
D: I have been dying for someone to ask me that, I guess everyone knows Iâm not, Iâd love to play guitar in somebody's band and nobody has ever asked me. Iâve never been asked to fill in or anything.
M: And it sounds weird but like, I don't have to worry about if people like it, Iâm like hey that's not my song, I have a good time playing it, no but there's a lot less stress. Itâs a lot easier just to have fun playing music, and not thinking about how does this affect my life.
D: Totally. So then how did you guys end up getting together for this?
D: Uh, we're old friends, um, we talked about, we talked about how it would be really good to do, I think originally when we talked about it I was saying we should do, we should get a group together that can function as three bands and I think that was the idea that we had because it'd be so awesome because it'd be really easy travel, easy changeover, it makes the most sense, I mean everyone gets paid, you get paid like three time kind of for one group. We just talked about like that being the way to tour and then this came up and we obviously don't have like a full live group and so and we couldn't find a third group inside of our five, but Mike's the second for sure so um, yeah, so yeah it just made sense time wise and hopefully, I think, Iâm having a great time, I don't know if its the combination or the fact that I took a lot of time off between the Promise Ring and this or like the fact that the people are new or whatever but Iâm having a really good time.
It didn't seem like that much time to take off, what, less than a year?
D: Well, not much, Promise Ring broke up in October? We broke up at the end of that tour.
Oh man, people were upset.
D: Yeah I doubt that.
No, my friend Scott was like "find out why didn't they say it was the last show? I would've flown out to see it."
D: Ah see for that exact reason, I think that is the cheesiest saddest thing to do, Iâm not going to condemn anyone for doing it but in my life I could never handle this "we're going to have this big love in on what our group did" it's kind of like you really have to believe that your group is instrumental in shaping peoples lives or something like that to really believe that you should rally around yourself like that, oh its not for me at all, I just can't imagine, I love it so much better when you're like "that's it!" it's like this whole cleansing thing, Iâm done and I don't have to talk to you and you and you again, the last thing… I think it helps to have a little, its supposed to be messed up you can't have like a breaking… like a breakup and you're like well this is yours so you take that and you go through your whole house and at the end shake hands and you're like well thanks for putting in seven or eight years and you know I think Iâve grown and I hope you have, let's go find some new people, you know it just doesn't work like that and its just not, I don't think, I think thatâs just kind of goofy, I mean we certainly didn't break up, saying I hate this and that it was totally like now is the time and everyone pretty much agreed and I thought it was a great time we had fun and a friend of our happened to be there and he was like if I could just hear why did we meet one more time that would be pretty cool and so we just onstage we played, we were like letâs play one more song, letâs make it that song and thatâs it, and it was fun, that was the most fun show on that tour, it was like ah free, you know sometimes its just time to get on and you don't have to like disrespect the other people you're with you know and you don't have to like, you know, something doesn't have to go wrong, nothing was wrong but yeah, I mean, I think we'd stopped growing, maybe not musically but personally we'd stopped growing together and we stopped making that move on each other, that's not really the word, but we stopped changing each other in that really good awesome way and people want to do other things in their lives, you know whatever, you become adults in the group and thatâs just wild to think about in a way, that's perfect, which is awesome because yeah people shouldn't be flying to see a gig just because its the last one you probably saw if you're that big of a fan, you probably saw a few of them and we appreciate that.
See, that's funny because I was actually going to go down to DC for the last D Plan show but thenâ¦
D: Yeah no, they totally did it and they had a great time doing it, its all in what you need, whatever gives you the closure that you want and that you need thatâs what you should do and that was how they did it, see, I could never in a million years do that.
The whole request set list thing?
D: Oh my good lord, I just couldn't.
M: They didn't have a setlist?
D: Yeah it was all "what do you want to hear?"
It was like whatever the crowd was in the mood for.
D: I just can't imagine, after song three it'd be like crickets… I mean like, okay, not.. you know, anyways.
Mike, are most of your songs about one person in particular or fake events or a mixture of both fiction and real stories?
M: Itâs uh, I guess it's a mixture of uh, first person third person, mixture, second person, oh I left out the second person.
Everyone always leaves out the second person.
M: No itâs definitely a mixture, like even within a song line to lines something Iâm thinking or something I think my friend should think or something I think.
D: I totally know what you mean, I think that's important too, you know, the bloodhounds'll figure you out, you've gotta have like that one left turn.
How do you go about cataloging Owen songs from American Football songs?
M: Well, American Football isn't really playing together now so…
M: So none of the songs are for that, which leaves all of them for Owen I guess, it works out good.
What stuff are you guys listening to lately?
D: I like this band Owen.
Really? Iâve never heard of them? Can you tell a little..?
D: It's just kinda, no um… Journey, I think Journey is probably the big one.
M: The Rocket Summer.
D: No I think Journey is overwhelming.
M: It's coming back.
D: The things that Mike has with him is amazing and bizarre but wonderful, when I heard LA Guns I started thinking something is wrong.
M: Or something is right.
D: The new Cardigans record is really good, just to bring in some modern music, but not as good as Journey.
M: The Notwist, that's good, the new one, that's good stuff.
Neon Golden - that's amazing, good stuff.
D: It's so good, Iâm not down… I used to have to hide, Iâm out of the closet, I love journey and it makes me a better person to love them freely and that's what people are going to have to live with. Please don't print that.
Another one for you Mike, if the temperature is below 43 degrees and the wind is blowing off Lake Michigan at 30 mph, do you still wear flip flops?
M: [laughing] That is beautiful, uh, I mean like, what am I doing? If Iâm just out shopping or something and I get a good parking spot, yeah Iâd wear flip flops, see they're really functional, I meanâ¦
There's no ankle support!
M: Yeah well Iâm not playing basketball, no I don't know, it depends on where Iâm going.
D: But Mike, you've got a really good pair of flip flops, we're not talking the two dollar pair that you get in the big box at gap, gap just has a huge trash bag full of five dollar, those aren't what we're talking about, we're talking about something a little bit fancier.
M: Right, if you spend double digits on your flip-flops.
D: You can wear them more places! I agree with that, I don't practice it, but you know, I agree.
M: Flip flops to formal occasions, etc.
D: That's not the worst idea Iâve ever heard.
M: As long as they match your tie.
Oh another American Football one, you can just stop me, would you consider playing as American Football again?
Well then that writes off the rest of that… will American Football ever record again because your solo stuff is great but American Football is like, magical?
M: Can't deny that.
People like to ask if you're going to tour again, because apparently you're not on tour now…
M: Yeah Iâm on tour tonight and then tomorrow too.
Ever plan on doing a project with just you and your brother?
M: You know he's really pushing to do a remix Owen record, like Iâll finish the next record and then he'll remix everything cause there's thing picture at my mom's house, there are two pictures hanging and uh one of them is me on a toy horse with a hat on and Iâm all happy and there's a picture of me and then the next one is me on the back of the horse without a hat on crying and he's on the front of the horse with the hat on all happy so he came up with the idea to do the remix album and the pictures would be the artwork.
So was it an insanely musical family growing up?
M: Have you heard the stuff Timâs done lately? I mean, whoa. No, it was a joke Tim! No, my mom plays the piano at Christmas, and my cousins playing stuff. My cousin Nate is going to take over the city of Chicago and my cousin Andy will take over the suburbs.
Any suburbs in particular?
M: All of them.
M: That's intense.
D: Can't argue with that.
M: Itâs a lot of suburbs. Ewoks or Transformers?
D: Ewoks, those little furry fuckers, Iâm not really into Transformers.
They're robots in disguise.
D: Metal, metal.
Are they a little after your time maybe? Because I think they're like I remember my brother having them.
D: [laughing] She just told me Transformers are after my time!
No, Iâm just thinking I know what they are and Iâm nineteen.
D: I know what they are too, but… but I know cause, because if they were possibly after my time I would've been like yeah I guess they were butâ¦
Cause I don't know when they were at their prime or anything.
D: Well they were at their Optimus Prime, there's a little namedrop Transformer for ya um, probably when I was in like sixth, fifth, sixth grade, maybe later, I still know what they were, don't try and quiz me, I know! See I thought they were a little rip off of those of those little motorcycles that had eyes and were like it was a cartoon, there was a motorcycle gang but the gang was like the actual motorcycles, well I guess you're not all as old as old Phil Collins over here you know what Iâm saying. Thatâs right, back in Britain in the sixties that was the shit.
Pirates or ninjas?
D: Ninjas, pirates or ninjas?
D: Pirates are lame.
M: Pirates are laaaame.
D: Definitely, I think pirates sort of, they just can't beat anybody, ninjas are intelligent, pirates are stupid.
M: Johnny Depp was good in that movie though.
D: That was a great movie, like the flamboyantâ¦ Pirates of the Caribbean, probably the only redeeming pirate quality.
The Goonies, they were kind of pirates, one-eyed Willie!
M: That's a stretch.
D: But for sure, I mean, ninjas, pirates and like ewoks, maybe we got a push here, but ninjas…
Have you ever been to, this is going to show what a dork I am… itâs called realultimatepower.net, next time you're on a computer.
D: He's into the Internet.
Real ultimate power.net.
M: What's that?
Its this ninja kid, it's hilarious. Realultimatepower.net.
M: So much for the name of my new record.
D: Real ultimate power.
Is there a name for the new record?
D: Our record is, I think is going to be called Glass Floor.
Upstairs it says there's only 17 copies left of the EP, is that a lie, is that a marketing ploy?
Cause if it is…
D: Partially it is, cause there's 17 copies tonight and 17 for Milwaukee and 16 for Minneapolis.
Aren't you in Champaign tomorrow?
D: There are none for Champaign.
Oh man, Champaign kids are going to cry.
D: I mean, there's fifty, we got fifty today and those are officially the last fifty, I mean itâs a limited edition single, you've got to stop at some point, right?
This is true.
D: Uh yeah, so this is the last 50 of 2000 and hopefully we'llâ¦
So that's good…
Last 50 out of 2000.
M: Yeah that's great.
D: Yeah itâs all right, I mean, sales business, whatever, I mean it's good that people are… I just don't know what 2000 means, it just doesn't make, I don't know whether to be excited, Iâm more excited when people clap after my songs, I do baby steps, I don't really do sales like, whats our sales this quarter? Fantastic! Great! I don't really care.
No glass ceiling, just a glass floor.
D: Yeah its deep, isn't it? Thatâs not what it means but okay, who cares? What does anything mean anyway, you know what I mean?
Getting a little deep here.
D: Well I mean what it means to me doesn't really matter as to what it means as long as Iâve made a statement.
Best show so far?
D: Washington DC.
D: Yeah, no, that place is a little big.
It's the only place in DC Iâve heard of.
D: Black Cat, does that ring a bell?
D: Ah see Black Cat you gotta forget this 9:30 stuff.
Black cat, that's whereâs it at?
D: Yeah I think, does Dave Grohl own it? I don't know… Dave Grohl… no yeah, the scene was really good.
M: We didn't screw up.
D: It was a good show, there were a lot of good shows I thought Boston was pretty good.
M: Boston was good.
Was that with the Weakerthans?
D: All the better ones were with the Weakerthans cause you knowâ¦
D: Yeah he's amazing, that whole group is really amazing, its sort of the perfect group for us to go out with, you know the whole music thing, there's a wide range of area that people will find accessible or like you know…
The Constantines were out with them.
D: Yeah we saw them out with them. Yeah they play like a smart variety of music, they do it well and in good taste so their fans are you know probably going to be able to like handle something that is in good taste.
Yeah the poppy happy, I can see the similarities.
D: I hope there are similarities because I really love that band, I love them a lot, and I really passed them off for a long amount of time just cause like the people I knew who liked them I thought liked the same kind of music so I really didnât think they are what they are so when I saw them I loved them, they're fantastic.
Well you guys are up soon, so Iâll let you go, thank you so much.
D: Thank you.