The Odd Couple: Mondo Lucha and Maritime

photo courtesy of the band

photo courtesy of the band

Words by Erin Wolf

Maritime is poised to go down in Milwaukee musical history as a band that has played amongst body-slamming wrestlers, dancing ladies, clowns, roller derby skaters and the general chaos that is Mondo Lucha, a Mexican-influenced Lucha Libra wrestling event spectacular that takes place at the Turner Hall Ballroom this Saturday. So, what business does a pop band such as Maritime have playing in such a spectacle? They do hold an odd twist of fate connection, but that doesn’t mean that they’re licensed to perform a cover of “Eye of the Tiger”: that’s a fact. Fan-belt talks to drummer Dan Didier to find out the details of being the unlikely house band of an event choreographed according to organized chaos.

Maritime, “For Science Fiction”
How did Maritime get hooked up with Mondo Lucha?

I work at sister companies with Andy [Gorzalski of Mondo Lucha], so that’s how I know him. I used to hang out with Jay [Gilkay of Mondo Lucha] years and year ago — we were into hardcore punk and we’d go to house shows, promote house shows, stuff like that, and we were really good friends that sorta just grew apart. Andy ended up marrying a friend of mine from high school but then I also worked at a design firm in the same building, so we were kind of doing business together for certain projects, and there was a weird combination of someone I knew from high school who also knew a coworker.

One day I was at Andy’s house at a dinner party, and he mentioned Jay, and my mouth hit the floor, and I said, ‘well, how do you know him?’ and Andy knew Jay through some convoluted story, too, and so it was this weird meeting of two different worlds. 

Now, we all hang out together and we all have kids and get together and hang out at different houses every week, so at one of these parties that we have, Jay asked me if Maritime would be interested in playing, and I said, ‘why not?’.

Based on what you saw at Mondo Lucha last year, what was going through your mind when you were asked to be the house band?

Well, I went to the first one [last September] and I came late because I’d gotten the start time mixed up, so what happened was when I went there, I opened the door, and the first thing I saw was a bare man’s ass. In the ring. And I’m like, ‘this is going to be great’. And it really was. The only thing that I regret is not seeing more of it, because I came in late!

The Uptown Savages had played that one and that sort of seemed to fit, but when Andy and Jay asked me, I really liked it because they approached it like they were going to showcase what Milwaukee has to offer. More of a blend of a lot of things instead of a lot of specific things. Who wouldn’t want to be part of such an extravaganza as this, with how well they organized it and scripted it? I hear about it every Tuesday night when those guys get together. We’re all playing with our kids and talking, and those two are always aside, talking strategy and concepts. 

We’re very opposite of everything. I don’t know what the audience is going to be like, or how they’re going to react to us, but that being said, it doesn’t really matter because what’s fun about this event, is that it’s and event . It’s not about us, it’s not about the wrestlers, it’s not about the dancers, it’s not about this or that. It’s about everything. So, as long as we feel comfortable in that realm, I think we’ll be fine. It’s just everyone having a good time, and we’re good at that — we can have a good time. 

You’re not going to change anything about your performance?

No. See, that’s the thing. We were thinking about doing a cover…but no. The more that we’re ourselves, the better we’ll be. We’ll just go up there and do a normal Maritime show…

So, you’ll be hovering over the crowd, onstage, watching the melee below?

Yeah. I am going to set up my drum set like Tommy Lee and I’m going to go about in the audience during the drum solo, but other than that, it’ll be exactly the same…and the pyrotechnics. So, besides the pyrotechnics and me, hovering over the audience in a glass ball, doing a drum solo, things are going to be exactly the same.

What happens if you or any of the band gets spontaneously pulled into the ring?

Well, I don’t think I would, but I can’t speak for the other members. They’re scrappy young men. They could do that.

Mondo Lucha, featuring Maritime, kicks off at 8 p.m. at the Turner Hall Ballroom (1032 N. 4th Street). 

Want free tickets to Mondo Lucha? To celebrate Fan-belt’s one year anniversary of existence, we’re giving one pair of tickets to Saturday night’s event to the first person to answer the trivia question below. Please email your answers to: fanbeltmail@gmail.com, subject line: “Mondo Lucha”.

Question: What is the name of the famous musician that one of Mondo Lucha’s performers is named after?

Good luck! Fan-belt will be at Mondo Lucha — hope to see you there!

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