For fans of the midwest emo/indie rock scene, there are few bands that can compare to The Promise Ring. Hailing from a genre that also included the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Braid and The Get-Up Kids, The Promise Ring rose to indie fame in the late ’90s and released four albums and five EPs in their seven years together. Following the release of their final album, Wood/Water, the band decided to call it quits to pursue individual interests. As members of Dashboard Confessional and Maritime, The Promise Ring continued to create music, but the desire for a reunion was too strong to ignore for long. The band confirmed their reunion at the end of 2011 and will be playing shows around the U.S. in the upcoming months. We met up with drummer Dan Didier at The Bamboozle Festival (where many fans saw the band for the first time in ten years) to hear about the reunion, how the scene has grown, and what fans can expect to see at shows this year.
OS: It’s been ten years since you guys played festival shows. How does it feel to be here at Bamboozle?
DD: This is the first time we’ve ever played Bamboozle. But festivals are interesting. I still obviously prefer smaller clubs and more intimate settings, but what I do like about festivals like this or SXSW, where a lot of people go to them…you cover a lot more ground with people who come. People fly in that wouldn’t necessarily go see you. There’s a bigger array of people so that’s always kind of nice. Definitely playing to new people or total diehards who came from Kansas to see us, so that’s cool. But it’s also kind of a big headache because of how big it is and how crazy it is. The logistics that people don’t really realize and all the things that go on behind the scenes. It’s a headache, but I can’t wait to play.
OS: Are you surprised to see bands like Jimmy Eat World and Hot Water Music here in 2012?
DD: Jimmy Eat World, no, because they’re good friends of ours and we’ve known those guys forever. When The Promise Ring was a band, we brought them on tour and they opened for us a bunch, and then they blew up and they took us out and we opened for them…it was just a really fun time that we had with them. But the way that they are, it makes total sense that they’re still a band right now. They have that special…I don’t even know what you would call it. It’s like this magic potion of being in a band where they’re all still friends, so they don’t have that animosity that can build up and break up bands…they don’t have that. They have that really successful record that let them do what they want to do and continue to create music, so they can just focus on that. They’re at the total sweet spot of music, which is great to see.
OS: What have you all been doing while The Promise Ring was on a break?
DD: Davey [von Bohlen, vocalist] and I are currently in another band called Maritime, and we’ve been touring and releasing records under that. But we all have jobs and kids and that sort of stuff. I drive a minivan…it’s totally cool. [laughs]