Daniel Maher was a fan of music in every capacity. An accomplished musician, he could play nearly any instrument-- and often did. He always played in multiple bands at once, including bass in both Static Scene and Beds, and drums in Soundtrack to Sleep. He often wrote songs with his older brother, TJ, and recorded a demo for his solo project Accusing Kyle. An accomplished photographer and videographer, he filmed and edited music videos for local bands in addition to his work at Network Video in Warrenton. A little more than a year ago, he moved to Springfield to be closer to the music scene and could often be found at shows around Northern Virginia and DC. He was a well known member of the local music community, though his enthusiasm was sometimes perceived as abrasive. "He knew exactly what he wanted, and he wasn't willing to compromise," Static Scene bandmate Ryan Burke remembers. "He was a driving force in most of the bands he was in."
His brother TJ remembers the same tenacity. "One thing that I noticed about Daniel is that he was the most determined person I've ever known. Once he joined a band or started a project he instantly made sure stuff happened. He didn't like sitting around and waiting... If a band he was in wasn't getting stuff done, he would find another one."
Daniel was just 21 years old when he took his own life on October 15th, 2014. The loss came as a complete shock to nearly all his family and friends. Burke recalls that he had had problems with depression in the past, but that "he didn't talk to anyone about it. No one knew what was going on."
This Saturday his friends, family, former bandmates and even some of his favorite bands will remember him at Jammin' Java with a Music Makes Life Better benefit show. The proceeds will go to a memorial fund in Daniel's name with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Ryan Burke began putting the show together months ago. "We had gone through the stages of grief, but it still didn't feel like we had any closure. I didn't want people to forget about him. I wanted to give people time to grieve and then bring something good out of this tragedy, to have positive closure."
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention funds research for depression and suicide, as well as advocates for awareness of warning signs. Daniels friends and family hope that through their donations, they can help others to avoid the pain and loss they have been through.
Saturday night's show starts at 10pm and features music from Old Flings, Static Scene, Solace Sovay and The Dealbreakers. TJ Maher, who often wrote and recorded music with his younger brother, will perform a few of Daniel's songs at the show as well. "We both used to play cards against humanity a lot, but he always beat me," TJ remembers. "And we used to play foosball and whenever he was losing he would always play the song "To Be The Best" by Tenacious D and he would instantly start winning again."
Daniel is remembered as a good friend whose "quick wit and support would always flip my mood if I was having problems," recalls Burke. He was intense and driven with a great stage presence. "He was always smiling, and he was always the one talking during shows. Which got him in trouble sometimes, but [Static Scene] let him off the leash; 'Do whatever you want, man.'"