Monthly archives "March 2005"

Alkaline Trio


By Allison Stewart
Special to the Tribune
November 10, 2000

`People think we’re always dark and gloomy, and we’re not,” says Matt Skiba, guitarist and lead singer for the proto-punk outfit the Alkaline Trio.

“We definitely like to write songs about darker things, but we like to think of it as a celebration of the evil ideas that run through everybody’s head.”

All things considered, the members of the Alkaline Trio figure it isn’t a bad time to be a punk band, gloomy or otherwise. After years of wandering in the pop cultural wilderness, newly popular acts like Jets to Brazil and At the Drive In have once again made the world safe for the emotionally charged style of punk best known as emo-core.

It was not ever thus: When the Alkaline Trio first formed in 1996, punk was in a self-induced slump brought on by too many homogenous, bad records. Skiba, a veteran of bands like Jerkwater and the Blunts, had grown up with the Trio’s ex-bassist, Rob Doran. Assisted by a drummer, who is now long gone, the trio spent years honing their craft, which basically meant playing Screeching Weasel covers in dingy bars. “With punk, there was a lull for a while,” Skiba, 24, says now. “But we stuck together, and we [made] it work.”

The trio went on to release a series of unadorned, angsty and increasingly skilled seven-inches and LPs (most recently “Maybe I’ll Catch Fire,” on Asian Man records). Their lineup has steadily evolved since, with various band members coming and going but mostly going. With the recent addition of ex-Smoking Pope drummer Mike Felumlee, Skiba hopes things have settled down for good. “Things are easier than they’ve ever been, personality-wise,” he says. “If anything were to happen, if anyone [were to quit], we’d be done. If Mike hadn’t joined the band, we would have broken up, definitely.”

The band recently repaired to the wilds of Minnesota to record its first album with Felumlee, tentatively titled “From Here to Infirmary” and due next spring. In the time-honored tradition of punk bands everywhere, the Alkaline Trio’s next record will sound a lot like its last one, Skiba says. “It will be punchier, but not too far off from what we’ve been doing,” he says. “I don’t think anyone will be too surprised by it.”


Interview by :
Chicago Tribune, obtained from

Earth Crisis

Karl: Hi there, we’re on tour with Sepultura right now and tonight we’re playing the Rialto Theatre in Tuscon, Arizona. VOD is also on the bill.

Q: I’d like to ask how it is to be on tour so much and being away from friends and family for so long periods.

K: It’s amazing to get to see all the different parts of the world that we do. We appreciate it but we definitely do miss our families and everyone back in Syracuse.

Q: What are your feelings on the Internet. I heard you don’t really like it for the most part.

K: The internet is like anything else, television or the radio. You can learn new things of value through it. But a lot of times it’s a funnel for misinformation.

Q: I like meat, and sees the utility in hunting to keep populations in check because predators have been pushed out due to urban sprawl. How can you say that the preservation of the environment through such means is bad?

K: Hunting for population control of animals is a scam. Unlike in the natural world, where animals hunt each other, humans seek out and strike down the healthiest for trophies rather than weeding out the weak. Through veganism, there would be more wildland for creatures’ habitat. Vast tracts of forest and praire are converted into pasture and fields for livestocks food to be grown in, disrupting the balance of the natural world. By the way Arabic, Italian, Mexican, and Chinese food – obviously not all, but a lot of it – is traditionally prepared vegan. Vegan food is not hard to find at all.

Q: How is it being on tour with Sepultura?

K: Sepultura has been one of my favorite bands since the Arise album, so it’s an honor for us that they took us out with them.

Q: Why did you change labels?

K: The point of moving to Roadrunner is to reach more people with our message, and so that we can do this band as our career.

We’ll do an extensive US tour in November and December with Hatebreed and Harley from the Cro-Mags’ new band; Samsarah. We’ll be headlining. We’re looking for a support slot with a bigger band in Europe so keep your fingers crossed for us. Breed the Killers has been out for a couple of weeks, it’s our new eleven song full length. Kids are already singing along to the new stuff. See you guys later! Thanks for coming out.

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