ALKALINE TRIO HAS A SUNNY ATTITUDE TOWARD GLOOM article in the Chicago Tribune.
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 www.alkalinetrio.com