Alkaline Trio Biography
Early years, Goddamnit and Maybe I'll Catch Fire (1996–2000)
Alkaline Trio was formed in December 1996 (see 1996 in music), originally consisting of Matt Skiba (guitar/lead vocals), Rob Doran (bass/vocals), and Glenn Porter (drums/vocals). They all hailed from McHenry, Illinois, in Chicago's Northwest suburbs. 1997 saw the release of the band's first EP, Sundials. This was followed shortly after by the departure of Rob Doran, after which Dan Andriano, former singer of Asian Man Records band Tuesday and bassist for Slapstick, took his place and they began recording. The band released their second EP entitled For Your Lungs Only, in 1998, which began to build them a sizable fanbase in the American Midwest. Later on that year, the band released their first full length album, Goddamnit, followed by Maybe I'll Catch Fire in 2000 (both on Asian Man Records). Also in 2000, the band released a collection of their previously released EPs on their self-titled album.
From Here to Infirmary, Good Mourning and Dan Andriano's side project (2001–2005)
In 2001, the band released From Here To Infirmary on Vagrant Records. This was their first step towards the mainstream, with music videos for the singles "Stupid Kid" and "Private Eye." Other songs from From Here To Infirmary that brought attention to the band were "Another Innocent Girl", "I'm Dying Tomorrow", "Crawl", and "Armageddon".
Their next full-length album was Good Mourning, released in 2003, with the album's launch single "We've Had Enough" seeing much the same success as the previous single "Stupid Kid." The album was something of a departure from earlier works, featuring greater production values and a move toward the mainstream.
The band appeared on various compilation albums, notably Plea for Peace Vol. 1, Vagrant Records: Another Year on the Streets Vol. 1, 2, and 3, and Rock Against Bush Vol. 1. Matt Skiba and Dan Andriano have both independently recorded split records, Skiba with Kevin Seconds on Asian Man Records and Andriano with Mike Felumlee on Double Zero Records, as well as jointly performing backing vocal duties on the album This is Unity Music by Common Rider. They recorded 2 split EPs: one with Hot Water Music in 2000 and the other with One Man Army in 2004.
In 2004, Dan became a member of The Falcon, a supergroup of sorts consisting of The Lawrence Arms' bassist Brendan Kelly, previously of Slapstick (alongside Dan) and The Broadways, and drummer Neil Hennessy. The Falcon also saw contributions from Todd Mohney of The Killing Tree and formerly Rise Against. The band released an EP, God Don't Make No Trash / Up Your Ass With Broken Glass in 2005 and its first full length, Unicornography in September 2006.
Crimson and Matt Skiba's side project (2005–2007)
Alkaline Trio released their fifth studio album on Vagrant Records, titled Crimson, on May 24, 2005, which featured the single "Time to Waste." The single for this song also included bonus tracks produced by Squirtgun and Common Rider bassist Mass Giorgini. The tracks "Mercy Me" and "Burn" have also been released as singles from the album.
In December 2005, a dual-disc special edition re-release of Crimson hit store shelves. This album features the original cut of Crimson released earlier in the year, while the 2nd disc has demo and acoustic/live versions of some of the songs. Additionally, an enhanced version of the lyrics and liner notes are available for download with personal messages from the band members on the history and/or inspiration(s) behind the songs.
In September 2006, Patent Pending, the debut album by Matt Skiba's side project Heavens was released. The band consisted of Skiba on guitar and vocals, and Josiah Steinbrick (of hardcore punk outfit F-Minus) on bass. On the album, the duo were joined by The Mars Volta's Isaiah "Ikey" Owens on organ and Matthew Compton on drums and percussion. Skiba was playing with Heavens during a short tour in the fall of 2006.
Alkaline Trio released an album of B-sides/Rarities, Live Performances, and a DVD with Performances from The Occult Roots Tour in early 2007 called Remains and put out on Vagrant Records.
In October 2006, it was announced that Alkaline Trio had signed with V2 Records. On January 12, 2007, the North America branch of the label announced that they were undergoing restructuring to focus on their back catalogue and digital distribution. As a result, their employees were let go and their roster of artists left as free agents.
During late May 2007 the band began listing Epic Records as its label on their MySpace. Punknews.org then also reported that band is on the Epic roster.
Agony & Irony (2008–2009)
In February 2008, Asian Man Records released a 10th Anniversary reissue of the band's 1998 full length, Goddamnit. The disc was remixed and remastered, with 4 bonus tracks from their 1996 demo tape added, and the album was repackaged with new artwork and a feature length DVD documentary about the band's early days. Predictably, the release caused quite a bit of excitement for long-time followers of the group.
On Saturday, February 9, 2008, the band posted a message on their MySpace page explaining that they had been in the studio for three weeks working on the new album without revealing a release date or title. The band later announced via their fan club, the Blood Pact, that their upcoming album, titled Agony & Irony, would be released on July 1, 2008. As a gift for members, they made a new song titled "In Vein" available as an exclusive. On April 4, they posted the song on their MySpace for 24 hours.
A contest ("Settle The Score"), was announced May 6, 2008, that encouraged fans to download sheet music of "Love Love Kiss Kiss" from the official website and send Alkaline Trio footage of their interpretation of the song before it was released by the band.
As expected, the band released Agony & Irony on July 1, 2008. First week sales for the album placed Alkaline Trio at number 13 on the Billboard album charts, making it the highest the band has ever charted to date.
This Addiction (2009–present)
During a concert in May 2009, the band revealed that they are no longer signed to Epic Records and that they will release a new album through their own label later in the year. Recording began in July. Five songs from the upcoming album ("This Addiction", "Dead On The Floor", "Dine, Dine My Darling", "Dorothy", and "Fruit Please") have been debuted on their tour with Saves the Day.
On July 30, 2009, the band posted a blog via MySpace, announcing that they will be entering the studio next week, and will be having a sale on their first CD in honor of their new album. On Twitter, Alkaline Trio stated they are hoping for a January 2010 release. It was confirmed in an interview that after Alkaline Trio is done recording the new album, Matt Skiba will record a solo album released by Asian Man Records. As stated, Matt Skiba said, "It will be great working with family again." Dan Andriano also has a side project going called the Emergency Room, he will be playing a few shows in the coming months.
On October 11, 2009, the band announced at Riot Fest their newest album was now complete.
On November 18, 2009, the band announced that they will be releasing their new album on their own newly formed label, Heart & Skull, a joint venture with Epitaph Records. In the same article, Skiba also confirmed that the new, still-untitled album would be released on February 23 in 2010, with another new song announced, entitled "The American Scream."
On December 1 Alkaline Trio have confirmed to Rock Sound that the title of their new album will be This Addiction:
"It is the first song on the record and the title of our new album," said vocalist Matt Skiba. "The song takes heroin addiction as a metaphor for love. The whole record is really personal, all three of us have been through quite a bit since our last album [2008's Agony & Irony] and it is all expressed through this, all the songs are about the relationships we've been in and so the record has a constant theme."