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Alkaline Trio on How Depression, Trump-Era Mayhem Fueled Their New LP – Rolling Stone

Alkaline Trio on How Depression, Trump-Era Mayhem Fueled Their New LP – Rolling Stone

“You talk about us like we’re electricity or something,” Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba jokes when Rolling Stone mentions the pop-punk trio’s heyday at the turn of the 21st century. But at this point, it’s a simple fact: The band, representatives of a movement that once seemed eternally youthful, is now bona fide veterans. And if there ever were a comprehensive tome on the history of pop punk, Alkaline Trio’s chapter would be penned in blood and signed with a black-stained kiss.

Unlike genre progenitors Descendents, Green Day or Blink-182 — we’ll get to them later — the Chicago band always stood out for its dalliances with the macabre, in songs that chronicled the squalid lives and death wishes of sad-eyed heroes (and feistier heroines). Kicking since 1996, Alkaline Trio now celebrate more than 20 years of gloom and rage on their upcoming ninth studio album, Is This Thing Cursed?, due August 31st. Produced by Cameron Webb (known for his work with Motörhead and Sum 41), the band’s follow-up to 2013’s My Shame Is True draws from the same brackish well that birthed early-2000s highlights “Maybe I’ll Catch Fire,” “Armageddon” and “Queen of Pain.” But the ghouls and vampires of previous Alkaline Trio records have taken on new forms in 2018 — some more sinister than they could have previously imagined.

As the band headlines its first U.S. tour in five years, singer-guitarist Matt Skiba and singer-bassist Dan Andriano spoke to Rolling Stone about how depression fed into their new songs, how Skiba joined forces with Blink-182, and keeping their heads above water in the madness of the Trump era.