Alkaline Trio Get Back To D.I.Y. Roots
"We kind of want to make a punk rock record," Skiba says. "That's how we started as a band, and over the years I think we evolved into kind of more of a rock band with punk roots. So we have a bunch of new songs, and we've been kind of picking a couple of new songs each night. But we're using our soundcheck as kind of our pre-production for the record.
"We've been writing when we had downtime but now that we're out, the three of us have been vibing off each other and inspired to write. So we're just cranking out new songs. We'll pick out the 10 best and go record them lickety-split in July and release it thereafter."
The band is now road testing new D.I.Y.-sounding songs such as "Dine, Dine My Darling," "Dead on the Floor" and "This Addiction" on its current tour, which is scheduled to play tonight (May 12) in St. Petersburg, Fla. Something else exciting for the threesome is releasing its next album on its own new record label.
"With the way that everything is being done, with people like Trent Reznor and Radiohead, it was very inspiring to us that when you're doing things on your own you can do whatever you want," Skiba says. "Not that we're going to give records away but this time we're starting a label, we want to build it up first and have the freedom to release exclusive things whenever we want. That's something we've always been able to do until we were on Epic, so it's nice that we're able to do that again."
After rising through the ranks on Vagrant Records, Alkaline Trio jumped to Epic Records for "Agony & Irony." Even though the band was legally tied to the label for one more record, a change of the guard at the label prompted Skiba and company to ask for and receive its release.
"Everyone who signed us to Epic, all of the people we trusted there, were let go," Skiba says. "And that's not to say the people running it now aren't cool, we just don't know them and we don't like to work generally with people we don't know. We had a bunch of material and wanted to do a record sooner than later, so we called them and asked them if we could leave and they said, ‘Yeah, that's cool.' They've always been great to us and we appreciate that."
Skiba said even though major labels take a bad rap, Alkaline Trio's experience on Epic was positive.
"I think in this day and age, a label is a label," Skiba says. "There are just as many dirt bags in independent music as there are in major labels."