Matt Skiba has spent the last sixteen years as the frontman of alternative punk band Alkaline Trio. Though he has written and performed as a solo artist on the side, Skiba’s new project Matt Skiba and The Sekrets is the creative outlet he’s been waiting for. By bringing in My Chemical Romance drummer Jarrod Alexander and AFI bassist Hunter Burgan as studio musicians, Skiba was able to create a polished and powerful debut album for which he has written completely on his own. We caught up with Matt to discuss the new band, inspiration behind the album’s lyrics and what’s in store for the future of The Sekrets and Alkaline Trio.
OS: You’re known for being the lead singer of Alkaline Trio, but you’ve also had a few other projects over the years. How is the music of Matt Skiba and The Sekrets different from anything else you’ve done?
MS: I’ve always gone in with a partner, and with this, I did it by myself. I wrote the songs, I went in initially and did the rough tracks…it was the first time that I hired musicians to play on the album with me. You can still tell that it’s me, I just wanted to incorporate a full band. I wanted to do something a little more grandiose in terms of what’s happening on stage. So now I get to do it (I have this Souther Death Cult shaman warrior garb that I’m going to be wearing). I’m not playing guitar, but we have two guitar players. It was the first time I went into a studio to make a rock record totally by myself, with a producer.
OS: For this project, you recruited Jarrod Alexander of My Chemical Romance and Hunter Burgan of AFI. What led you to choose them to make this record with. What made you want to work with them?
MS: Their skills as players, primarily. Jarrod and I became friends because of this project. He was playing in a band called Dead Country, which we took on tour…this was after he played drums on Babylon. The producer Cameron Webb recommended Jarrod, he was like, “He’s a great drummer, he’s a great guy.” Our friendship, and we’re really really good friends now, developed from him playing as a session guy on my record. From there, I got a phone call from My Chemical Romance’s attorney, who’s a friend of mine, and she said “I need a drummer for a band, I can’t really tell you
who, but I need him, like, yesterday. Do you know anyone who can come out and play?” And I said, “Well, it’s funny you should say that, I just did this album with this kid Jarrod and he’s a fucking ripping drummer.” She called him up and now you can see him on stage with My Chem. I’m proud to have put My Chem in touch with Jarrod. Hunter and I have been friends for a long time. I think great music and great art comes from working as a team, being friends and loving each other is important. It makes communicating and playing together much easier. I had Hunter in mind the whole time and when it came down to the final hour and I sent him the record. Three days later, we were in the studio recording Hunter on bass. They’re going to be with me on this tour and I hope that everyone would still be available. We’re going to tour the world with this record, over time. As schedules permit, these guys are my A-Team, but I also have a back-up plan, some great friends and heroes that have offered to play, too.
Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Matt Skiba Shares His ‘Sekrets’’