|Birth name||Matthew Thomas Skiba|
|Born||February 24, 1976|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Origin||McHenry, Illinois, U.S.|
Matthew Thomas Skiba (born February 24, 1976) is an American musician, singer and songwriter, known for his role as the founding lead vocalist and guitarist for Alkaline Trio and the guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the band Blink-182 since 2015. Skiba's lyrical content commonly involves dark romantic themes.
Alkaline Trio formed in 1996 with Skiba as the frontman. Since then, the band has released nine full-length albums over two decades. Skiba also recorded albums with side projects including Heavens and theHell, as well as two full-length solo albums with his backing band, the Sekrets.
Following Tom DeLonge's second departure from Blink-182 in early 2015, Skiba began touring with the pop-punk trio, then joined the band permanently later that year; he has since recorded two albums with them.
Early life and family
Matt Skiba was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in McHenry, Illinois. He began playing piano and drums at an early age. His first concert was Public Image Ltd. In 1996, while working as a bike messenger, he decided to switch from drums to guitar. Prior to that he played in bands including Blunt, Jerkwater, and the Traitors.
His mother, Joan Skiba, is a fourth and fifth grade teacher at Woods Creek Elementary School in Crystal Lake, Illinois. His father, Thomas Skiba, is an oral surgeon in Crystal Lake. He has two younger twin sisters.
After the group recorded their demo and the single "Sundials", they recorded the For Your Lungs Only EP, during which Doran left the group. Dan Andriano joined and played bass on the EP. The band released their debut full-length Goddamnit on Asian Man Records in 1998, followed by Maybe I'll Catch Fire and the compilation Alkaline Trio in 2000.
The group's lineup changed again in 2000 when Porter left and former Smoking Popes drummer Mike Felumlee joined. From Here to Infirmary, released by Vagrant Records in the spring of 2001. In 2002 Jade Tree Records released a Hot Water Music/Alkaline Trio split EP which was well received. Both bands contributed original tracks and covers of each other's songs. Good Mourning followed in 2003, marking the band's first album with drummer Derek Grant, formerly of Suicide Machines and Thoughts of Ionesco. While recording Good Mourning, Skiba had a problem with acid reflux because of his diet, lack of vocal warm-up and his earlier troubles with alcohol and drugs.
Following a tour and throat surgery for Skiba, the band recorded and released Crimson in 2005 and the compilation Remains in 2007. Agony & Irony, their first and only record on Epic Records, was released in July 2008. In January 2010 they released This Addiction on their own Heart & Skull label in partnership with Epitaph Records. In July 2011, they released a semi-acoustic LP called Damnesia to commemorate 15 years as a band. Their eighth album, My Shame Is True was released on April 21, 2013.
In 2014, the band underwent an anthology tour known as the "Past Live Tour", in which they performed their first eight studio albums in their entirety across four dates. Following a five-year hiatus from the studio and a second throat surgery for Skiba, the band released their ninth album, Is This Thing Cursed?, on August 31, 2018.
Following the departure of Tom DeLonge from Blink-182 in 2015, Mark Hoppus announced that Skiba would "fill in" for the band and performed two club shows and a slot at the Musink festival in March 2015. Later that year, the band confirmed that Skiba was now an official member and would be appearing on their upcoming album. The resulting album California, was released on July 1, 2016. Skiba reappears on the band's eighth studio album Nine, which was released on September 20, 2019. However, he did not appear on the band's 2020 single "Quarantine", due to lack of a proper home recording studio.
Side projects and solo
In 2001, he began his first full solo tour with The Plea for Peace Tour, consisting mostly of acoustic versions of Alkaline Trio songs with backing drums and bass in a few shows.
His first solo release came in 2002 in the form of a split with Kevin Seconds of 7 Seconds fame. The songs were mostly acoustic with drums, bass, and piano played by Skiba. Alkaline Trio still occasionally performs the song "Good Fucking Bye".
In 2005, Skiba contributed the song "Demons Away" to the Fat Wreck Chords' compilation Protect: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children.
In May 2007, Skiba performed five shows with Chuck Ragan of Hot Water Music.
In late December 2008, Steinbrick announced on Heavens' MySpace page, "This is no longer a Heavens page. Sorry, that's just the way it's going down. Matt will still be doing Trio stuff and last I heard he might be working on a wonderful solo record. I'm not really positive actually but I'm sure it will be great." A falling-out between Skiba and Steinbrick led to the breakup.
On August 18, 2009, at Debonair Social Club in Chicago, Skiba, Grant and Greg Corner and Jonny Radtke of Kill Hannah debuted the supergroup cover band Them Crooked Vulvas (and occasionally played under the name A Perfect Circus).
Skiba's second full-length solo album, Babylon, was released on May 8, 2012. The album features Skiba leading a band called Matt Skiba and the Sekrets; the backing band includes AFI bassist Hunter Burgan, and former touring drummer for My Chemical Romance Jarrod Alexander. "Voices" impacted radio on May 1, 2012.
In early 2013, Matt Skiba encouraged Mike Park of Asian Man Records to release The Smith Street Band's first two albums in America. Skiba had met the band's guitarist Lee Hartney and fallen in love with his personality and tones. Blink 182 and The Smith Street Band played together in 2017 at Hurricane Festival in Germany.
Skiba confirms his current work on a solo record, a screenplay, and a children's punk record featuring Mark Hoppus.
In March 2015, Skiba and the Sekrets' second album, Kutz, was announced for a release date of June 1.
Although he started out as an avid player of Gibson Les Pauls, Skiba currently plays Fender Jaguar HH's. He has also played Gibson Les Paul Juniors, Gibson SGs, Fender Stratocasters and Fender Jazzmasters in the past.
He has had two signature instruments made:
- GPC released a limited run of Matt Skiba Signature guitars (with the Jaguar body shape), with 200 being manufactured.
- Fender released a signature acoustic guitar dubbed the Malibu, which was featured on the cover of Alkaline Trio's acoustic album Damnesia
Skiba used a Kemper profiling amp while in the studio with blink-182 and John Feldmann.
Along with his own amps, the profiled sounds that were used include:
Skiba is a vegan and practices Transcendental Meditation according to an interview with AOL Interface. He said that the clear and calm state of mind it provides has greatly helped his creative process, though initially he believed the "tortured soul" mindset was more beneficial. The book Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch caused him to change his mind and he now believes a calm state is more artistically helpful. Matt purchased a membership in The Church of Satan organization back in the early days of Alkaline Trio, saying, "to me Anton LaVey was...very punk rock".
Skiba moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2001, though he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has "Love Song" tattooed on his knuckles. He is a "big Cure fan," a "huge Damned fan," "an enormous David Lynch fan", a "big Green Day fan" and a "really big Nirvana fan." Skiba is divorced. He is a close friend of Fat Mike of NOFX-fame and served as the best man at his wedding.
With Alkaline Trio
With the Sekrets
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- "Skiba, Matthew T. on Instagram: "Day 2 sans stitches (sorry @dr_beexo). No voice but I can eat food and drink water now, which is nice..."". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 26, 2021. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
- "Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba Isn't Sure if He's Still in Blink-182". Loudwire.
- moture.net Archived October 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
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- "Photographic image of guitar" (JPG). Tommysguitars.com. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
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- Guitar World (February 3, 2009), Private Gear Tour: Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba, archived from the original on December 13, 2021, retrieved May 4, 2018
- "Matt Skiba: The Guitar Challenges I Faced When Replacing Tom DeLonge in Blink-182". Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- "John Feldmann & Zakk Cervini Info Sheet.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- "Interviews: Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio)". Punknews.org. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- "A LONG-ASS CHAT WITH MATT SKIBA FROM ALKALINE TRIO AND NOW MATT SKIBA AND THE SEKRETS". Frontarmy.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- Bracelin, Jason (July 25, 2008). "New Outlook". Las Vegas Review – Journal. p. J.22.
- "Alkaline Trio talk Church of Satan". News24.com. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
- "Tough Questions for Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba". Spin.com. February 24, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
- Suicide, Auren (January 25, 2010). "Matt Skiba: Alkaline Trio". Suicidegirls.com. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- "NOFX's Fat Mike: I Got Married ... As The Bride!". Tmz.com. January 7, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.