Skiba performing at the 2010 Vans Warped Tour
|Birth name||Matthew Thomas Skiba|
|Born||February 24, 1976|
|Origin||McHenry, Illinois, U.S.|
Matthew Thomas "Matt" Skiba (born February 24, 1976) is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for his role as the co-lead vocalist and guitarist of the bands Alkaline Trio and Blink-182. Skiba began performing with Blink-182 in March 2015 following the second departure of founding guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge and later became an official member in July 2015; he appears on the band's seventh album, California, which was released on July 1, 2016, as well as the deluxe edition of the album, which was released on May 19, 2017. Skiba has also recorded and performed solo and with his side-projects, Heavens and The Hell. In 2012, he released a solo album, Babylon, with his backing band The Sekrets. A second album, Kuts, was released on June 1, 2015.
Early life and family
Matt Skiba was born in Chicago and moved to nearby McHenry at the age of three. 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 was 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.
The band followed up with Crimson in 2005 and the compilation Remains in 2007. Agony & Irony, their first 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.
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. He then appeared on the Blink-182 album California, released July 1, 2016.
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.
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 first two albums in America. Matt had met the bands guitarist Lee Hartney and fallen in love with his personality and tones. Blink 182 & The Smith Street Band will play together in 2017 at Hurricane Festival in Germany.
Matt Skiba confirms his current work on a solo record, a screenplay, and a children's punk record featuring Mark Hoppus.
In March 2015, Matt 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 humbucker-equipped Fender Jaguar guitars. He has also played Gibson Les Paul Juniors, Gibson SGs, Fender Stratocasters and Fender Jazzmasters in the past.
He has also had two signature instruments made:
- GPC released a limited run of Matt Skiba Signature Jaguar guitars, with 200 being manufactured.
- Fender sells a signature acoustic guitar dubbed the Alkaline Trio Malibu.
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.
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 his best man at his wedding.
With Alkaline Trio
With the Sekrets
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- "A LONG-ASS CHAT WITH MATT SKIBA FROM ALKALINE TRIO AND NOW MATT SKIBA AND THE SEKRETS – FRONT – The funniest, sexiest magazine on Earth | FRONT – The funniest, sexiest magazine on Earth". Frontarmy.com. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
- Bracelin, Jason (July 25, 2008). "New Outlook". Las Vegas Review – Journal. p. J.22.
- "Tough Questions for Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba". spin.com. February 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- Suicide, Auren (January 25, 2010). "Matt Skiba: Alkaline Trio". Suicidegirls.com. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
- "NOFX's Fat Mike: I Got Married ... As The Bride!". Tmz.com. January 7, 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
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