Exploring the Depths of Post-Punk: A Musical Journey with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba

Alkaline Trio, a stalwart presence in the music scene since 1996, recently marked their return with the release of “Blood, Hair, and Eyeballs,” their first full-length album in nearly six years. Frontman Matt Skiba, who also spent seven years with Blink-182 during a brief hiatus for Alkaline Trio, has been a driving force behind the band’s enduring success. In a recent interview with Consequence, Skiba delves into the albums that influenced his musical journey, revealing a profound appreciation for the post-punk genre.

Skiba, known for his roles as a singer and guitarist, shares an exclusive list of 10 essential post-punk albums that have significantly shaped his musical sensibilities. Despite Alkaline Trio’s classification over the years as punk rock, pop-punk, alt-rock, and emo, Skiba’s formative years during post-punk’s ’80s heyday left an indelible mark on his artistic expression.

The Impact of PiL’s “First Issue”

Skiba reminisces about the transformative effect of Public Image Ltd’s (PiL) “First Issue,” citing it as the album that changed things for him and the punk genre. Attending a PiL show in 1989, Skiba was already hooked, but it was the dark poetry and atonality of “First Issue” that awakened artists to the possibilities of taking an angular approach to pop songs.

Psychedelic Furs’ “Talk Talk Talk” on Rainy Days

For Skiba, a rainy day calls for the perfect ambiance created by Psychedelic Furs’ “Talk Talk Talk.” He praises Richard Butler’s voice, delivery, and songwriting on this album, emphasizing how Butler can tell a sad story without sounding like a melancholic bore.

Talking Heads’ Game-Changing “Remain in Light”

Skiba acknowledges the impact of MTV in introducing him to Talking Heads, a band that “out-punked” the NYC punk scene in a way never seen before. He discovered Talking Heads through their hits before delving into the groundbreaking “Remain in Light,” where the band’s aesthetic and music defied norms, turning the ordinary into the oddball.

The Menacing Allure of The Cure’s “Pornography”

Expressing his admiration for The Cure, Skiba singles out “Pornography” as his favorite record by the iconic band. He describes the dark vibe throughout the album as The Cure’s most menacing and sexiest, appreciating its overall impact on his musical taste.

DEVO’s Influence on Individuality

Recalling the influence of older, cooler cousins who introduced him to great music, Skiba highlights DEVO’s “Freedom of Choice” as a significant early love. He commends DEVO for being pioneers who influenced individuality, a theme that resonates with Alkaline Trio’s approach to their music.

The Cult’s Genre-Defying “Electric”

Pro-skater Kevin Staab played a pivotal role in Skiba’s discovery of The Cult, with “Electric” standing out as a killer rock record that defies genre classification. Skiba recalls buying the album with money earned from mowing lawns, emphasizing its lasting impact on his musical preferences.

Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Iconic “Juju”

Skiba’s love affair with Siouxsie Sioux began with a TV clip featuring her with the Sex Pistols. The allure of Siouxsie and the Banshees, coupled with the album “Juju,” left an indelible mark on Skiba. He describes Siouxsie as iconic and beautiful, with “Juju” achieving a level of perfection.

Gary Numan’s “Telekon”: One of the Sexiest Records Ever Made

Describing Gary Numan’s “Telekon” as one of the sexiest records ever made, Skiba expresses his affinity for Numan’s solo work and with Tubeway Army. The album’s artwork and overall vibe have been a substantial influence on Alkaline Trio, marking Numan as an enduring source of inspiration.

The Forbidden World of Suicide’s “A Way of Life”

Introduced to Suicide by older, cooler friends, Skiba describes the band’s music as obscene, forbidden, smutty, and lawless—a world he desperately wanted to be a part of. “A Way of Life” by Suicide introduced Skiba to the band, sparking a lasting love affair with their unconventional and provocative sound.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ “Tender Prey” as a Cool Record Through and Through

In concluding his list, Skiba praises Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ “Tender Prey” as one of the coolest records from start to finish. He highlights the album’s influence on Alkaline Trio, both in terms of artwork and the poetic depth within. Despite its painful beauty, the record continues to provide Skiba with hope.

In Summary: A Musical Odyssey through Post-Punk

Skiba’s journey through these 10 post-punk albums paints a vivid picture of his eclectic musical tastes and the diverse influences that have shaped Alkaline Trio’s distinctive sound. From the experimental atonality of PiL to the iconic allure of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Skiba’s list serves as a testament to the enduring power of post-punk in shaping the musical landscape.

As Alkaline Trio embarks on a North American tour, fans can appreciate the depth of Skiba’s musical journey by exploring these albums that have left an indelible mark on his artistic soul. The convergence of punk rock, pop-punk, alt-rock, and emo in Alkaline Trio’s discography finds its roots in the rich tapestry of post-punk—an intricate musical landscape that continues to inspire and captivate both artists and fans alike.

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