Matthew Thomas Skiba (born February 24, 1976) is an American musician, best known for his role as the co-vocalist and guitarist of the punk rock band Alkaline Trio.
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 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.
Skiba studied design at Chicago's Columbia College but left in 1996 to form Alkaline Trio with drummer Glenn Porter and bassist Rob Doran.
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 ex-Smoking Popes drummer Mike Felumlee joined, making the band a trio again. 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 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 an unplugged album called Damnesia to commemorate 15 years as a band. Their ninth album, My Shame Is True was released on April 2, 2013.
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 2006 Skiba launched the band Heavens with F-Minus bassist Josiah Steinbrick. The group released Patent Pending on September 12, 2006.
Also in 2006 Skiba contributed to the track "Rock 'n' Roll High School" featured on Brats on the Beat: Ramones for Kids, a tribute album released on Go-Kart Records.
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, 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).
On August 10, 2010, he released a solo album titled Demos on Asian Man Records. The album is said to be a precursor to a future Alkaline Trio album .
In January 2012, Skiba released an EP along with former Angels and Airwaves and The Offspring drummer Atom Willard under the moniker The Hell. The Hell's debut EP is entitled "Sauve Les Requins".
Skiba's second full length solo album, Babylon, was released on May 8, 2012. The album feature's Skiba leading a band called Matt Skiba And The Sekrets, the backing band includes AFI bassist Hunter Burgan, and current touring drummer for My Chemical Romance Jarrod Alexander.
Skiba is a vegetarian 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" and a "really big Nirvana fan." Skiba is divorced.