Aging punks declaring a return to their roots after seven albums isn't always a promising sign. Thankfully for Alkaline Trio, that declaration meant reconnecting with the Midwestern punk ethic they were raised on, and not trying to re-write classic early albums. "We weren't trying to go for an old Alkaline Trio sound, but we wanted to get the old feel of the band back," says vocalist and guitarist Matt Skiba.
Following the lush-sounding major label misstep of 2008's Agony & Irony, the band regrouped for This Addiction, shedding the extra musical weight without making a hackneyed return to their rough-edged beginnings. "We recorded it with Matt Allison at Atlas Studios in Chicago, which is where we recorded our first three albums. We wrote together in a room, rather than sending each other MP3s. We took a roots approach to writing and recording, but we didn't try to make it sound like an old Alkaline Trio record."
It's only fitting that the band would fulfil a life-long punk's dream of truly doing it themselves, self-financing and releasing it through their own Epitaph-affiliated imprint, Heart & Skull. Skiba hopes that this record is the first of many, including non-A3 music in the future. "We've seen what the Stern brothers have done with BYO, Brett Gurewitz with Epitaph, Ian MacKaye with Dischord. Working on a label by bands for bands has always been an aspiration. But we're taking baby steps, one thing at a time."