Recording its latest album, “This Addiction,” in Chicago was something of a homecoming for drummer Derek Grant and the other two members of Alkaline Trio.
The Detroit-born, Livonia-raised Grant actually moved to Chicago during the ’90s, when he was part of the Detroit punk band Suicide Machines (he also played in Walls of Jericho). Singer-guitarist Matt Skiba formed Alkaline Trio in 1996 in the Windy City, too (bassist Dan Andriano joined a year later), but they’d gravitated to Los Angeles on more recent albums.
But when the group changed labels — and actually started its own company, Heart & Skull Records — returning to its roots with early career producer Matt Allison seemed like the best course to take.
“The band hadn’t recorded an album in Chicago in about nine years,” says Grant, 32, whose family still lives in the Metro Detroit area. “So all three of us were back, staying in an apartment in Chicago and going to places we used to hang out, working in the studio (Atlas) where the band initially worked at. It was the first time this particular lineup had done anything in that town and in that studio. There was just a lot of familiarity, and I think that seeps into the music quite a bit.
“It was totally self-funded and everything, too. We did a lot of things differently on this record, but it was a very stress-free and organic process.”
Grant says the Trio is looking forward to using Heart & Skull to release more new music — not only Alkaline Trio but also from the members’ various side projects, including Skiba’s Heaven and an upcoming solo album, Andriano’s Emergency Room and Grant’s own music, which he’s released via MySpace.
“We all have solo projects,” Grant says. “Now that we’ve got Heart & Skull Records, we have an outlet for all this stuff, so I assume you’ll see some sort of solo releases from all three members in the near future. It’s the same thing, though — we can keep it organic and coordinate it with what we’re doing with the band.”
Alkaline Trio and Cursive perform Tuesday (March 2) at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $23 day of show. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.
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