It'd be totally understandable if Matt Skiba wanted to take on a side project to give himself a breather from his decades of singing, writing, and playing guitar for Alkaline Trio, but that's not what he's doing this time around.
If you ask the frontman, Matt Skiba and the Sekrets are here to stay, and their new album certainly doesn't sound like a side project. Kuts sounds like an album of yesteryear, more similar to a record out of the '80s than something out of the iTunes digital download era.
"There are a lot of influences from post-punk stuff on this record. I'm a huge fan of the Cure and David Bowie, so there's a lot of the British post-punk influence," Skiba says. "There are a lot of keyboards, it's more of a dancey vibe."
The lighter, dancier style of music behind Skiba's signature vocals on Kuts is a far cry from what Alkaline Trio fans might expect. For that matter, Skiba says the Sekrets actually worked with a producer who "had never even heard Alkaline Trio before."
While Skiba knows that the fan base he's built with Alkaline Trio might not be super excited for the new Sekrets album, but there's no reason they shouldn't still like it.
"I hope fans of Alkaline Trio enjoy it, but it's so different that hopefully people who don't listen to Trio enjoy it," Skiba says. "The main goal for the Sekrets is to be fun to listen to, and I think we achieved it. I listened to a lot of old records to draw from. I wanted to capture their sounds and that kind of feel." Of course, Skiba most recently made music headlines with a band outside of the Sekrets and Alkaline Trio. He filled in on guitar and vocals for Blink-182 after the departure of Tom DeLonge, including a performance at Musink in Costa Mesa, which delayed his plans of bringing a Sekrets tour to the world.
"I hope the Sekrets is more than a side project. I want to go over to Europe and do a full U.S. tour with the Sekrets. Then Blink came along, and that was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," Skiba says. "Right now, I'm focusing on the Alkaline Trio tour. After that, the future is unwritten. I would still like to do a Sekrets tour soon. I'm a busy bee."
Speaking of Alkaline Trio, Skiba's most prominent band has a four-night residency at the Observatory in June. Over the course of that stretch, the band will play each of their eight studio albums (two each night, in chronological order).
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"We've done it in Los Angeles, Chicago and Brooklyn, but we weren't sure if we were going to do more of that," Skiba says. "We've been around for 20 years as a band, so we're at the point where we can play two records a night for four nights. We don't want to oversaturate people with too many tours and records, so we figured why not?"
Kuts by Matt Skiba and the Sekrets will be released on June 1. Tickets for Alkaline Trio's shows at the Observatory are available online.