Throwback Thursday to an interview with Alkaline Trio! We took a look through the archives of San Diego Punk to bring you throwback interviews and reviews from our history. Today we picked an interview with Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio from 2002(?)! You can see Alkaline Trio live on December 31st at The Observatory in North Park.
Original interview by Robert Carillo
Big thanks to Dan of Alkaline Trio for taking the time to call me and doing this interview on the phone after we weren’t able to do it in person
Dan Andriano: So wow, I’ve never had a telephone call recorded, I feel like a private eye or something.
San Diego Punk: Yeah I know, this is kind of weird, oh well.
San Diego Punk: On your new split EP with Hot Water Music, how did you end up recording with those guys, and how did it end up coming out on Jade Tree as opposed to one of your own labels?
Dan Andriano Kind of like, well we’ve known the Hot Water guys for a while, like we’ve done a couple tours together and so they’re kind of like our brothers from the South. We love those dudes. Us and Hot Water both are pretty tied in with Tim and Darren over at Jade Tree. Those guys are always really cool to us, they always come out to our shows. It was actually about a year ago they had the idea to start doing their split series they’ve been doin ya know? They did one with Good Riddance and Kill Your Idols. They’ve got a bunch of them coming out, and they asked us if we wanted to do one and we were totally excited about it. Then doing it with Hot Water Music and working with Jade Tree who we’ve never worked with before but we love most all the records they put out. So it kind of took us a long time to finally get it together, a lot of times with that kind of stuff it doesn’t always go as smoothly as it could. Finally both bands got our stuff together and I think its a great split, I think Jade Tree is really excited about it.
San Diego Punk: So what made you pick Rooftops as your Hot Water Music song to cover?
Dan Andriano I think that was Matt’s initial idea, he was just like ‘Yeah we should cover Rooftops and we all love that song. Plus we could do it cause it’s one of their most simple songs we could think of. Those guys write some pretty technical stuff, and Matt and I aren’t so good at that kind of stuff.
San Diego Punk: Plus with you guys only having one guitarist in the band and they have two. Did that cause problems for you guys?
Dan Andriano Ya it was a little problem for us. We actually thought about having Chris Wollard (HWM) come in and do the lead guitar parts, but we ended up just doing it ourselves. I think it all worked out.
San Diego Punk: Definitely, I mean it sounds different, but you can still tell it’s the same song, that makes a good cover I think.
San Diego Punk: Also on the EP is the song While You’re Waiting, which to me is a lot different then most of your old stuff, like adding new things like hand claps and the over all sound is different. Did you do this on purpose or did it just come out that way?
Dan Andriano Um, well I don’t think we ever really, like whenever we write a song, I don’t think we ever really say to each other we should write this kind of song or write this kind of part. Whatever Matt, or myself or now Derek can come up with is generally how it turns out. It all depends on where we’re at, at the time. I do think it’s a different sounding kind of song for us but I like it.
San Diego Punk: Oh ya, I like it a lot too.
Dan Andriano Those handclaps were just kind of impulsive. Like just trying to think of something new, I think Matt put those in after the song was already done. We haven’t played it live so we’ll see what happens then.
San Diego Punk: When Mike left the band, you guys played with a few different drummers from a few different bands. How did you guys end up with Derek on a permanent basis?
Dan Andriano Well after Mike left we went out with Blink and New Found Glory, and we had done a bunch of touring with Face to Face in the past and we knew they weren’t really doing much last summer so we got Pete Parada to play some shows with us. We had a few different guys in mind from the start, and we decided to do some touring with some of our favorite drummers. Just kind of who would be the easiest to play with, not really for any other reason besides who would be the most convenient for us. So we toured with Pete and that was super fun. Then we ended up with a guy Atom, who is actually from San Diego. He used to play in Rocket and now he’s been playing with one of the guys from Weezer in another band so he’s was really busy. So then we did the Plea For Peace tour with Derek, and he had just been filling in for Josh in the Vandals, so we got him to play with us. He’s a really good drummer and it all worked out really good. Now we’re all really excited to have Derek in the band, and like permanently now.
San Diego Punk: I know you guys are just doing West Coast dates right now, but do you have any plans for a big tour? I heard you guys might do the Warped Tour but any plans before that?
Dan Andriano Probably not, I mean we’re going back to England next week and then probably pretty much work on the new record until Warped Tour. We are doing that for sure.
San Diego Punk: Oh really? The whole tour?
Dan Andriano Yep, we’re on the whole thing. Before that we just want to get our new record finished. You know finish writing the songs and get into a good studio and record it.
San Diego Punk: Are you going to work with Matt Allison again on this record?
Dan Andriano No, we’re not going to work with Matt (Allison) on this record. I think we’re gonna try to work with Jerry Finn. Who did our friends the Smoking Popes, and Blink and Green Day. So Jerry’s done some amazing stuff.
San Diego Punk: You guys have always worked with Matt (Allison) in the past haven’t you?
Dan AndrianoYep, we have on everything.
San Diego Punk: Is there any specific reason for the change after all this time? I know a lot bands like to work with different people to see how it ends up.
Dan Andriano Ya I mean we love what Matt’s (Allison) done. Like this last EP with Hot Water Music is the best sounding stuff that Matt (Allison) has ever recorded, of us that is. There’s also benefits of working in a big, not big but a pretty high tech studio with a guy like Jerry Finn. It gives it that extra candy flavor ya know what I mean? Everything he records sounds amazing so we’re looking forward to working with him.
San Diego Punk: I know you played in Slapstick with Brendan who now plays in the Lawrence Arms, who was opening for you this last short tour. Is it strange, with no offense to them, but you guys have had a bit more success then the Lawrence Arms to this point, and so now a guy that used to be in the same band as you is now opening for your band. Does it seem weird for either one of you?
Dan Andriano No not at all, I don’t think either of us look at it like that. Like who’s opening for who or whatever. You know what I mean. After Slapstick, Brendan was in the Broadways so you know. It’s all about timing really. I have a feeling in a year you’re going to be interview Brendan asking him why Alkaline Trio is opening for the Lawrence Arms. They’re going to be a huge band real soon. It’s just about being out with friends. Like, it was super fun, I love all those guys, you know what I mean?
San Diego Punk: Ya, Brendan was the first interview I ever did and he’s a really cool guy.
Dan Andriano Ya he’s great. We hope to do more tours with them.
San Diego Punk: With that, what are some bands you really like right now? Maybe coming up in your area or even a known band. Anyone you’d really like to play with?
Dan Andriano Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of bands that I could never really tour with cause they’re dead or broken up. I do love the Lawrence Arms, I like the Honor System who’s another band I used to be in a band with one of those guys. Like Dan from the Honor System was in Slapstick, they’re from Chicago too. I’ve been into this one band, well I can’t really say into, but I’ve been listening to this band called Phantom Planet, I got a few of their songs through the old interweb. This guy that was this movie star kid, is actually the drummer. It’s interesting. He was in that movie Rushmore, that’s a great band.
San Diego Punk: I know Matt is a big skateboarder, so what are some things you like to do in your spare time? When you’re not touring or recording?
Dan Andriano Um, well actually since I play bass all the time on tour, when I’m at home I like to play the guitar, writing some songs. Relaxing, with my lady, I just got engaged.
San Diego Punk: Oh wow, congratulations!
Dan Andriano Thanks, so it’s cool. I’ve been trying to stay fit the older I get you know? I’ve been trying to play basketball.
San Diego Punk: On the first album you guys had those 2 great acoustic songs that I know a lot of people liked. You haven’t put any on your records since then. Is there any particular reason for that?
Dan Andriano There isn’t really a reason. Probably just its like whatever comes to us is what we put on our records. Like back then Matt was, and he still is, but he was really into Ani DiFranco. That was like
one of his biggest influences. I think more so back then, we still listen to her, but back then she was a huge influence. We were kind of into that so it just sort of happened. The next couple records we were just more in a rockin mood ya know? So who knows what will happen on the next record, it could be 75% acoustic, who knows.
San Diego Punk: With you and Matt both being singers and songwriters in the band, is there a plan going into an album with who is going to sing how many songs? How do you decide?
Dan Andriano Well basically Matt sings the song he writes and I sing the songs I write. Now we got Derek and he can write songs, so he may sing on this record. Matt is a little more prolific than myself, I don’t really write as fast. If sometime Matt was having sort of a writers block and I was spitin them out like water, then I would sing more you know? I kinda doubt that would happen. I’ll probably get 4 or 5 on the new record, it seems I always get one more each record.
San Diego Punk: Ya, I noticed that. Well I think that’s about all the questions I have written out.
Dan Andriano Right on, I hope this works out being on the phone and all. Once again I’m really sorry. I wish we could have done this that night but we got asked to go sing on the New Found Glory record after the show so I was stoked to do that.
San Diego Punk: That’s right, you guys are going to be on their new record, how did that work out?
Dan Andriano It was fun, those guys are amazing. They remind me of myself when I was like 20. They are super excited to be in their band.
San Diego Punk: Ya, I saw them play at Canes a few months ago and I like their music but I’m not a huge fan. But they fly around the stage and you can tell they are really into it. It was a good show.
Dan Andriano Ya, they’re so excited about everything, and that’s a really important part of being in a band, they’re good boys. We love em.
San Diego Punk: How did the song work out, did you get to hear it?
Dan Andriano Ya ya, we heard the part that Matt and I sang on but it was fun. I heard like 5 or 6 of their new songs, it was rough mixes but it sounded like pretty amazing stuff. It was a good time.
San Diego Punk: Right on, so everything seems to be working out for you guys. So thanks a lot for doing this interview. And good luck to you guys.
Dan Andriano No problem, thanks a lot. Have a good weekend.