The Alkaline Trio came together in 1996, one of the bands part of the Slapstick Family Tree (Andriano was a Slapstick member and then co-created Tuesday, a three former Slapstick member Slapstick Family Tree band, and later on one of the Alkaline Trio drummers, Mike Felumlee, was a second degree Slapstick family member having played for Slapstick family member bands Duvall and Smoking Popes and for Alkaline Trio). They have undergone multiple lineup changes (mostly drummers) since their conception as they escalated from developing a huge local following to acquiring fame on a national level. They came together by a mutual companionship for heartbreak, angst, disdain for cops, and passion for drinking.
- Matt Skiba (ex-Jerkwater, ex-Traitors drummer, Blink-182 guitar & vocals) - vocals, guitar (1997 - present)
- Dan Andriano (ex-Slapstick, Tuesday) - bass, vocals (1998 - present)
- Derek Grant (ex-Suicide Machines, Thoughts of Ionesco) - drummer (2003 - present)
- Rob Doran - bass, vocals (1997-1998)
- Glenn Porter (ex—88 Fingers Louie drummer) - drummer (1997 - 2000)
- Pete Parada (ex-face to face, went on to be The Offspring drummer) - drummer (2000)
- Mike Felumlee (ex-Smoking Popes, Duvall drummer) - drummer (2000 - 2003)
The original lineup issued the EP For Your Lungs Only, the only album they recorded with Doran who left the band in late 1997. Another short EP followed; Sundials, on Johann's Face Records. Slapstick's Dan Andriano joined to fill in the missing bass player, but also completed the trio's chemistry - he added a complementary voice and songwriting style to Skiba that fufilled the group's dynamic. Since then, they have had many changes in drummers, but Skiba and Andriano have been the main force behind their songwriting and overall presence and chemistry.
With Andriano's and Skiba's new-found chemistry and solid lineup, their popularity in Chicago and throughout the Midwest rocketed, they recorded and released in 1998 the emotive, dark pop-punk and angst ridden and anti-cop full LP Goddamnit!, which sold in droves.
In '99 they released the EP I Lied My Face Off followed by a 10 song LP Maybe I'll Catch Fire and self-titled Alkaline Trio. Shortly after early the next year, 2000, Glenn Porter left the band and was replaced very briefly by Pete Parada and then in the manner of a few months later by Mike Felumlee, ex-Smoking Popes drummer, which also continued the tradition of The Alkaline Trio being a Slapstick family three piece, as Felumlee was 2 degrees away having played for both family tree members Smoking Popes and Duvall.
Post 1990's and More Lineup Changes
In 2001, a year after Felumlee joined the band, they released From Here to Infirmary on Vagrant, whose popularity was sparse compared to their prior releases as they moved away from the sound that made them successful. The next EP proved the band wasn't on a downward spiral. It was a split released in 2002 with Hot Water Music, where both bands covered each other's songs as well recording some of their own, and also recorded with each other. Derek Grant (ex-Suicide Machines, Thoughts of Ionesco) replaced Felumlee on drums in 2003 and LP Good Mourning was released in 2004 LP, which fared well with fans and even hit the Billboard charts, and got the Trio spots on late-night TV and national summer tours. They released another EP under Vagrant, Six Songs in '04. In 2005 they released Crimson and toured as an opening act (sometimes headlining) for My Chemical Romance.
Alkaline Trio toured again the next summer in 2006, except this tour emphasized their early material; even doing full run-throughs of Goddamnit!, their first and perhaps most beloved albums by their early fan base.
In 2007 Vagrant issued a CD/DVD compilation named Remains, which rounded up B-sides and rarities. They switched to Epic Records and released Agony & Irony in 2007 which debuted at number 13, which was Alkaline Trio's highest chart placement to date.
In 2008 Alkaline Trio launched their own label, Heart & Skull. The release of This Addiction in 2010, recorded back in their hometown of Chicago, was on their label and distributed by Epitaph and was a sorely needed attempt to return to their punk rock roots, as was their eighth LP album, Damnesia, which was acoustic versions of some of the bands most beloved songs, as well as a a couple of new tracks. After a reprise, in 2013 Alkaline Trio returned with My Shame is True, produced by Bill Stevenson of the Descendents.