Alkaline Trio's Dan Andriano the Warped Tour and the band's new label, Heart & Skull

Music and marriages have one major thing in common. By normal standard, the average life expectancy of either is around the three or four year mark, and sometimes ends due to a wandering eye, financial woes or just a blatant mismatch in chemistry. Fortunately for the Alkaline Trio, this isn't the case. The band has managed to make its kinship last more than fourteen years, and from the looks of it, there's no real ending to be discussed.

This Addiction, the act's seventh studio album, released this past February on the band's own label, Heart & Skull Records, has been its highest charting record to date. Dan Andriano, bassist and vocalist to the group took a brief moment while out on the Van Warped Tour to speak to us about the people who made the label possible, who he's been excited to see this summer and what he hopes to get recorded when he sees some downtime.

Westword (Brian Frederick): There's less than two weeks left of the tour, how is everyone holding up?

Dan Andriano: So far it's been good. Just got a couple days off with a long drive up to Canada.

Ww: Trying to stay sane?

DA: We do our best. In the beginning, it seems like it's never going to end. But now it seems like it's flying by.

Ww: Have you noticed any differences in the crowd as opposed to other years?

DA: I don't know. The fan base changes with the band. There's lots of different kinds of bands on the tour this year that seem to be bringing in different kinds of people, but that's what it's all about; so it's cool.

Ww: Any bands you're excited about playing with?

DA: Yeah, I've become a huge fan of Every Time I Die. We had All American Rejects out for a while and Bouncing Souls out for a while. They're good friends and good bands, so it's fun to check them out.

Ww: Your new album, This Addiction, was put out on Heart & Skull, your own offshoot label of Epitaph Records. How does it feel having that control over your work?

DA: Well, you know, for us, it's about exactly that, just having a little bit of control. We've been on about every kind of label that one can be on. We knew we were going to be recording another record, so we just decided to do it and see what happens. So we started our own label and kind of partnered up with Epitaph Records.

Honestly, without them, there wouldn't be a Heart and Skull. It would just be much more difficult getting an album out there. They're doing everything in terms of helping us get the record out and manufacturing. But they're giving us control over how we want to handle the release and the record that we wanted to make, so it's been good.

Ww: Is it easier making the decisions now that you have that control?

DA: Everything's been super easy. We kind of decide what we do and don't want to do, and Epitaph helps us facilitate everything you know?

Ww: How important was it for you guys to go back to Chicago and record at Atlas Studios, the first place you recorded when Alk3 started?

DA: It just seemed like a good idea you know? We were all discussing how or where we wanted to make this record. The idea of going back to Chicago and recording it with an old friend and doing it ourselves just seemed really appealing. It definitely helped the energy of the record and helped us create a record that we couldn't create elsewhere.

Ww: After the tour is wrapped and your UK dates are behind you, do you see yourself working on your solo project more?

DA: I'd like to do some other stuff in the near future. There's not a whole lot left for us to do on this record as far as touring. There will probably be another tour next year to come back and say hi to everyone. I've got a bunch of songs lying around that I'd like to do something with and get them recorded to put them out there.

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B.A. Frederick