By Matt McGuire
Things are looking up for Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba.
After years of gory heartbreak--as documented in song after punk-rock song--the McHenry native is getting married. His band just released its sixth and perhaps finest album, "Crimson." He's healthy enough to tour, after breaking both his arms in separate skateboarding accidents in the last year. And, he joined the Church of Satan.
That's right. Turns out all those skulls and pentagrams on the band's album art weren't just for shock value. We had to find out more.
Is it true?
Yup, I became a member of the Church of Satan, and so did [drummer] Derek [Grant]. People have asked me if I'm a devil worshipper before, and I'm not. I don't believe in the devil and I don't believe in God. I don't believe those fairytale stories are true.
How does the whole Satanism thing go over with fans?
In New Jersey, these girls came up to us at a record signing and said, "Jesus loves you guys." And I know they were saying that because two of us are Satanists. I thought it was very sweet of them because they believe Jesus exists. I can respect their faith and I appreciate them trying to say something nice to me, as ridiculous as I think it is.
Were both you and Derek members before meeting each other?
Derek's mom was a member of the Church of Satan. And a couple people in my fiancee's family grew up in the Bay Area and were acquaintances of [Church of Satan founder] Anton LaVey. So we were both always interested, and since he's joined the band, we both became members.
How does one become a member?
You fill out an application and pay a tuition fee. Anyone can join; it's not an elite organization. I got Derek his membership last Christmas.
To celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, you gave someone a membership to the Church of Satan?
Right, to celebrate the Easter Bunny's birthday. If you're interested at all, I recommend it. It's a lot of fun.
Not really. Thanks, though. You mentioned a fiancee. Sounds like you're getting married.
Yeah, we were just at the bridal shop. We found some suits for my groomsmen; Derek and bassist Danny [Adriano] are both standing up. I'm leaving for a month and a half tomorrow. And I get married the week after I get home, so I'm trying to get everything sorted before I leave.
Will you have a band at the wedding?
No, I spend my life watching bands, so it'll be a nice change of pace to not have a band. Not that I would trade my life for anything in the world, but we don't want to make our wedding like a show. We did get a string trio, though. And one of our buddies is DJing. No "Macarena" or any of that crap. It'll be a Cure-heavy wedding.
Have you banned all skateboards on the tour?
Yeah, my skateboarding shenanigans have gotten me into too much hot water lately.
Was the last time you broke your arm the last time you were on a skateboard?
No. Don't tell my fiancee.