Bad Religion are heading out on tour with Alkaline Trio next year. They have also released a video for the holidays of Greg Graffin sitting by his tree and yule log as Bad Religion’s Christmas album plays in the background.
We know from a recent interview that Rob Caggiano is no longer in The Damned Things; however, a recent Instagram post has Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio hanging out with other members of the band. Coincidence?
This first impression was originally posted as a live blog for supporters in our forums on August 29th, 2018. I’ve decided to make it free to all users of the website. First impressions are meant to be quick, fun, initial impressions on an album or release as I listen to it for the first time. It’s a running commentary written while listening to an album — not a review. More like a diary of thoughts. This post has been lightly edited for structure and flow.
I figured with the album coming out on Friday this was really the last time I had to try and get some early thoughts down on this album for everyone before you’ll be able to hear it. Hell, there’s always the chance this leaks while I’m typing this up. Then everyone can join in with me.
At a high-level, this album works for me more than any of their albums have since Crimson. I’ve liked the stuff that followed, but it never really captured that same magic as their earlier work. I would find myself listening to them for a few weeks (with the exception of This Addiction, which never really grabbed me), but after that, when I wanted an Alkaline Trio fix, I’d go back to Crimson or something before it. That’s just how it played out for me. I can’t predict with certainty that this is going to be an album I come back to in the future, but there’s something about it that hits me just right and gives me that feeling. There’s an energy here, a feeling of immediacy that they touched on with My Shame is True, but one that feels much more rolled into a “classic” Alkaline Trio-sounding album. This urgency to the songs is really resonating with me at the moment.
I’ve been around really, really famous people – legitimately where you walk down the street and people start screaming and stuff – and that doesn’t look like any fun to me. A lot more people know who I am, but I feel like fame isn’t a real thing. It’s an idea of something. I think you can chase fame and you can inflate it or you can shy away from it. I think it’s a lot easier for men, because they make women sex symbols when somebody becomes really famous. But people are always pretty nice to me and I’m friends with the same people I was before. It’s all about how you treat it. I think the one thing that blink does that Alkaline Trio didn’t is… my parents have always been very supportive, but now that I play in blink, all of my parents’ friends are so jazzed that it makes my folks excited. From the outside looking in, it is a huge new step – it’s definitely a point in my life that will always stand out. It’s been fucking wild. But I haven’t really let fame into my little weird world.
Now, there’s a bit of a rebirth of the band. Again, we don’t really know what’s going to happen — we’re just really excited about these songs. I think there’s a sort of freedom to not making a record in five years and coming back to it and just writing in the studio. There was no talk of a single. There was no “What song are we going to work on to push on the radio?” That’s not something we really focus on ever, but it is something that gets brought up by the producer, or the record label. People want to sell records and that’s 100 percent understandable. But this time, it just didn’t come up. We just made a record.