Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba says the star-studded emo/punk festival When We Were Young was announced before a single band on the bill agreed to play

Matt Skiba When We Were Young 2022
(Image credit: Matt Skiba - Steve Jennings/Getty Images / WWWY - Live Nation)

Alkaline Trio, and now former Blink-182 frontman, Matt Skiba has claimed that the forthcoming When We Were Young festival, the line-up for which reads like a 'Who's Who' of noughties punk rock and emo, was announced before a single band on the bill had committed to playing. 

Alkaline Trio will join My Chemical Romance, Paramore, AFI, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World and more at the Las Vegas festival on October 22, 23 and 29, and in a new interview with Vulture, Skiba says that his band are "really pumped" at the prospect of playing the event. But he also states that when the line-up was initially announced back in January, his band - and a number of his friends' bands - hadn't yet signed up to play.

"Whether I’m supposed to, or not supposed to say anything, I guess, is immaterial," says Skiba. "It makes the conversation more fun. But that festival — initially, they announced all those bands playing before anybody said yes. [Vulture has reached out to representatives for We Were Young Festival for a response]. It was a Fyre Festival kind of stunt that worked. And I only know that because my band was on that initial flyer, with every other band from our whole ilk. And they almost expertly started advertising it before they had a single band on the bill. And somehow, all the bands agreed to do it. I’m not making this up. Somebody may correct me, but I know that Alkaline Trio, we hadn’t confirmed anything. And when we read that, we called other bands that were playing, and nobody knew about it."

Skiba adds, "If that’s an accident or a fluke, then it’s like two particles of sand meeting each other in space. It had to have been planned. And they weren’t wrong. Whoever did that, I’m not even mad. You took a shit in the fridge and ate the whole wheel of cheese? I’m not even mad. It’s like, holy shit, dude. Congratulations to whoever masterminded that, the Lex Luther of promoters. And I think everybody, including us, is really pumped about it. It’s going to be a great time."

When We Were Young 2023 has already been announced, with Skiba's former band, Blink-182, among the star attractions, alongside Green Day, The Offspring, Good Charlotte, Sum 41 and more. Skiba says he couldn't be happier to see Blink's classic line-up reunited.

"I really am genuinely glad, as a fan of the band, that they’re a family again," he tells Vulture. "It seems like people are really psyched about it, and I’m one of those people too. I’m honored to have been asked to fill in for Tom or to join the band or however you want to phrase it. I’m proud of the work that I did with them. We had a great time... There’s no bad blood, there’s no drama, there’s no nothing. It’s just the next chapter in the band’s life."

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.