The band formed in 1997 (see 1997 in music). They began recording that year, and built up a sizable fanbase in the American Midwest. Their first LP was 1998's (see 1998 in music) Goddamnit," followerd by "Maybe I'll Catch Fire" in 1999 (see 1999 in music). From Here to Infirmary was released in 2001 (see 2001 in music) on Vagrant Records and was their first album to see any interest from alternative radio, with the semi-hit pop-punk single "Stupid Kid". Their latest album is Good Mourning'', from 2003 (see 2003 in music).
The Alkaline Trio are part of a large circle of Chicago punk/ska/hardcore bands that have some connection to the late, influential ska-punk band Slapstick. Other artists in this family tree include: The Broadways, Tuesday, The Lawrence Arms, The Honor System and, more tenuously, Florida's Less Than Jake.