Everclear is one of those bands that can make us smile, cry, and ponder the choices we’ve made over our lifetime. Inasmuch as we can laugh and cry about our journey that is life, Everclear gets us; and we get them. Lead singer, Art Alexakis, personifies the emotion we think of when we consider that no matter what life throws at us, especially the low points, it has the ability to be wonderful again. Of course many of the lyrics in Everclear’s songs are based on the life and times of its lead singer. Alexakis has experienced life at its most extremes, which includes the highs of success as well as the sadness and despair we can all experience. At times, song lyrics are based on self-affliction, or a mirrored image of something that has touched us all in the most human of ways in one form or another.
It’s no secret that Alexakis suffered a troubled youth, beginning with his father walking out when he was a child. The type of financial hardships we all experience at some point pushed his family into the slums of Los Angeles. There, he lived the life of a troubled-teen, doing the things that troubled-teens do. Eventually, Alexakis suffered a near-fatal overdose, which motivated him to clean himself up and stop his sleep-walk dance that can attach to any of us.
During his childhood, Alexakis suffered personal loss and devastating heartache. The kind of loss that would send any person into a downward spiral. Despite the challenges, Alexakis eventually cleaned up his act. Luckily for him, his mother instilled certain values that most people can relate to. No matter what show on the planet, fans continue to approach Alexakis to thank him for the words that have inspired so many of us in the song "I Will Buy You a New Life". You don’t have to be a recovering addict to appreciate the perspective and thought behind that song. How many of us have at one point in our lives have had to tell someone… “here is the money that I owe you, I will give you more when I get paid again.” Another line that draws us in is a phrase that makes us smile and laugh with a certain agitation: “I hate those people who love to tell you that Money is the root of all that kills, they have never been poor, they have never had the joy of a welfare Christmas!” More prophetic words have never been spoken; it’s funny and sad… and who can’t get behind the sentiment?! It’s the lyrics that grab us, it’s the music that bonds us, and it’s his outlook that’s kept Everlcear relevant and helping people from all walks of life cope and breathe.
Knowing his story is only part of the tale that is Everclear. With his big black boots and an old suitcase, Alexakis left the city of Angels and found a new place he called home, Portland, Oregon. In 1991, he founded Everclear. Following enormous success, the band continues to make music and keep us all entertained. The band in its current iteration consists of current bandmates Alexakis (lead vocals, guitar), Dave French (guitar, backing vocals), Freddy Herrera (bass, backing vocals) and Jake Margolis (drums). Collectively, the band is electric, tight and deliver a sound that makes your heart race! Their performances are so inspiring, they drive their fans, both women and men to cheer at the top of their lungs, and shed tears of reflection and joy. Truthfully, knowing words and music can drive a fan to those extremes is as big a compliment as any band can ever hope to receive.
At any show you can bear witness to sing-a-long to every word of every song when you hear tunes like "Father of Mine", "Santa Monica", "AM Radio", "Wonderful", "Heroin Girl", "Everything to Everyone" and "Brown Eyed Girl" just to name a few. The band has 9 studio albums, most recently Black is the New Black back in 2015; and several EP’s and compilations. Don’t think for a second that Hollywood hasn’t taken notice of the impact Everclear has on their fans. Their music has been featured in movies like American Pie, American Wedding, Blast from the Past, Detroit Rock City, Saving Silverman, 40 Days and 40 Nights, Rock Star and Scream 2 and more. Let’s not forget all those great music videos from Everclear that blew up on Mtv and VH-1. Those videos brought the band and places like Santa Monica to mainstream and made this band a household name. There’s so much to tell about this band, who knows, you may even see a book someday from Alexakis about his life and times in Everclear, and beyond.
Despite their critical acclaim and commercial success, Alexakis and his bandmates remain as down to earth as it gets. Ask anyone who knows Art, or has met him; and their impressions will all be similar. They describe him as humble and sincere. In a recent interview I did with Scott Russo of Unwritten Law, Scott described Alexakis as one of the most genuine and decent people you’ll ever meet. My impressions are that he is genuinely appreciative of any kind words about him, his bandmates, and their music. He’s expressed on several occasions that I’ve chatted with him that he is honored that people love his music, and they’re not afraid to show it at concerts.
Sometimes, when you’re at the epicenter of anything in life, perspective may not always be accurately measured. That means you live in a vacuum, or a bubble and can’t see past your own line of sight. In other words, you’re on the inside looking out. Being in a band is no different, and oftentimes it insulates you from knowing what the masses think of your music. Unless you’re on TMZ every night, you can only sample what you see on social media; and we know how accurate the internet can be. Then there’s the fans that come to your shows, they too can be cartoon crazy. For many artists, like Alexakis, that may be why they’re always so appreciative that people remain cartoon-crazy for their music after all these years. Any successful artist is acutely aware that this fan-love could change ata moment’s notice. For anyone who follows the band, it should come as no surprise that their music is as relevant today as when it first came out.
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The only explanation for this is that the music and the lyrics are true to the human condition and adequately describe moments throughout our life. That alone makes you want to root for ALL the Art’s in this world. In the end, we are who we think we are, and our attitude is determined by our attitude. Everclear’s music helps us understand that process; and how all our pains in life can be our greatest asset. Consider listening to their music as a down-payment towards that garden, where all our flowers can bloom and everything seems so shiny and new.
That all being said, Everclear has experienced mega success over the years with their Summerland Tour. Summerland has seen them play alongside bands like Lit, Sugar Ray, Live, Filter, Sponge, Eve 6, Soul Asylum, and Spacehog. As a result of all the fan support, they are touring on their own. The band is literally in the midst of a North American tour. In honor of the 20th anniversary of their groundbreaking Double- Platinum album, this trek is called So Much for the Afterglow Tour. The tour hits locally at the House of Blues, Anaheim on June 29th!
If you want to experience one of the most life-inspiring shows you may ever see, check out Everclear when they come to your neck of the woods. They’ll take you back to that place in your mind that you never forgot, and places you always wanted to go.
Everclear performs at House of Blues Anaheim tonight. Doors open at 6:30, for tickets and full show info, click here.