It’s no secret that the new line up of Everclear is ready to head back to the studio. What is a secret is that they’ve already started. I was lucky enough to get to hang out at one of the bands recent sessions at Art’s in home studio. All though I’ve promised not to leak any of the music (at this point mostly just early studio demos), I can show you all some pictures of Art’s studio, and share this article I put together from talking to Art while there:
Art Alexakis is busy crafting all new songs for his new band and their next album. While the band has already started rotating some of the new tracks such as Almost Instant Karma, Glorious, and Beautiful Dream into recent live performances, they have been putting the final touches on others. Tracks like Dilemma, Crash (and Burn), and Breakaway still have the trademark Everclear sound, only more subtle and grown up. “It’s still Everclear man,” says Alexakis “it’s just less invasive, less bombastic.” From hearing these tracks, I think Art really hit the nail on the head, but then again he is writing the music who better to describe it.
It’s not to say that Art and Co. are only putting the Everclear sound on their own music. The band has also been blowing the dust off of some great classics for a possible covers album. While I was there the band not only worked on their cover of Tommy TuTone’s Jenny (867-5309), which they have been playing live, but also recorded a blistering version of Scandal’s Goodbye to You, and a rocking version of Juice Newton’s Angel Of The Morning. They also toyed around with the likes of Paul Simon’s Kodachrome, J. Geils’ Band’s Centerfold, The Pixie’s Debaser, They Might Be Giant’s Ana Ng and The Hollies’ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother.
At this point I think we all as fans have realized that Art doesn’t write his songs for the fans, but he some how manages to connect with us. “I don’t write songs for people, I write them for me. I’m fortunate that people can identify with my music, and I really think that helps me connect with my fans” said Art. While his personal tragedies give him inspiration, his songs aren’t autobiographical. “A lot of people think my songs are autobiographical, and they’re not” notes Alexakis. “It’s not to say that I don’t draw from elements of my life. I think I can write the best when I’m at my lowest.”
And it’s been a pretty rough past few years for Art; poor album sales, a rough band split, a divorce, losing record deal, bankruptcy, and a trip to Mexico. “I’ve had a pretty rough past few years. The last Everclear album and the Greatest Hits album had poor sales. My bandmates of 10 years decided to leave the band, as well as getting my 3rd divorce. Capitol decided not to re-sign us, and I just recently had to file bankruptcy” details Alexakis.
But that doesn’t mean things aren’t looking up for Art. “But,” rebuts Art “all of that aside, things have really started to look up for me.” He’s added new band members whom he has more in common with. “I’ve got more in common with these new guys” states Art. Art fells that the new band gels together musically and personally much better than the former line-up “The new band and I just gel together musically and personally much better than the former line-up” proclaims Alexakis. And love may be in the air as well. “And I think in a good relationship, and I’m ready for it…love that is” confesses Art.
I have to admit I really learned a lot from Art in talking with him over that weekend. I feel that he opened up and shared something new with me, rather then rehashing the standard same old answers.
OK! You are either reading my source code, have very good eyesight, or have done the smart thing and copied this text into some form of a text editor. Anyways, now that you've read my column and taken it all in read below.
The above article and interview is the sole intellectual property of one Eric Kevin Keown. Intellectual property, in this case, encompasses, but is not limited to the above column being entirely made up by Eric who has never even been to Oregon.