Everclear (band)

From Academic Kids

Everclear is a rock band founded in 1992 (see also 1992 in music) after frontman Art Alexakis' former band, Colorfinger, broke up.



Everclear formed in Portland, Oregon, USA in 1992. For most of its existence, Everclear was comprised of Art Alexakis (b. 12 April 1962, Los Angeles, California, USA; vocals, guitar), Craig Montoya (b. 14 September 1970; bass, vocals) and Greg Eklund (b. 18 April 1970; drums). Eklund replaced original drummer Scott Cuthbert in 1994.

Art Alexakis suffered through a troubled youth, beginning with his father walking out when Alexakis was a child. Financial hardships pushed his family into the slums of Los Angeles, where Alexakis fell to the lure of heavy drug use. During his teenage years, Alexakis was shuttled around the country between various family members (including a brief period in Houston living with his father's new family), but the drug addiction persisted. Eventually, Alexakis suffered a near-fatal cocaine overdose, which finally pushed him to clean up.

In the late 1980s, Alexakis played in a short-lived rock band in Los Angeles called Shakin' Brave, where he began to hone his songwriting skills. Frustrated by the inattention of the L.A. music scene, Art relocated to San Francisco, where he fell into the then-burgeoning cow-punk scene.

Art founded a label called Shindig Records, which attempted to document the SF cow-punk scene. He began recording material of his own for a solo album, but it eventually evolved into a group project called Colorfinger. While involved with Colorfinger, Art wrote several songs which would later become Everclear classics, including "The Twistinside", "Heartspark Dollarsign", and "Why I Don't Believe in God".

In a single month in 1992, Shindig failed (when its distributor went bankrupt), Colorfinger broke up, and Art learned that his girlfriend was pregnant. Seeking a change of location, Art and his girlfriend moved to her hometown, Portland, Oregon. There, he placed an ad in local music weekly The Rocket, which earned two responses: bass player Craig Montoya and drummer Scott Cuthbert.

The new band began recording in a friend's basement, essentially bartering for recording time with musical gear and whatever limited funds they could scrounge up. The sessions culminated in two releases: the Nervous and Weird EP and the band's first full-length release World of Noise, both released by Portland's Tim/Kerr Records in 1993. Frustrated by Tim/Kerr's limited resources, Alexakis hired independent promoters to help push the album. Eventually, it became obvious that Everclear needed to find a bigger player to help them reach their audience.

The band spent much of 1994 seeking out a major label deal. After a modest bidding war, they were signed to Capitol Records by Gary Gersh, who was responsible for signing Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Counting Crows to DGC Records. Just prior to their signing, Everclear parted ways with drummer Cuthbert, citing personality conflicts, and brought in former Jollymon drummer Greg Eklund. In 1995, the band released their first album for the label, the critically lauded and commercially successful Sparkle and Fade.

They repeated this success two years later with the release of the infectious and highly melodic So Much for the Afterglow. The album started with two modestly successful singles, but was catapulted to double-platinum status with its third single, "Father of Mine". The song's autobiographical tale of a child coping from an abandoning father was easily related to amongst a nation of those experiencing the same loss.

In 1998, the band received their only Grammy nomination (to date), a Best Rock Instrumental nod for "El Distorto de Melodica". Later that year, the band won Billboard's Modern Rock Band of the Year Award.

Following the success of So Much for the Afterglow, Alexakis decided to step back from the Everclear sound and record a solo album of more pop-influenced songs. Unhappy with the results of the initial sessions, Alexakis decided to bring in Montoya and Eklund and transform the effort into an Everclear album, released as Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 1: Learning How to Smile in July of 2000. The album resulted in the band's most successful single, "Wonderful", and eventually reached platinum status.

Alexakis had a wide catalog of unreleased songs at the ready, so the band arranged with their label to release a second album in 2000. Proclaimed as a "return to rock", Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 2: Good Time for a Bad Attitude was released just four months after Vol. 1 in November of 2000. Unfortunately, the promotional push for Vol. 2 while still in the throes of supporting Vol 1 confused much of the music-buying public, and both albums stalled by the summer of 2001.

The band regrouped a year later to record their sixth album, Slow Motion Daydream, released in March of 2003. Both band and label were excited about the effort prior to its release. Everything looked positive until Alexakis and Capitol came to odds over the album's first single. Capitol was thrilled about one of the last songs added to the album, a somewhat 9/11-influenced "The New York Times". Alexakis, however, had previewed a tongue-in-cheek ode to Republican suburbanite housewives, "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom", during a solo tour in 2002, and had received a fair amount of media attention. Capitol eventually relented to Alexakis' demands and released the song and video, but didn't put much effort into the song and album's promotion. "The New York Times" was released shortly thereafter as the second single with even less support from the label, and the album stalled after selling a mere 100,000 copies.

At the end of the tour support for Slow Motion Daydream in August of 2003, Montoya and Eklund decided it was time to move on, and departed the band to pursue other interests. After a solo tour that fall, Alexakis decided to continue with Everclear, organizing a new band that made its debut in March of 2004. The following summer, the band ended their relationship with Capitol Records. Capitol compiled a Greatest Hits album which reflected the band's tenure at the label, titled Ten Years Gone: The Best of Everclear 1994-2004, which is due for release on 5 October 2004. Alexakis is hoping to release an album of new Everclear material sometime in 2005.

After leaving Everclear, Craig Montoya formed a new band Tri-Polar ( with Sweaty Nipples members Scotty Heard and Brian Lehfeldt. After the first album's completion, yet before its release, Scotty Heard left the band for personal reasons. Heard was then replaced by former Red Sector guitarist Kevin Hahn. Greg Eklund has formed The Oohlas ( with his brother, drummer Mark Eklund, and female vocalist Ollie Tamale.


Studio albums

Year Title Label
1993 World of Noise Tim/Kerr
1995 Sparkle and Fade Capitol
1997 So Much for the Afterglow Capitol
2000 Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 1: Learning How to Smile Capitol
2000 Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 2: Good Time for a Bad Attitude Capitol
2003 Slow Motion Daydream Capitol


Year Title Label
1993 Nervous and Weird Tim/Kerr
1997 White Trash Hell Fire

Live and compilations

Year Title Label
1998 Live from Toronto Capitol
2004 Ten Years Gone: The Best of Everclear 1994-2004 Capitol

Hit Singles (in chronological order)

  • Santa Monica
  • Everything to Everyone
  • I Will Buy You a New Life
  • Father of Mine
  • Wonderful
  • AM Radio

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