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Everclear Biography

Though Everclear's Northwestern grunge-punk style was hardly revolutionary when the band became popular in 1995, the band's superb songs and Art Alexakis' us-against-them lyrics were taken to heart by bored Gen-X teens. The band's sound reflected the rock, post-punk and singer/songwriter influences of Alexakis like X, the Replacements, the Pixies, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Elvis Costello. Also elemental to Everclear's success was their obsessive touring schedule and agressive self-promotion.br /br /Art Alexakis (b. Apr. 12, 1962, West Los Angeles, CA) was raised lower-middle-cla** by his single mother in Santa Monica. The d**h of both his brother and girlfriend by drug overdoses convinced him to kick his own c**aine habit in the mid-'80s, and he later formed a country-punk band named Colorfinger in San Francisco. The group released one LP on Alexakis' Shindig label, but the album (and an EP) became out of print after distributor Rough Trade folded. The band imploded, and Alexakis moved to his girlfriend's hometown of Portland, Oregon. In 1992, he met Craig Montoya (b. Sept. 14, 1970) and Everclear's first drummer, Scott Cuthbert; the trio recorded a demo EP (for $400) that was released on Portland's Tim/Kerr label. Alexakis grew frustrated with the company's lack of promotion, so he hired an independent promoter to push the EP and personally mailed copies to media outlets and distributors.br /br /Everclear then added several songs to the EP and released it as World of Noise in 1993 on Fire Records. During 1994, the group toured relentlessly, replaced Cuthbert with Greg Eklund (b. Apr. 18, 1970), and signed to Capitol in June. Their second album Sparkle and Fade appeared in 1995. Alternative radio quickly picked up on the singles "Santa Monica" and "Heroin Girl," and the album eventually certified platinum. Meanwhile, Alexakis became a major alternative media figure, reporting from the 1996 political conventions for MTV. So Much for the Afterglow followed in 1997, and went double-platinum, particularly due to the success of three Top 5 modern rock hits, "Everything to Everyone," "I Will Buy You a New Life," and "Father of Mine." Alexakis had become a father himself around this time as well, and the birth of his daughter prompted the singer to become even more politically active. He testified in front of Congress regarding child support laws and campaigned with several presidential tickets, among other efforts. Everclear was also hailed Modern Rock Artist of the Year by Billboard magazine in 1998. A double-barreled concept effort appeared in 2000 with Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 1: Learning How to Smile surfacing in early fall and Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 2: Good Time for a Bad Attitude releasing a few months later. The poppy Learning How to Smile was initially going to be a solo effort for Alexakis, as it found the band's sound much more varied than their standard three-piece rock. Even with the slightly differing sound, the album still produced successful singles, including "Wonderful," which hit number three on the Modern Rock charts. Everclear returned with the more straightforward Slow Motion Daydream in 2003 before the aptly-titled greatest hits compilation Ten Years Gone: The Best of Everclear 1994-2004 appeared in October 2004. In between, Alexakis ventured on a brief 2003 solo acoustic tour before the entire Everclear lineup around him would be redone. He remained the only original member as the group expanded past a trio to include ba**ist Sam Hudson, guitarist Dave French, drummer Brett Snyder and keyboardist Josh Crawley. Off Capitol and back in the indie world, the newly-minted Everclear released Welcome to the Drama Club on Eleven Seven Music (in a**ociation with ADA/Warner Music Group) in September 2006. Spearheaded by the single "Hater," the album was meant to be a homage to some of Alexakis' earliest influences. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide

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