Everclear

  • Alternative rock band formed in 1991 from Portland Oregon. The band members during their most popular period in the 90s were Art Alexakis (lead vocals, guitars, songwriting), Craig Montoya (bass guitar) and Greg Ekland (drums).
  • Alexakis got hook on drugs as a teenager, nearly dying from an overdose. His brother died from a heroin overdose, his girlfriend committed suicide, and he attempted to kill himself by filling his pockets with lead weights and jumping off a bridge. With all this angst in his youth, he got clean, and started to perform. He was in a Los Angeles band called Shakin’ Brave, and then he moved to San Francisco and discovered a music genre called cowpunk – country punk rock. He started a record company, and began to produce cowpunk music with the bands The Easy Hoes and Colorfinger. In one month in 1992, his record company closed, Colorfinger split up, and he learned that his girlfriend was pregnant. He moved to Portland to be close to his girlfriend’s family. In Portland, he placed an ad in a local music newspaper, looking for musicians for a band. Montoya and Scott Cuthbert responded, and Everclear was formed, named after the grain alcohol.
  • In 1993, Everclear released an EP and their debut studio album, World of Noise with a local independent record label. The album was meant to be a demo for larger record companies. When they were signed by a major label in 1994, it was re-released. Nothing charted from the record.
  • Cuthbert left in 1994, replaced by Ekland. Their next album, Sparkle and Fade, was released in 1995. The second single released from the album was Santa Monica – it found fans in the alternative rock scene, and it charted at #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart, #5 on the Alternative Songs chart. The album ultimately sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. As they gained popularity, many compared them to Nirvana, particularly since many of their songs were about drugs.
  • In 1997, their most popular album was released – So Much For The Afterglow. It was certified 2x platinum, with 3 songs reaching the top 5 of the Alternative Songs chart – Everything to Everyone, I Will Buy You a New Life, and Father of Mine. The success of the album got Everclear an award for Modern Rock Band of the Year from Billboard Magazine in 1998.
  • Alexakis wanted to release an album with more of a pop sound, and in 2000 they released Songs From an American Movie Vol. One: Learning How to Smile. It contained their only Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hit – Wonderful reached #11 on the chart, and #3 on the Alternative Songs chart. The album was followed 4 months later with Songs From an American Movie Vol. Two: Good Time for a Bad Attitude, which was a return to their hard rock sound.
  • The lineup of Alexakis, Montoya and Eklund released one more album, 2003’s Slow Motion Daydream. There have been numerous lineup changes since then, with Alexakis always present. Five more studio albums have been released – two of these are earlier songs with different arrangements, and the most recent album, Black is the New Black, was released in 2015.
  • Everclear will always be associated as one of those post grunge 90s bands that nostalgic Gen-Xers loved to rock to. Here is my favorite Everclear song, Father of Mine. 

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