Considering Everclear has written and recorded some truly iconic ’90s alt-rock hits, it would be all too easy these days for the band to be a victim of its past successes, relegated to performing as a glorified jukebox, existing to satisfy the nostalgic cravings of Gen Xers everywhere. But singer-guitarist Art Alexakis isn’t about to start phoning it in now.
Although the band hasn’t released a new studio album since 2015’s triumphant Black Is The New Black, Everclear continues to tour actively. And while it’s a virtual surety that no Everclear gig is complete without a rendition of “Santa Monica” and “Father of Mine,” lately the band has found that exploring the full range of past material—especially the “deep cuts”—not only gives fans a rare treat, it also injects new life into the band’s live dynamic.
Formed by Alexakis in 1991 in Portland, Oregon, Everclear has enjoyed a lengthy career spanning 11 studio releases, numerous videos, thousands of shows and accolades that include a 1998 Grammy nomination. Like a true survivor, Alexakis has soldiered on through multiple lineup changes over the years: During the “classic” era, the band also included Craig Montoya on Bass and Greg Eklund on drums; the current touring lineup features longtime members Dave French (guitar) and Freddy Herrera (bass), as well as drummer Brian Nolan (also with American Hi-Fi), who has performed with Everclear on multiple past tours.
Everclear spent May and June of 2017 touring in honor of the 20th anniversary of So Much For The Afterglow, the band’s massively successful sophomore major-label release. The 40-date run was an incredibly emotional and personally satisfying experience for Alexakis, who was able to perform obscure cuts from that time period for the first time in many years. Connecting with fans in that setting also reinforced the lasting impression the album has made.
Prior to that, Everclear experienced a career resurgence thanks to 2015’s Black Is The New Black, which not only proved the band could still rock, but also that Everclear remains creatively relevant, decades after their platinum years. As is common for many artists these days, Black didn’t set records for traditional album sales, but the release did see significant streaming activity and sparked a heightened social media presence, putting the group firmly back in the listening public’s mind. The band continues to ride this latest wave of interest.
That said, the band’s live itinerary certainly makes up for its recent studio absence. Alexakis is excited to revisit songs from fan favorite records like Afterglow, Sparkle and Fade and the double album Songs From The American Movie, but also compositions from more underrated collections, like 2012’s Invisible Stars.