Everclear Three Song Set live on The Preston & Steve Show
Right before their recent show at the Keswick theater, Everclear stopped by 93.3 WMMR Studios to celebrate thirty years as a band. This comes as the band is in the middle of a tour with Fastball and the Nixons, having already played several dates around the country with more on the way. Art Alexakis, Dave French, Freddy Herrera, and Brian Nolan all sat down to talk with The Preston & Steve Show and play some of their most iconic songs along the way.
Before getting into the music, Alexakis reflected on just how long he’s been at the rock game. He talked about his oldest daughter being born and his big move to Portland all coinciding with him founding Everclear. He added that when the band was given the chance to record all their songs for just $400 dollars, Alexakis wasn’t sure he even wanted to keep the group together.
“WMMR has been part of Everclear since, basically, Santa Monica, since ‘95. So I’m very very honored that you asked us to come in and we’ve been respectful of that relationship after all these years”
Alexakis went on to talk about his time before Everclear, and the changing face of rock in the 1990s and 2000s, with bands like Nirvana opening up the floodgate for all kinds of bands to try and make it big. At the time, Alexakis was more involved with the alternative scene and hadn’t made his big move to Seattle just yet.
“A friend of mine was in Europe when Nirvana broke. He’s like wow, that kind of sounds like my friend Art’s band a little bit. I’m like, I wish! But Nirvana did, they opened the door for everyone in late 1991. Lot of good, lot of bad.”
Luckily, Alexakis and Everclear got their break with 1993’s World of Noise. This was the album that put Everclear on the rock radar, even though they weren’t instantly accepted by everyone.
“Portland was hard because we were the people from California and the locals didn’t like that. So we had a hard time getting gigs. But after World of Noise, I sent it out, people just started writing about it and even though the local hipsters didn’t like it, people started booking us. We started opening for national bands, started doing regional tours and local tours and a year later we got signed to Capitol.”
From there, the guys kicked it off with “I Will Buy You a New Life” off their 1997 record, Afterglow. Alexakis was rocking a twelve string guitar for this rendition, and the band as a whole were each able to shine in their own way. Afterwards, Alexakis went on to talk about how writing from his heart has made Everclear so special and joked about some of the more fantastical songs that can be found in the rock world.
“I do it because I find when people write about Dungeons and Dragons and crap like that it’s just disingenuous, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I know what I’m talking about, I talk about my kids because being a parent is one of the big things in my life.”
The group then went into the classic, “Father of Mine” off the same 1997 record. Dave French got a chance to shred on the guitar, and the vocal harmonies really shined. Unsurprisingly, the gang talked about fatherhood after the powerful track. Alexakis went in depth on what this song means to him, what it was like playing the song for his mother, and more.
“You know it’s funny, I never planned to write that song. Have you ever watched your kids sleep? It’s one of those redeeming things where you think hey, I didn’t screw this up. I remember watching my daughter sleep…I just remember thinking, how does a man walk away from that?”
Before going into their final song for the show, “Santa Monica”, Alexakis shared some of the memories of playing the infamous 1999 Woodstock. He talked about some of the more gruesome details the band witnessed at the time, but in the end when Everclear was on stage, Alexakis said everything was alright.
“We had three hundred thousand people singing Santa Monica. That’s a good size city! For that hour we were on stage it was transcendent.”
Watch the interview & performance.