Back in the year 1997 the band Everclear released their highly successful album So Much for the Afterglow featuring hits including “Everything to Everyone” “Father of Mine” and “I Will Buy You a New Life”. Now fast forward twenty years to 2017 the band are celebrating the 20th anniversary with an Australian tour. We were lucky enough to chat with vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Art Alexakis to discuss the album and upcoming tour.
 
SCENEzine
Firstly how’s 2017 been treating you?
 
Art Alexakis
Man it’s been an interesting year in a lot of ways. In most ways it’s been a great year with doing the Afterglow tour in the states has been phenomenal. My family is healthy all that is good. I’ve had some health issues this past year but I’m doing much better now. Getting ready to come down to Australia to kick some ass and have a good time.
 
SCENEzine
You’re celebrating twenty years of So Much for The Afterglow. Do you physically feel like twenty years have gone by?
 
Art Alexakis
Oh yeah, sometimes it doesn’t seem like that much but sometimes it seems like twice as long. It’s not that I’ve been sitting around waiting for this I’ve been working hard every year. We tour every year, we play all the time. We just put out a new record two years ago and I’m getting ready to make a solo record. Plus I’ve raised two children in the interim and that takes a lot of time. So I keep busy doing a lot of stuff. When I look back on it in some ways it seems like it wasn’t that long ago and in some ways it seems like it was a long time ago.
 
SCENEzine
If you went back to the 1997 version of yourself would he believe you if you told him in twenty years he would be touring the world playing So Much for the Afterglow in full?
 
Art Alexakis
Maybe, but if you went back to the kid who had just made Sparkle and Fade but it hadn’t come out he would think you are full of shit. After the success of Sparkle and Fade and touring the world on that I think I was open to the possibility of things. I didn’t think about it but if someone had of brought it up I would say I don’t know we will see then. I’ve always been like that. I’m not going to try and read the future.
 
SCENEzine
A big crowd favourite from the album is “Everything to Everyone”. Is there much of a deeper meaning behind that song?
 
Art Alexakis
Well that song was after I’d been in the music business and from a different point of view. With that song everybody knows someone like that in their life to a certain extent but in the music business and entertainment business those people are everywhere. Their becomes times when you see part of yourself in people you don’t necessarily like a lot. I think that person is inside of everybody it’s just a lot of us don’t allow that person to come out  
 
 

SCENEzine
Do you think the sentiment behind “I will buy you a New Life” is what connected the song to so many people worldwide?

Art Alexakis
I don’t know. I think it connected with a lot of people. I think one of the things people like about my music and Everclear is the fact that it’s not really fancy. I’m not the best singer in the world or the best guitar player but when you put it all together it has an original sound. It’s honest I have an honest voice. It’s not the best voice in the world but it’s an honest voice. I think the songs are honest in both the way they sound and what they are saying. I think that’s what’s connected to people the honesty and the passion.

SCENEzine
Do you have any memories of playing Woodstock 1999?

Art Alexakis
Yeah it’s so funny I remember playing it seeing 250,000 people literally as far back as we could see and they were all singing “Santa Monica”. That was a trip. That was a real exciting bucket list moment for me.

SCENEzine
It’s not long until you’re back in Australia touring. Do you feel a special connection to Australia?

Art Alexakis
I think Australian’s as a whole really enjoy American rock especially 90’s alternative and grunge. You guys really connected with that. I think there’s honesty and passion with Australian’s that’s the thing I’ve always felt connected to. If I wasn’t married or had a child I would live in Australia I love Australia. There’s an honesty and a passion for life that you guys have. I think that’s the reason we’ve connected so well down there.

SCENEzine
The Australian version of So Much for The Afterglow had the bonus track “Local God” is there any chance you will play that when you’re down here?

Art Alexakis
Oh we are definitely going to play “Local God” for sure. We are going to do the whole album then we will do some Sparkle and Fade songs with some hits like “Santa Monica” and “Wonderful” and maybe a couple of other surprises.

SCENEzine
I really like your version of “Don’t Change” by INXS. Were you a big INXS fan is that how that came about?

Art Alexakis
Well I was a ok fan of them but I was a huge fan of that song. That was like their second single here and I loved it. I just loved that song that way they do it. When we were covering songs I wanted to cover that and I had to teach it to the other two guys they didn’t know that song. I really enjoyed doing that song it was fun.

SCENEzine
Lastly can you give us some insight into what happens at the Everclear VIP experience?

Art Alexakis
Yeah the VIP experience we try to give as much value for the money as possible. We come out and play a song acoustic for everybody that they wont hear in the show. Then we walk around and meet everybody and if they want things signed or to take pictures or just want to talk that’s cool too. You get a one on one experience with everybody in the band. We try to make it fun and affordable. I think it’s pretty cool.

(interview by Christian Ross)

 

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