|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. Also elemental to Everclear's success is their obsessive touring schedule and agressive self-promotion.
Art Alexakis (b. Apr. 12, 1962, West Los Angeles, CA) was raised lower-middle-class by his mother in Santa Monica. The death of both his brother and girlfriend by drug overdoses convinced him to kick his own cocaine 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.
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. Second album Sparkle and Fade appeared in 1995, and alternative radio quickly picked up on the singles "Santa Monica" and "Heroin Girl." Meanwhile, Alexakis became a major alternative media figure, reporting from the 1996 political conventions for MTV.