Everclear Biography

Formed in Portland, Oregon, USA in 1991, by Art Alexakis (12 April 1962, Los Angeles, California, USA; vocals/guitar), Craig Montoya (b. 14 September 1970; bass/vocals) and Scott Cuthbert (drums), although the latter was replaced by Greg Eklund (b. 18 April 1970) in 1994. Alexakis had previously worked as a roadie for a succession of north west punk bands. Indulging himself in copious quantities of drugs, he only decided to start his own band when a cocaine overdose temporarily stopped his heart. Early comparisons to Nirvana (exacerbated by the singer’s blonde hair) went into overdrive when Kurt Cobain publicly stated his approval. Everclear made their debut in 1994 with World Of Noise, which included the intriguing ‘Sparkle’ (‘Fire pulls the spirit from the corporate whore/I’m embarrassed by the plaid you wear/If I were you I’d hide behind that stupid bleached blond hair’). Critics were left unsure as to whom the reference concerned, Alexakis or Cobain.

The mini-album White Trash Hell, again on Fire Records, was released in 1995. The band was subsequently offered a major label recording contract with Capitol Records. They were signed by Gary Gersh, who had previously taken both Nirvana and Sonic Youth to Geffen Records. During the same year the band released their first album for the new label, the critically lauded and commercially successful Sparkle And Fade. They repeated this success two years later with the release of the infectious and highly melodic So Much For The Afterglow. The clumsily titled Songs From An American Movie Vol. One: Learning How To Smile (2000) toned down the neo-grunge guitar rock in favour of a more eclectic approach, embracing tight harmonies, strings, and a cover version of Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl’. The vitriolic pop punk collection Songs From An American Movie Vol. Two: Good Time For A Bad Attitude, released only four months later, helped restore the band’s alternative rock credibility.

The band’s commercial peak had long since passed by the time of 2003’s Slow Motion Daydream, and following the album’s release Montoya and Eklund both announced they were leaving. Alexakis announced he would continue recording under the Everclear name, combining music with a burgeoning political career. He was joined in the new line-up by Dave French (guitar), Sam Hudson (bass), Brett Snyder (drums) and Josh Crawley (keyboards).

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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