Everclear’s leader for 30 years of “World of Noise”

Art Alexis and Everclear, courtesy.

Art Alexakis he was always interested, even when it wasn’t “cool”. The vocalist, guitarist and founder of an alternative rock band Everclear stood out from his peers in the ’90s by not only going big, but by not being shy about wanting to. At a time when others pretended to be worried about becoming famous, he refused to play that game.

“I’ve never been into this, ‘I’m too cool, I’m going to try to be independent, I’m not going to act like I want anything,'” he says firmly. “I grew up in a housing project! My penchant for this kind of nonsense has always been nil. Life is too short to love acting like you don’t care.”

Alexakis’ tenacity and ambition brought him success with Everclear, although he was criticized for it.

“I was vilified for it early on in the Portland scene,” he says. Adopting a tone of feigned horror, he recalls the reactions of the others: “Oh no, he comes in here and is all business and wants stuff!” Hell yeah! I was on welfare at the time and had a baby at home; I didn’t want this for my family. I wanted to make music for a living, and I felt I had the talent and desire to do so.”

You can hear that early talent and drive on Everclear’s first album, The world of noisewhich was recently remastered and released to streaming services for the first time last month.

“I found the tapes in a box!” he says. “I thought they were gone; I thought they just disappeared! It was a great find. I went and got an archivist and he burned the tapes because they were very old and digitized everything. He made it sound great; still sounds fresh.

The rights to the masters were reverted back to Alexakis a few years before streaming services became a thing, so these songs have not been available on Spotify or other streamers until now. Some were not available at all.

“There are a few songs that haven’t been released before, so they’re in there too, as bonus tracks,” he says.

Everclear will perform some of these songs, including the bonus track “Blondes,” on their current tour.

“It’s a song I’ve always loved and I can’t believe I never put it on record,” he says.

Alexakis says he’s glad fans will finally have a chance to hear it, digitally and on new vinyl. He doesn’t care what they think. Three years ago, he posted an open letter to Everclear’s website announcing that he had multiple sclerosis. He wanted to go public with the diagnosis because he wanted to be open about it. “I wanted you to know the truth, simple as that,” he said in the letter.

Alexakis also cares about the state of the country. Earlier in the day of this conversation, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and he’s so upset about it that he apologizes to Iwoman, on behalf of all men.

“People forget, but it wasn’t that long ago that women were demonstrating and being beaten and jailed for their right to vote; that was only 100 years ago,” he says. “The thing is, pretending not to care never got anything done.”

After embarking on a 30th anniversary tour, Alexakis reflects that he has spent half his life in Everclear.

“I realized this is my life’s work, this is my legacy,” he says. “And that’s something that for me has been extremely positive and constructive and productive.” … A lot of people have told me that my music has helped them, and what a great thing it is to be able to celebrate that now.”

The writer of monster hits like ‘I Will Buy You a New Life’, ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Everything to Everyone’ knows how lucky he is to have this success, including selling more than 6 million records and achieving 12 Top 40 hits on various Billboard charts. Fans still go wild when Everclear play “Father of Mine” before breaking into “Santa Monica.”

“I’m very grateful for my hits,” he says. “My hits were great friends for me; they changed my life and I respect that very much. I never get tired of playing these songs because I know how much they are woven into the fabric of people’s lives now.”

Art Alexakis, well known for his long-standing sobriety in an industry that is certainly not a haven for it, seems now to be reaching for another legacy as well: life coaching. He is certified as a creative coach, life coach and sobriety coach. He started a business called Coaching and Counseling for Creatives, which aims to work with people in the creative industries.

He says he believes he will be able to help creatives because he is familiar with the pitfalls and problems they face. He will connect via video calls, just as he does every day with his 12-step program.

“I’ve been clean and sober for 30 years. I have a really strong community of sober guys,” he says. “The boost is great for touring musicians like me.”

Alexakis says he still cares about what his mother always wanted for him, so he has another goal left.

“I’m going to finish my bachelor’s degree in psychology,” he says. “I’ll probably be 62, 63 when I graduate, but I promised my mom right before she died in 2006 that I would get my four-year degree. I promised and she honored me, so I must honor her.

Everclear, meanwhile, has a new song coming in September titled “Year of the Tiger.”

“Maybe we’ll just make a new song every six months, release it and make a video for it,” he says. “I’ll come up with a few thousand to make a video. That sounds fun to me.”

He doesn’t miss the pressure of releasing an album for a label. He prefers to just go out and entertain fans on tour.

“At this point in my life, if it’s not fun, I don’t want to do it,” he says.

Follow Rachel Alm on Twitter.com/thousandfold and Instagram.com/thousandfold.