EVERCLEAR Biography - Music bands & groups


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Name: Everclear                                                                       
Origin: Portland, Oregon, United States                                               
Everclear is a rock band formed in Portland, Oregon, USA, in 1992. For most of         
its existence, Everclear consisted of Art Alexakis (vocals, guitar), Craig             
Montoya (bass guitar, vocals) and Greg Eklund (drums, percussion, vocals).             
Eklund replaced original drummer Scott Cuthbert in 1994. Montoya and Eklund           
departed the band in 2003, but Alexakis has continued the band. New members           
include Davey French (guitar), Sam Hudson (bass guitar), Josh Crawley, (keyboards),   
and Brett Snyder (drums, percussion).                                                 
Art Alexakis suffered through a troubled youth, beginning with his father             
walking out when Alexakis was a child. Financial hardships pushed his family           
into the slums of Los Angeles, where Alexakis fell to the lure of heavy drug use.     
During his teenage years, Alexakis was shuttled around the country between             
various family members (including a brief period in Houston living with his           
father's new family), but the drug addiction persisted. Eventually, Alexakis           
suffered a near-fatal cocaine overdose, which finally pushed him to clean up.         
In the late 1980s, Alexakis played in a short-lived rock band in Los Angeles           
called Shakin' Brave, where he began to hone his songwriting skills. Frustrated       
by the inattention of the L.A. music scene, Art relocated to San Francisco,           
where he fell into the then-burgeoning cowpunk scene.                                 
Art founded a label called Shindig Records, which attempted to document the SF         
cowpunk scene. He began recording material of his own for a solo album, but it         
eventually evolved into a group project called Colorfinger. Art Alexakis               
utilized the pseudonym "A.D. Nation" while writing/recording with Colorfinger.         
While involved with Colorfinger, Art wrote several songs which would later find       
success as Everclear songs, including "The Twistinside", "Heartspark Dollarsign",     
and "Why I Don't Believe in God".                                                     
In a single month in 1992, Shindig failed (when its distributor went bankrupt),       
Colorfinger broke up, and Art learned that his girlfriend was pregnant. Seeking       
a change of location, Art and his girlfriend moved to her hometown, Portland,         
Oregon. There, he placed an ad in local music weekly The Rocket, which earned         
two responses: bass player Craig Montoya and drummer Scott Cuthbert. The new           
band, Everclear, began recording in a friend's basement, essentially bartering         
for recording time with musical gear and whatever limited funds they could             
scrounge up. The sessions culminated in two releases: the Nervous & Weird EP and       
the band's first full-length release World of Noise, both released by Portland's       
Tim/Kerr Records in 1993. Frustrated by Tim/Kerr's limited resources, Alexakis         
hired independent promoters to help push the album. Eventually, it became             
obvious that Everclear needed to find a bigger player to help them reach their         
The band spent much of 1994 seeking out a major label deal. After a modest             
bidding war, they were signed to Capitol Records by Gary Gersh, who was               
responsible for signing Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Counting Crows to DGC Records.       
Just before their signing, Everclear parted ways with drummer Cuthbert, citing         
personality conflicts, and brought in former Jollymon drummer Greg Eklund. In         
May of 1995, the band released their first album for the label, Sparkle and Fade.     
Initially, the album didn't find an audience. First single "Heroin Girl"               
received some modest airplay via MTV's 120 Minutes, but was generally missed by       
the mainstream. However, near the end of 1995, second single "Santa Monica"           
found a strong audience via the burgeoning alternative radio format, which             
eventually carried over to mainstream success. The album subsequently was             
certified platinum. However, two ensuing singles, "Heartspark Dollarsign" and "You     
Make Me Feel Like a Whore", failed to find a wide audience, and the band ended         
1996 fast at work on their third album.                                               
As Sparkle and Fade reached its audience, Everclear had to endure consistent           
comparisons to Nirvana, particularly given the album's subject matter and drug         
references. Following a show with the Foo Fighters at the end of 1995, Dave           
Grohl told MTV News that he genuinely didn't think that Everclear sounded like         
Nirvana, noting that Bush sounded more like Nirvana than any other band.