Originally published in The Shorthorn in January 2010.
In 1997, Everclear released So Much for the Afterglow, which launched the band into the realm of alternative rock pioneers.
Only founder and front man Art Alexakis remains of the lineup. He and the newest incarnation of the classic band will be stopping at the House of Blues at 7 p.m., playing songs from the new album — a CD covering Everclear’s own catalogue in a stripped-down, acoustic style.
“The reason for doing this record like we did was twofold,” Alexakis said. “One, to document how the way the songs have evolved over the years without having to do a live record – because I don’t like live records – and also because fans have asked for acoustic versions of songs.”
So Alexakis, with a new lineup, broke down the songs and reexamined them to come up with the new renditions
“We’re not trying to recreate something that’s already been created,” he said. “The original recordings of those songs are a document of where we were at the time.”
The members who helped Alexakis make So Much for the Afterglow left in 2003. Apart from Alexakis, Everclear had about 20 different members come and go through the years. The current members on the In a Different Light Tour are different from the ones who recorded the original album.
“I’m just on some weird cycle where I need to change it up every five or six years,” he said. “I want to play with different people and get different ideas from them.”
This collaboration is something that was missing with the 1997 incarnation, he said.
“Older incarnations of the band, they didn’t really bring anything to it,” Alexakis said. “It was pretty much all me.”
The band’s lineup isn’t the only new thing. More than a decade after many of his hits, Alexakis said the crowds take on a unique mixture.
“There are people that were listening to us in high school and college and there’s people who are little brothers of those people, who were in elementary school, but know all the words to the songs,” he said, chuckling.
Alexakis isn’t new to Texas. He lived in and around Houston for a few years as a child and spent lots of time in Dallas. And he’s a fan of the state that he’ll be returning to tonight.
“I like the food, I like the people. I like everything about it,” he said. “Maybe not [the state’s] politics so much.”
Alexakis may be touring with old music, but he’s still writing new stuff. The band is working on a new album, which he expects to come out in August. He said it’ll sound a lot like Everclear’s earlier records: melodic and simple but very electric-guitar heavy. No new songs will find their way into the tour’s set list, except “At the End of the Day”, which is one of two new songs on In a Different Light.
When not on tour or working on music for the upcoming CD, Alexakis is a family man. During the interview, he was busy making lunch for his family. He was crafting sandwiches so complex that it took a few minutes to run through the list of ingredients. Turns out Alexakis likes his new bread maker.
He also likes cooking with his wife.
“We try to cook together every night, pick out recipes and it’s just fun,” he said. “It’s another way of being creative.”
Even though Alexakis enjoys his family time, he has no intention of giving up music anytime soon.
“I’m 47 years old, I get to play rock and roll for a living, I get to do whatever I want, I make a decent living and I’ve got a great family,” he said. “I’m having a great time.”