Everclear To Rock The Gov…

American alt-rock juggernauts Everclear are close to wrapping up their extensive 17-date Australian tour, and it’s going to mean Everything to Everyone. Fresh from a year of gigging their thirtieth anniversary tour around the U.S, it’s Adelaide’s turn to live the glory days. Hi Fi Way spoke to Art Alexakis about returning to Adelaide to play The Gov.

Congratulations on Everclear’s thirtieth anniversary. Can you believe how fast the time has gone?
I know, I know. It makes, makes you feel a little old, doesn’t it? I feel really old. I’m going to be sixty-one in April, still playing, still having fun.

Do you get a gold watch or something like that for this milestone?
No, I get a titanium spine. That’s age you get titanium in your spine. That’s better than a gold watch because at least you can still walk.

When you reflect on your career with Everclear what stands out most for you?
I just remember playing certain shows and knowing that we were getting assigned to a major label, which at the time back in the nineties was a big, big deal. It was exciting to do that. It was exciting, when I mastered my ‘Sparkle And Fade’ and listened to it after the mastering appointment with Bob Ludwig, who’s done thousands of platinum records. I went back to my room and it just sounded like a real rock record. It just sounded like a professional badass legend, classic record. I remember calling the guys in the band and my wife and I just felt like a kid. I was so excited. Playing Saturday Night Live was a big deal playing in front of hundreds of thousands of people at Woodstock ’99 even though that was a shit show for a lot of people it was a good experience for us. No one to the best of my knowledge got killed or raped during our set, so that’s good and nothing burned down.

We’ve had moments like getting our platinum records, getting a platinum record with my mom who didn’t even know what really was going on. We get to this restaurant and there’s this huge paparazzi, this red carpet and all these people and we opened the door and I stepped out and my mom’s just amazed. She’s like, is this all for you? Like, yeah, I know. It’s hard to believe, but yeah. That look on her face was pretty amazing. We grew up poor, so did she and so did I. So that was a big deal. A real big deal.

Do you remember your first Adelaide show here with Silverchair in the pouring rain that got moved to Thebarton Theare?
That was the first time we played Adelaide. We had been to Australia before we did the Silverchair tour. Heroin Girl was a hit and when we landed in Sydney, there was like a thousand people waiting for us with signs and like what you see on TV in movies like with The Beatles and stuff. We had no idea that was happening. That was just unbelievable. That show you’re talking about in Adelaide, I remember that show.

During soundcheck, I came up with the riff for a song that showed up on our next record, So Much For The Afterglow called Like A California King. I came up with that riff at that venue during soundcheck. I remember that. Australia has always been a big deal for us because we’ve toured all over the world, but no one really likes Americans like Australia does. American bands back in the nineties, England didn’t. New Zealand did but not as much. South America and even more so Australia love American bands. It was really special. It was really a big deal.

Fast forwarding to the now this is a massive tour and it goes to show that there’s still plenty of love for Everclear here in Australia. It must feel like a home away from home?
We’ve always had great tours there and our last tour was three years ago right before Covid hit. It was just creeping up and as we were finishing up our tour and we were there for sixteen shows this time we’re there for sixteen shows. Apparently, we left and four days later Australia’s shut down, no one came in and no one came out. We missed it by four days. Getting back there, especially after Covid has been a big deal.

We tried to do it last year. It wasn’t time yet, it’s better now. Then we tried to come in the fall, we were talking about it and our agent is like, wait until the summertime. The shows have sold really, really well and I think it’s going to be fun. We’re going to take a couple of days that we have off between Melbourne and Adelaide and take a bus out on the Great Ocean Road. I want to see the Apostles, we’re just going to cruise in a bus drive at night, sleep on the bus, and during the day get a couple rooms and there’s an awning on the bus. We’re just going to go swimming and just enjoy a couple of days. That sounds really fun to me.

Without having to play for five or six hours it must be a, a really nice dilemma to have fitting all the hits into the set list?
Yeah. That sucks, right? ? No, we’re blessed, we’re very fortunate. I’ve had a great career, I’ve done exactly the kind of music I want to do, and it’s changed from record to record, back in the heyday we were putting out records and they were going platinum. I got to live that dream and I’m still living that dream because I’m sober, I’ve got MS but I’m doing really well with my workout regimen and my physical therapy, and my medication and I feel great. I’ve got a wonderful family and wonderful friends, great band, and I’m just stoked, I’m at an age where I can really, really appreciate what I have and not worry about what I don’t have. I think it takes a while for a lot of people. I’m one of those guys.

Interview By Rob Lyon

Catch Everclear at The Gov Thursday 23 February, tickets from The Gov

Australian tour dates

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