Regrets—Art Alexakis has had more than a few. And he’s had his share of losing, too. But the Everclear frontman has always done it his way. While far too many of his ’90s Pacific Northwest brethren (Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Andrew Wood, et al) ended up six feet under, Alexakis has been a survivor, enduring arrests, attempted suicide, drug abuse, divorce, depression, bankruptcy and much more. Despite being dubbed Nirvana lite by music critics, Everclear soldiered on, becoming a platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated, hit-making band, and Alexakis used this success to champion causes close to his heart. The revolving-door group’s latest release, In A Different Light (429), is a collection of (mostly) older Everclear songs reinterpreted in a stripped-down manner. Alexakis is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week. Read our Q&A with him.
Alexakis: I grew up hating cigars. The smell, the look and the whole image that goes with it. I smoked cigarettes from the age of 10 to the age of 24, and I didn’t touch tobacco again until I was 41 and some guy offered me a little flavored cigar at a party. I kinda liked it and thought, “No big deal. You don’t even inhale. This will never be a problem.” Right. Within three months, I was smoking eight a day of the biggest, strongest and most obnoxious cigars I could find. I smoked cigars for about two and half years until Vanessa told me I had a choice: cigars or her. So I quit on New Years of 2006 and have never went back. But I think about them all the time. I have kicked hard drugs, alcohol, even a sex addiction, but the one thing I truly miss is a Padrón cigar. If I live to 80, all bets are off. Vanessa will put me in a house in the back, and I plan on smoking tough until the day I die. Video after the jump.