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 was living in San Francisco in 1989 and working an office job downtown. Married to my first wife Anita and really depressed all the time. I wasn’t in a band because Anita wanted me to let the dream go (lol). So I’m walking downtown and see in the window of a record store that the new Pixies album is in. I had become a big fan of their first album, Surfer Rosa, so I bought the cassette and popped it in my Walkman and headed back to work. I was so overwhelmed by the first song that I went to a pay phone and called in sick to work. I got on a city bus to go home and ended up staying on the bus for three hours until my batteries died. I went home and told my wife that, like it or not, I was going to get into a band. I felt like I had no choice in the matter. I was so inspired by Doolittle‘s sound and originality that I couldn’t ignore the voice inside saying this is what I was meant to do.