What!??! The original Everclear is no more?!?

Interview: Art Alexakis of Everclear
Everclear frontman Art Alexakis has had an emotional year, separating from his longtime bandmates as well as his wife and his record label.
“Late last year I got separated from my third wife and we got divorced,” Alexakis said during a phone interview from Salt Lake City. “We’re still going through stuff. We’re still trying to get closure, and it’s very painful for me. It’s just been a really, really tough year. It’s been a hell of a year,”
Although difficult, the experiences have provided fodder for his next album, which–because he also recently split with Capitol Records–is for a label to be determined.
Writing songs for the new record has been cathartic, he admitted.
“I don’t know how to do anything else at this point,” Alexakis said. “Ö it’s not just all about heartbreak. They’re very personal songs, the songs on this next record.
“If I tried to write about something else, it would sound fake. It’s just where I’m at. The great thing about not being on a label is I’m not trying to meet deadlines. I’m not trying to deliver a record by a certain date, you know?”
Most important to Alexakis–and Capitol–at the moment is promoting his last effort for the label, “Ten Years Gone: The Best of Everclear 1994-2004.” Alexakis talked to liveDaily about his new band, a forthcoming change of sound for Everclear and his future.
liveDaily: How’s the tour going so far?
Art Alexakis: It’s going really good. I had six shows in a row, so my throat was hurting last night. The show before it was excellent. The four or five shows before it were pretty great. We’re really hitting our stride. We’re about two weeks through a six-week tour. We’re starting to fire on all pistons. It feels good to be out on the road with these guys. But I’m kind of burnt with being on the road. It’s not new and exciting like it used to be. I like playing the shows, but I want to record new songs and put out a new record. I’m a musician. My attention span is not that good. Artistic people are going to be flaky like that. [Laughs]
Who are you touring with these days?
On drums we have Brett Snyder, on bass guitar Sam Hudson, keyboard Josh Crawley. On lead guitar and background vocals is Davis French III. He’s an amazing guitar player. I play more of a rhythm guitar, a lot of acoustic guitar. Even though they’re older songs, things are a little bit more laid back. They still rock. I still get all excited, but it’s not like the bombast it was. The next record’s going to be more laid back. It’s gonna definitely have a more rootsy-sounding influence, both from an old-fashioned R&B standpoint, and also an alternative country kind of feel on some songs.
What brought about the change?
I’ve been doing stuff like that for years. If you go back with my other bands I put out I’ve always been a big fan of country and alternative country. It’s going to be interesting. It’s kind of like Everclear-meets-Tom Petty-meets-indie rock-meets-Otis Redding. [Laughs] There’s all sorts of stuff there.
Why was now the time for a greatest hits album?
Capitol decided it was time for a greatest hits record. We’re off Capitol. It made sense to encapsulate the last 10 years we were on Capitol, and just kind of put a collection of radio hits, fan favorites, band favorites and some obscure songs–some new songs that people haven’t heard. It kind of closes the chapter on that.
Your “Best of Everclear” album features hits such as “Everything to Everyone” and “AM Radio,” and previously unreleased songs like “Sex with a Movie Star (The Good Witch Gone Bad).” Was it hard to choose the songs for the album?
Kind of. We had to leave some songs out. Some fans are like, “Why’d you do that?” Because I couldn’t just pick all the songs from one record. I wanted to make it an album that flowed. It’s got the best reviews of any record we’ve ever put out. So that’s excellent and encouraging.
Have you started writing a new album yet?
Tell me about your writing process. Do you write primarily on the road, at home, in the studio?
We write everywhere.
Do you have a new record deal yet?
No, I’m not even looking for one. I’m not even talking to anyone. I’m going to record a record on my own dime. Then I’ll just shop the record. Or put it out on a big indie. I have a studio. The days of having to go to a major label are gone with the Internet. I don’t think it’s that important. I could go to a major label right now, but I don’t want to. I want to do a record. I’ve got about 19 songs to pick 12 songs from and I’m still writing songs.
Where is the easiest place for you to work?
It’s easier to write at home, [though] the isolation of a hotel room or a back of a bus sometimes helps the creative aspect come to life.