Everclear’s Art Alexakis prides himself on songwriting as much as he does performing. But “The Vegas Years,” an album of cover songs the group released earlier this year, is something he’s “been wanting to do for a long, long, long time.”
“We started doing covers a long time ago,” says Alexakis, 46, who formed Everclear in 1992 in Portland, Ore. “I just thought it would be really cool to have a whole covers record that wasn’t the traditional type of pop covers record or country covers record, where people just kinda sleep through the songs.
“I wanted to rearrange these songs and try to make them sound more like Everclear. I think on some of the songs we do that, and some are just rockin’ versions of the songs.”
“The Vegas Years” features mixes 14 new and previously released covers of songs by Hall & Oates, Tom Petty, the Go-Go’s, Van Morrison, Cheap Trick
and others, plus TV themes from “Speed Racer” and “Land of the Lost.” Alexakis also nods to his political interests by including Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” and he says the next Everclear album is likely to follow that path.
“I think they’ll be slice of life stories that just talk about people dealing with life — not really social issues, ’cause that sounds preachy,” explains Alexakis, who made a new song called “Jesus Was a Liberal” available for download on the Internet.
“It’s hard right now for a lot of people, so I think it’s gonna be a pretty (angry) record, actually. I think the political climate right now, with the debates and the (election), has got me fired up again ... to have my say.”
Everclear performs a free show at 8:45 p.m. Saturday (June 28) on the Budweiser National Stage at the Stars & Stripes festival takes place in downtown Mount Clemens. Hours are 11 a.m.-midnight today and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.starsandstripesfest.com.
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