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Interview:
Everclear album still has "Sparkle" 20 years later
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Everclear is straddling its past and present this fall.

The California-based group is still actively supporting its ninth album, "Black Is the New Black," which came out during April. But at the same time it's celebrating the 20th anniversary of its breakthrough "Sparkle and Fade" album, which the group is playing in its entirety on its current tour.

But group founder and frontman Art Alexakis says the two releases are not strange musical bedfellows.

"I think they fit together, really," Alexakis, 53, says by phone from a tour stop in North Carolina. "They're both guitar-based records. There's no keyboard on ('Black Is the New Black'); our keyboard player is playing guitar on these songs. It's pretty aggressive, and so was 'Sparkle and Fade.' And it's the same guy writing the songs, the same voice.

"So it tends to work pretty well. If people are coming for the pop songs, they're in the wrong place -- although we're playing them, too. But the emphasis is on the two albums. There's a lot of screaming."

"Sparkle and Fade" was Everclear's second album but first for a national label. It peaked at No. 25 on the Billboard 200 chart and went platinum, launching the hit "Santa Monica." Most importantly, Alexakis says, the albums has aged well for him, and for Everclear's audience.

"A lot of the old songs still feel new to me," he explains. "They never feel like they're 20 years old. Of course, we play 'Santa Monica' every night; we're not one of those bands that doesn't play our hit.

"When I start playing 'Santa Monica' or any of the other hits, that's a good feeling of being in a band, people giving a s***. I've been on the other side of that, getting people to pay attention to you. I remember that feeling, so I don't take it for granted that there's people who enjoy what we do. I'm very grateful."

While Everclear's staying busy, meanwhile, Alexakis is branching out. He has a role as a zombie in Backstreet Boy Nick Carter's new film "Dead 7," and he also signed on to score the film. And he's in discussions to also score an upcoming documentary about hired-gun musicians. "That's all super-exciting, something new and different," notes Alexakis, who also runs the annual Summerland Tour. "I am transitioning a little bit. You know how it is when you get a little bit older; I don't want to tour all the time, I don't want to miss my little one (an eight-year-old daughter) growing up. But I still want to be creative, so this may be a way to do both."

Mb>Everclear and Hydra Melody

Sunday, Nov. 8. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

Tickets are $22.

Call 313-961-8137 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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