by Su Chon
Everclear has been touring across the country, and RAD got
the chance to speak with the entire band. They are going to open
for Filter on their fall tour so catch them if you can. They have
been described as being a grunge band, but they mix musical styles
that create interesting songs. I really like their first single,
"Heroin Girl," off of their new album, "Sparkle to Fade." It's a
very sad song, and I find it beautiful. The band is really
beginning to hit it big.
We spoke with all three band members: Art (vocals and guitar),
Greg (drums), and Craig (bass). These guys have a lot of fun
together. They're always ribbing each other, quoting movie lines,
and joking around. I went into the interview expecting a grunge
band with the same old answers, and was definitely surprised by
their vitality and depth.
- Why don't you tell us a little how Everclear started?
- Well, I like tacos, '73 Cabernet, and the color magenta.
All that information is in the bio basically. We've been
a band for three years, Greg's been in the band for about
a year. We started in Portland. We're all from other
places. We put together a demo called "World of Noise"
which became our first indie record which became our
first Capitol record. Two months ago we put out our
first major label record called "Sparkle and Fade."
We've been getting a lot of radio play and MTV play for
our song "Heroin Girl." And we've been touring nonstop
for the past year pretty much.
- So are you on a tour right now?
- We just did a little West Coast tour about 10 days, then
went home for a couple of days, then we picked up a
couple of radio shows that we're doing. Saturday we'll
be in Seattle, Sunday in Portland.
- That will be a big homecoming for us. We're off for
about a week, then we start a Midwest tour, Midwest and
a little bit of the East Coast.
- So is your biggest fan base in Portland and Seattle?
- Oh yeah.
- Yeah, we have a big following here in...where the hell
are we?...Salt Lake City, Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit.
We've got places where we've done really well on the
radio. L.A.'s starting to pick up, San Francisco.
- I'm really intrigued by the songs you write, and I know
you said in the bio that you write stuff from the gut.
Are you suddenly inspired to write something or what?
- I think about ideas and I think about them for awhile
and keep them in my subconscious and every now and then
I'll put down notes, but not really. I'm a weird
songwriter. I usually wait till the last minute to write
them all out. I'll get a notebook right before we'll do
a record and I'll just start, put the title of the song
on, and I'll just start writing ideas down on pages and
that will come into lyrics. Then I'll have like, maybe
a little bit of a first chorus or this or this or here,
like a skeleton. Then I'll go in front of the mic and
basically brush it all out. I'm a person that I have to
pull it from my subconscious, it just bakes there.
- I just think that your range of songs are so interesting
from like the AIDS song. It's kind of like a theme that
people are interested in but they're really afraid of so
they won't address it.
- Sure. Well, that's the whole thing about "Invisible."
People don't want to see what they don't like. Everyone
wants to see a pretty picture. No one wants to see an
ugly picture. If you have something evocative on a wall,
people will see it. If you just have a picture of a
horse, chances are you won't see it. If this is a
psychological interview and were talking to me about
something else and ask me what is on the wall, there's
a naked woman on the wall or a picture of a dollar bill
or something really vibrant, I'd remember. That's how
it works. What this has to do with our song, I have no
- So do all you guys help write the songs?
- I write the music and a couple of times on some of the
songs (not so much the last record, we're doing it more),
and he'll come up with a riff, and I'll refine it a
little bit, fuck around with it a little bit, take it
home and make it into a song. Or we'll have a riff and
incorporate it into a song we already have. Very cool.
Me and Craig from the beginning, he's really helped me
a lot. I used to come up with the basis of the song, but
since Greg's come into the band, it really became more
of a band thing. Every album is closer to it.
- What are your influences? One at a time.
- Yeah, everything. Musically, me, Hank Williams, Sr.,
Neil Young, Pixies, Sonic Youth, Husker Du, um, Beatles.
- Adam Ant. Oh, I thought we were already to my turn.
- Not the new one.
- No the old stuff
- Kings of the Wild Frontier...I liked "Desperate but not
- That was getting a little out there.
- Oh admit it, you liked it.
- He likes the song, "Wonderful."
- He likes "Wonderful?"
- I like that song.
- I like the song "Wonderful," but the rest of the album
I didn't like.
- You're fired.
- It's an alright song. He cries in the video, that's a
real tear. He's not acting. GOD!
- Well you know that he wrote in the liner notes that this
album was a love letter to a relationship that ended a
- Some guy we don't want to know about.
- No it was dedicated to Heather...
- I'm not buying that.
- So do you have any other faves?
- Ok, so you don't want to say anything more. We'll turn
- [to Greg] How embarrassing. You've shamed me.
- Everything. I don't even know how to start. You just
go through phases of like certain types of music you get
into, you know, and then you go on to something else.
I first started listening to shit like KISS, Cheap Trick
and stuff. And I kind of moved on to heavy metal...
- ...stuff like Iron Maiden and stuff like that and then
I moved on to other stuff like...
- ...Metallica, Stryper yeah,...
- ...yeah, that was a big influence, Soundgarden. You know
every body goes through lots of phases. There's so much
different music out there.
- Yeah, but it's rare to find a lot of bands that like
music outside of their niche or genre.
- We love They Might Be Giants...
- Yeah, everything. Frank Sinatra...Eagles....
- ...Joni Mitchell, Frank Sinatra.
- We can't find any ELO, but we would have it.
- Oh, I have a cd, it's called ELO Classics with "Evil
Woman" on there...
- [sings] Eeeeeevil woman.
- I love ELO.
- I want to get Xanadu on cd.
- If there are any readers listening, he wants the
soundtrack to Xanadu on cd. Well, it's great that you
have such a broad range because most bands...
- Listen to what they play. We're not ignorant because
we're out there so much but there's a lot of bands out
there that are really hip and happening that I don't ever
hear or don't care for. One band that I've been wanting
to hear and I finally heard the other day, I actually
like. It's Guided by Voices.
- Do you have any philosophies you live by or do you sit
around having philosophical discussions?
ALL All the time.
- Let anyone do what they want.
- No, we have no motto. We're a rock and roll band. We're
not preachers. I try to write songs that mean a lot to
me and hopefully will mean a lot to other people. I take
my lyrics very seriously, but on stage, live, we don't
take ourselves very seriously. We just try to rock, get
as sweaty as possible and have as much fun. And we try
to watch "Dumb and Dumber" on Spectravision as much as
possible. I think we're up to 142.
- Yeah, pretty close.
- We can recite the whole movie. "Hi, is that an accent
I hear?" "Where are you from? 'Austria.' 'Ah, put
another shrimp on the barbie.'"
- Is there any person in the world you would like to meet?
- Buddy? [meaning Greg]
- You've already met Adam Ant. Anyone else?
- He is such a star, star...if he slept with them, he would
be a star fucker, but that hasn't happened. He reads
People Magazine, Premiere, World News Tonight.
- It's not true.
- It's totally true. He gets Rolling Stone, and he doesn't
even read the news. He goes straight to the next page
to see what all the rock stars and their girlfriends are
- Probably Courtney Cox.
- NO, no, Jennifer Aniston.
- You like the girl from Friends.
- I think she needs a haircut.
- I'd just like to take her out for a slice of pizza and
- I met Kim Thayre from Soundgarden. That was a big deal
for me. He totally just spit on me basically. I felt
like I was 11 years old, "Hey, how're you doing? I'm a
big fan, here's a t-shirt." He's like, "Do you have it
in a different size? If you have a different size, I'll
wear it." You'll need this size with that big ass ego
- He needs an XL.
- It's kind of cool. As our band's progressing more, and
the album is selling more, and we're getting more
attention, we're playing with bands that we're...
- ...freaked out by it.
- Yeah, we're playing with the Ramones, They Might Be
Giants, Bush, Howard Jones,
- [sings] What is loooooooove anyway? I think he's doing
one of his rare acoustic sets.
- Yeah, he's doing that tonight with some girl named Carol.
- Is he who you want to meet?
- No. I do not want to meet HoJo. I will thrash HoJo
within an inch of his life.
- Is he too happy for you?
- He's too English. [in a British accent] He's too fucking
English. Who would I like to meet? I would like to
meet, shit, I don't know. I'd like to meet Bill Clinton.
I'd like to meet the President of the United States.
He's the only president that I've ever voted for that I
- You guys watch a lot of films. What's your favorite
- Roman Holiday's mine.
- Yeah, you still got my copy of Roman Holiday. I have
the box, you have the tape. Yeah, I gave it to you and
you were supposed to give me Breakfast at Tiffany's. It
was an Audrey swap.
- No there was something else that came with it.
- No. No. NO. I bought you Breakfast at Tiffany's...
- For Christmas, I know.
- Who bought it?
- You did.
- Who bought it?
- You did.
- Roman Holiday is at your house.
- That's cool. You know that's the only Audrey movie I
- Roman Holiday. I've seen everything else.
- It's the best. Gregory Peck is a babe.
- Yeah, he's hot.
- But I really did like Charade.
- That's a good one, but that's a later one. We're talking
the younger ones.
- Do you have a favorite movie?
- Oh shit, I have like four or five. I love old movies.
I have to say my favorite movie of all time....God
there's like five. I'll name you a few. There's this
old movie, "Holiday Inn" it's an old Bing Crosby.
- I don't have any favorites.
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