NEPA Scene Staff

’90s alt rockers Everclear, Fastball, and The Nixons come to Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on July 14

’90s alt rockers Everclear, Fastball, and The Nixons come to Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on July 14
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From a press release:

This summer, Everclear will be doing what they like to do most summers – tour as much as humanly possible, often with fellow 1990s alternative rock brethren on the bill. But this year, the band’s calendar features a major milestone amid a career already filled with massive achievements (including hits “Santa Monica,” “Father of Mine,” “I Will Buy You a New Life,” “Wonderful,” and “Everything to Everyone”), as 2022 marks their 30th anniversary as a band. It’s as good a reason as any to kick things up a notch.

In honor of this auspicious occasion, Everclear will embark on a 25+ date North American 30th Anniversary Tour, celebrating the multi-platinum band’s remarkable three-decade run with special guests Fastball (“The Way”) and The Nixons (“Sister”). Vocalist/guitarist and founder Art Alexakis hints that the sets will run the gamut of Everclear’s career, all the way back to some very early material, including songs from their currently out-of-print full-length debut, 1993’s “World of Noise.”

“We’re gonna do a couple of songs off ‘World of Noise’ for sure, and maybe even some hidden gems from back in the day that were B-sides,” Alexakis said.

“And, of course, we’ll still play all the hits and fan favorites. It’s going to be a really fun summer!”

The tour stops at Penn’s Peak (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe) on Thursday, July 14. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the music starts at 8 p.m.

Tickets, which are $38 in advance or $43 the day of the show, go on sale this Friday, April 8 at 10 a.m. via, the Penn’s Peak box office, and Roadies Restaurant and Bar (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe). Box office and Roadies Restaurant ticket sales are walk-up only; no phone orders.

Alexakis revealed that he has been quite busy during the pandemic, and while sorting through boxes and boxes of old Everclear memorabilia and studio tapes that have been in storage for years, he unearthed the original masters for “World of Noise.” He is currently in the process of having the tapes professionally preserved and digitized, with plans to reissue the album this year. In addition to a physical release, “World of Noise” will be made available for the first time on all the digital music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, and Amazon Music.

“For sure this year, we’re going to put out a remastered version of ‘World of Noise,'” Alexakis revealed.

“The album has never been available digitally before because the masters reverted back to me several years before streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music came about. So now I’m going to release it digitally for the first time – and do a vinyl pressing that will include some old demos and stuff. It’ll be fun for the hardcore fans. I’m excited for everyone to get a chance to listen to this rarity of ours that really set the stage for this incredible career.”

The original 1993 release, paired with the band’s significant efforts to break into college radio, attracted the attention of major labels, including Capitol Records, which signed the group soon after. Thus began Everclear’s major-label career, beginning with 1994’s “Sparkle and Fade” and its massive hit, “Santa Monica.” The fan favorite song was the recent subject of a 30th Anniversary Tour teaser video the band issued, showing them performing the track in the early days and then flashing to clips of them playing it literally all over the world. Adding to the celebration this year, Everclear will be releasing a short retrospective commemorative video that takes stock of the last 30 years, narrated by friend and former MTV VJ Matt Pinfield.

Alexakis noted that the early Everclear music from the “World of Noise” era captures him artistically in much leaner times. Back in 1992, after the demise of his band Colorfinger, he was struggling to make it in Portland, having moved from San Francisco with his pregnant and future wife. That extremely difficult personal and creative period was the crucible that forged him into the fiery songwriter heard on the early Everclear demos, the “Nervous & Weird” EP (1993) and, ultimately the “World of Noise” LP, released in 1993 on the Portland independent label Tim/Kerr Records.

“I was angry back then,” Alexakis reflected. “I was 30 years old, broke, and the band I put four years of my life into just dissolved overnight – and I was living in a place that didn’t like me because I was from California. People were constantly cutting me off when they saw my plates and flipping me the finger – even old ladies! I liked Portland; I wanted to fit in there, but man, people were just making it hard for me. But that was OK; I knew how to deal with adversity.”

Determined to give band life one last shot, he placed ads in the local Portland music papers seeking musicians for a new project, sending out cassettes with acoustic versions of the songs to those who responded. Future bassist Craig Montoya and drummer Scott Cuthbert were among those who answered the call; such were the fates brought that first lineup together. Those three would be responsible for getting Everclear not just up and running, but soaring within the Portland scene.

“We just started plowing away,” Alexakis recalled. “We sucked at first, but we got better and better and played lots of shows and just grinded it. Then we went in and made a demo for $400. It eventually became our first album, ‘World of Noise.'”

Armed with stacks of freshly recorded cassettes, Everclear began peppering local Portland newspapers and venues, but also major national showcases, namely the annual SXSW festival. Right around the time when the band was accepted into SXSW and completed their first trek to Austin for that event, things had also started to blow up back in Portland. Alexakis called home one day to learn the demo cassettes he’d been mailing out had created quite a stir within the city’s insular local music scene.

“My girlfriend told me, ‘Man, you better get home quick. Because of all of those tapes you sent out, you have 47 messages on the answering machine’,” Alexakis remembered with a laugh.

“She said, ‘You’re in every paper in town; they’re writing about your demo.’ We became the new band in town. Everyone dug the tape. Clubs that wouldn’t even talk to us before were offering us gigs with big bands – Sub-Pop bands and touring bands from out of town. That’s when it really took off for us.”

Since then, Everclear has enjoyed a lengthy career by any measure, spanning 11 studio releases, including four that have been certified gold or platinum (such as 1997’s “So Much for the Afterglow”), selling over six million records and achieving 12 Top 40 hit singles on Mainstream Rock, Alternative, and Adult Top 40 radio as well as numerous videos, thousands of shows, and various other accolades, including a 1998 Grammy nomination. In recent years, Alexakis created and runs the annual Summerland Tour, which features a package of popular ’90s alt rock bands, and he also released his first solo album, “Sun Songs,” in 2019.

Three decades later, Alexakis doesn’t plan on slowing down, despite the toll that the years, the substances, and now his recent battles with multiple sclerosis have taken on his frame. Beyond this summer North American run, Everclear will also be returning to the U.K. in the fall, as well as Australia in early 2023, in celebration of the 30th anniversary. Those dates will cap off nearly a full year spent honoring the band’s incredible 30-year history. The group’s enduring legacy, and ongoing appeal as a live band, is a blessing not lost on Alexakis, and he’s ready for the party.

“To me, it’s a reason for celebration. I’m almost 60 years old. I’ve got MS. I’ve been through the ringer – a lot of it I put myself through – but I’m still here. The music’s still here. Everclear is still here,” he said.

“Everclear is my band; it always has been. Its faces have changed, but the music stays the same. We’ve got a great band now, we’re tight as hell, we all love and respect each other, and we just go out and put on the best show we can every night. I’m blessed that I get to do this for a living and am truly grateful for my life.”

Read NEPA Scene’s 2013 interview with Art Alexakis here and our 2017 interview with Fastball here.