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Art Alexakis: Punk Dad Revealed by Helen Bach

Art Alexakis is a punk rock dad. Tonight, Art took a break from the filming of a documentary spotlighting punk rock dads in which he sings ‘Father of Mine’, to speak with me.

From the start I knew for certain I didn’t want to drag up the mans difficult past. Every person, in every corner who Ive seen or spoken to on the topic of Everclear some how found it vital to discuss the absentee father and harsh living conditions Alexakis endured.

Today is Arts daughters second birthday. I seized that opportunity to take him for a mind trip back to being a kid cuz no matter how bad you’ve had it. You grow up. What you decide to do with those experiences is totally your free will. He made it good.

Young Art clearly remembers cereal boxes with 45s singles on the back panel and cutting out the Archies version of Sugar Sugar from them, “the quality is was terrible.” Indeed it was.

Do rock stars air guitar? Of course they do, to Ted “the Nuge” Nugent or Led Zepplin 1. Played over and over again until scratchy, ahh vinyl.

How about 45s? Sure thing,first purchased, Jackson 5’s I want you Back’. Mr. Alexakis apparently was quite resourceful using cardboard to fashion the ‘little thing in the middle’ where I would always try to center it.. just… so.

Its things like this I wish more writers would ask of their subjects. Gives a warmer image don’t you think?

It goes without saying (although it is important to point out) that Everclear is an amazing band filled with tight strong melodies backing some of the most poignant lyrics of all time. Our story teller is gifted in his ability to not only paint a picture but put you right in the middle, like a slide show of life gone by. Seize it, remember it and keep going.

Art is proud of his new album In A Different Light  and loves how his voice has matured after ’20 years’ of screaming in clubs. I agree, its a harder edged sound that below the surface almost dares you to care. The perfect voice cocktail in Arts opinion? Tom Waites with a dash of Otis Redding. Ponder that.

Touring has separated him from his family this day but he did take the time to tell me of how his daughter feels to have classmates with her dads picture in their lockers “creepy”, or the student he met on set who was over run with emotion of meeting his idol. Kids want Alexakis to be their dad, heck Art wishes he was his own dad. But don’t we all?

In A Different Light, contains newly arranged version of classics such as “Santa Monica” and “Father of Mine”. I asked if it was risky to rearrange and re release. “If it didn’t work, we wouldn’t release it”…fair enough.

I love the new arrangements of these songs but do I wish it wasn’t included with new works such as “At The End of The Day”, a fantastic song backed by an amazing gospel choir, I fear that the die hards will keep going back to the safe remakes. DON’T. Save those like after dinner mints. Take the time to really listen to the story of the new originals. Alexakis remains true to his story telling. Confident, mature and without a doubt in total control.

I asked if there was anything he wanted to say specifically about his latest album he stated he enjoys listening to it, and is quite proud of it. As well he should be 15 years in the making and the story just doesn’t seem to get old.

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