It’s been 20 years since Everclear released their 1997 multiplatinum smash So Much For The Afterglow, yet the album remains a beloved fan favorite, and continues to inspire new generations of musicians & fans today. Bolstered by the record’s enduring popularity, Everclear are about to embark on a highly anticipated tour celebrating its milestone anniversary, with plans to perform the album front to back, including some tracks the band has never played live.
As the band’s third full-length, So Much For The Afterglow built upon the momentum of 1995’s Sparkle And Fade, with a slew of unforgettable songs that permeated MTV and alternative rock radio. The album—which remains Everclear’s best-selling release to date—quickly won over listeners with its trademark combination of melody, rhythmic energy, evocative lyrics and thundering guitar crunch.
“It makes me feel really good when I read a lot of what people still think about the album, and how many bands have been influenced by it—how much impact it had on them—and I think about how much impact it had on me, in a different way of course,” says singer-guitarist Art Alexakis. “It’s still a thing; it’s still relevant and real 20 years later.”
Formed by Alexakis in 1991 in Portland, Oregon, Everclear has enjoyed a lengthy career spanning 10 studio releases, numerous videos, thousands of shows and accolades that include a 1998 Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental, for the Afterglow track “El Distorto de Melodica.” Like a true survivor, Alexakis has soldiered on through multiple lineup changes over the years: During the Afterglow era, the band also included Craig Montoyav on bass and Greg Eklund on drums; the forthcoming anniversary tour features current Everclear members Davey French (guitar), Freddy Herrera (bass) and drummer Jake Margolis. In recent years Alexakis also created and runs the annual Summerland Tour, which features a package of popular ’90s alt rock bands.
Amid all of Everclear’s accomplishments, the Afterglow period remains a pivotal moment. After enjoying a taste of success with Sparkle And Fade and its still-prevalent hit single “Santa Monica” Everclear returned to the studio in 1996 more determined than ever to perfect their sound. By the end of the year the band had already completed an album, tentatively titled Pure White Evil, but after one particularly blunt conversation with an A&R executive, the singer/guitarist/songwriter Alexakis knew there was more work still ahead.
“He told me, ‘It’s an ok record, but it’s not going to do what you want it to do, and it’s not the best record you can make’,” Alexakis recalls. “He said that, and I just knew he was right. I knew I wasn’t digging deep enough.”
Alexakis spent roughly the next week living in a New York City hotel, contemplating his next move. He walked the city streets and went to multiple showings of the film Jerry Maguire. Inspired, he went back to his hotel room and started anew, while taking close stock of the existing Pure White Evil material. With the band and label on board with the new plan, Everclear continued to write and refine the new material over the spring of 1997 until Evil morphed into what eventually became So Much For The Afterglow.
“Looking back, I remember just how balls-out and brash I was,” Alexakis says. “I just had a vision and after Sparkle I was desperate not to have a sophomore slump and be a one-hit wonder. I was just going forward with my vision and dragging my guys behind me. We just believed that we were on a mission to make a great record. To this day, it’s probably my favorite Everclear album.”
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Afterglow is its visceral, infinitely relatable lyrics, some of which are autobiographical. Although, according to Alexakis, many people think the majority of his songs are.
”I like storytelling…writing from the first person perspective,” says Alexakis. ’Father of Mine’ (the hit single which expresses the singer’s feelings of estrangement and abandonment by his father) and a couple of others are stories from my life.” While other tracks, meanwhile, offer the singer’s wry observations on the world around him. The common thread, and the message that’s most powerful amid all of Alexakis’ lyrical soul baring, is that no matter how hard things get, there can always be better days ahead.
“From my perspective, the album told stories of an American life that had gone through ups and downs and still wasn’t 100 percent,” Alexakis says. “I still had to deal with issues like parental abandonment, poverty, abuse and drugs. But even though those things are there, there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel, though it’s hard to see sometimes, and even though the record’s dark and heavy at times, it convey’s a sense of hope, which is probably why it seemed to connect with a lot of young people at the time, because even though it sucks being a teenager, or in your early 20s…you want to know there’s a chance. I’m an optimist; There’s always an upside somewhere.”
Since the album’s release, the songs have taken on a life of their own through the interpretations of listeners, who’ve made their unique personal connections with record. However some of the tracks still remain deeply personal to Alexakis, and there will likely be emotional onstage moments during the upcoming tour. For this reason, some Afterglow tracks will be performed live for the first time in years, if not ever.
“There are still songs on this record that I have a hard time singing, because I get so emotional,” says Alexakis. “We don’t play them a lot, ever, but we will on this tour; we’re playing all the songs. ‘Why I Don’t Believe in God’ is an especially hard one to sing. That’s a song about my mom.”
Other tracks promise to be great fun. The kinetic energy of So Much For The Afterglow makes much of it ideal for concert stages, and Alexakis is eager to share and experience the material again in a live setting along with fans. On a personal level for Alexakis, who’s a married father of two daughters, it will undoubtedly be a much different tour here in 2017 than when the band was young and hungry and just promoting the album for the first time. But some things—namely the remarkable quality of the songs and the enthusiasm fans have for the record—not only remain steadfast, they’ve even continued to grow and appreciate over time.
’California King’ is a blast to play,” he says. “The harder rock songs, like “One Hit Wonder” are going to be fun to play. We’ve been breaking that one out in rehearsals over the last couple months; it’s tight and sounds really good. I still like playing the hits, too. I love the way people respond and sing along with the songs. That’s something songwriters never get tired of.”
It’s likely that crowds will have plenty to sing about when the So Much For The Afterglow Tour—which also includes ’90s compatriots Fastball and Vertical Horizon—hits a nearby venue later this year. Alexakis says that the roughly 90-minute set will also include other favorites from Everclear’s back catalogue, but will feature So Much For The Afterglow in its glorious entirety, performed with the loving respect it deserves. Beyond his own gratification, Alexakis says the forthcoming Afterglow tour is very much a gift—and a thank you—to fans of the album.
“A lot of people really identified with the songs off this record and it meant something important to them,” Alexakis says. “That means a lot to me, that I’ve had a positive impact in someone’s life. As a dad, and a person who’s constantly trying to do the right thing, that’s big. It just makes me feel really good that people connected to what we were doing, and that it still means something to them. What more can a guy in a rock and roll band ask for?”
Marky Ramone (US)
Marky Ramone is best known for the 15 years he spent drumming for the legendary Ramones. Prior to joining the Ramones, Marky played with an array of influential musicians dating back to his high school years when he was a member of the Brooklyn based hard rock band, Dust. Recording two albums with his friends, Richie Wise (guitar and vocals) and Kenny Aaronson (bass) for Neil Bogart’s Karma Sutra/Buddha label
While Dust was disbanding, Marky began hanging out at Max’s Kansas City, where he met Max’s house D.J. Wayne County. He joined forces with Wayne to form Wayne County and The Backstreet Boys. Wayne’s outrageous stage performance and cross-dressing attracted many fans and help solidify a cult following. After a year and a half of playing in the New York area and not able to generate record company interest, they decided it was best to move on.
In 1976, Marky was introduced to Richard Hell. Along with Bob Quine and Ivan Julian, they formed Richard Hell & the Voidoids. The Voidoids released their groundbreaking debut album in 1977 on Sire Records, entitled “Blank Generation”. Shortly after the Voidoids historic U.K. tour with The Clash, Marky found himself at the bar at CBGB with Dee Dee Ramone. Dee Dee asked him if he would be interested in joining The Ramones.
The spring of 1978, Marky joined the Ramones. In a matter of weeks he was in the studio recording his first album with The Ramones entitled, “Road to Ruin”, which features one of the biggest Ramones songs “I Wanna Be Sedated”. The following year the Ramones filmed the cult classic “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”. Later that year, they joined forces with producer legend, Phil Spector to record “End Of The Century”.
After several tours and a two more studio albums, Marky was asked to leave the band 1983, only to rejoin his band mates in 1987 until they decided to call it quits in 1996. His tenure with the Ramones spanned a total of 15 years. Performing over 1700 shows and more than 15 releases, including songwriting credits on both Mondo Bizarro and Adios Amigos, the bands farewell release.
In 2000, Marky reunited with long time friend Joey Ramone for Joey’s solo effort “Don’t Worry About Me”. In 2001, Marky along with his former band mates (Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy), were inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame. That same year, U2’s Bono presented the Ramones with the MTV’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The DVD release, “Raw”, a compilation of mostly home videos filmed predominantly by Marky was release in 2004 and entered the Billboard video chart at number 5. Certified gold in three countries and currently the best selling Ramones DVD release to date.
In the spring of 2009, Marky launched a capsule collection clothing line with Hilfiger Denim. In 2010, Marky shared his recipe for pasta sauce by introducing Marky Ramone’s Brooklyn’s Own Pasta Sauce.
In February 2010 The Ramones received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. It was the first Grammy for the punk rock pioneers.
In early 2010 Marky Ramones Blitzkrieg with Michale Graves (The Misfits) released their first single “When We Were Angels” with former member of Sheer Terror, Mark Neuman, playing bass and guitar.
With no signs of slowing down, Marky Ramone continues to tour the world with his band, Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg, featuring various lead vocalists including Andrew W.K. and Michale Graves.
Marky is currently in his tenth year as a D.J. on SiriusXM Satelldite Radio hosing “Marky Ramone’s Punk Rock Blitzkrieg”. Marky has also appeared on numerous TV shows including The Simpsons, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and ZRock.
Darling Daizy (NO)
Darling Daizy was formed in 1999 by Leif Erik Westergren (aka Erik West), Bjørn Larsen-Frivoll (aka Bjorn Coucheron) and Andreas Gustavsen (aka Andy G). The band wrote and recorded 15 songs for their debut album that very same year. Darling Daizy´s first album, "Passè" saw the light of day and was released in march 2000 by The Orchard and Bratville Records. The band followed up the release with heavy touring throughout the country and first ever Europe and US tour. The bands debut album got it´s most attention abroad after the major television network NBC picked several songs to feature in their TV-series "Sk8".
In 2001 Andreas Gustavsen (Andy G) left the band and was replaced by Bjørn Larsen-Frivoll´s (Bjorn Coucheron) younger brother Kim Larsen-Frivoll (aka Kim Kong). The band continued touring supporting their debut album alongside writing songs for their follow up. Darling Daizy took a break from the road to record their second album at Ronnie Le Tekrø´s (TNT) studio in Toten, Norway. During the recording session Ronnie Le Tekrø signed the band to his own label Beatheaven Records. The second album was entitled "Can I Get A Woop Woop!?" and the album artwork was designed by Andrew Bargeron at Gimetzco (Weezer, Reel Big Fish). It was released March 2003.
The album almost instantly attracted media recognition both in Norway and abroad which resulted in even heavier touring especially in countries like Norway, Germany, France, UK and the US. At some point Norways leading television broadcaster NRK flew the band in the middle of a Germany tour to do TV features and Darling Daizy´s debut music video for their first single of "Can I Get A Woop Woop!?" "The Wrong Side" went on top of the chart at the interactive Music television show "Svisj". The band was invited to do a major sold out theatre tour supporting MTV JACKASS star Steve-O, Preston Lacey and Ryan Dunn in connection with their latest movie. Darling Daizy is to date the only band supporting the JACKASS cast live to ever complete - not just a show, but a full tour, due to the fact that the JACKASS fans was infamous for being vicious and occasionally violent. Darling Daizy also guest appears both with a stunt and musically in Steve-O´s movie "Steve O - Out On Bail". In 2003 The band got to be the first ever Norwegian punk band to play Johnny Depp´s iconic venue "The Viper Room" in Los Angeles. Darling Daizy did over 160 shows worldwide that very year.
In 2004 - the band decided to take a long break away from the band to spend some awaited time with family and other musical projects.
In 2007 - a previously unreleased song entitled "I See People" got handpicked to feature in the american movie "Pool Party". Darling Daizy decided to release a b-side album entitled "Scraps From A Mental State" including "I See People" and other previously unreleased material from the era of 2000 - 2004 supporting the establishment of Leif Erik Westergrens own record label named Kallemann Records in 2009, named after his late grandfather. Darling Daizy followed the B-side album up with the single "Hula Moon Beach" in 2010.
Kristian "EGO" Kristiansen and Big Daddy Karsten is Folkefiender. A well established and controversial Rap duo from the South of Norway. Both have solo careers alongside spitting rhymes in Folkefiender. Ego has released 1 full length album and 3 mixtape albums and been featured on several compilations nationwide. Ego has worked with artists like Karpe Diem, Oral Bee, Jaa9, Kholebeatz and Clawfinger´s Bård Torsteinsen in the past and is a well established and respected rapper in the south of Norway in his late twenties. Big Daddy Karsten on his side is a well established Skeez TV battler and also a solo artist signed to Dat Music. He has done numerous guest features on songs to both well known and up and coming rap artists in Norway. Big Daddy Karsten has been compared & called Norways answer to Cypress Hill´s B Real by Norwegian press and is the first ever openly gay Norwegian rapper. Big Daddy Karsten announced himself that he is gay on Facebook November 2016. The responce and support has since then been massive and drawn allot of major media attention with numerous radio, magazine, newspaper and TV appearances. Together Ego & Big Daddy Karsten are Folkefiender. Their critical acclaimed debut album "Fiendtlig Innstilt" saw the light of day in 2012. The follow up "For Å Si Det Sånn" was released as an EP on spring 2017 through Kallemann Records. Ego & Big Daddy Karsten got more than 1 million streams together on Spotify although they have never been listed with one single song on any radio station in Norway. Myth has it that their lyrics are too vulgar for Norwegian radio.
Westergren & Holter
Info coming soon
The Queers (US)
The Queers are an American pop punk band formed in 1982 by Portsmouth, New Hampshire native Joe King (A.K.A. Joe Queer). Supposedly, the name 'Queers' was used simply to poke fun at what he called the "Art Fag" community in New Hampshire. The band originally broke up in 1984, but reformed with Joe Queer and a new line-up in 1990. That year, the band signed with Shakin' Street Records and released their first album Grow Up. The album earned the band notoriety within New England, but with the release of their next album 1993's Love Songs for the Retarded, on Lookout! Records, their following grew to larger proportions.
In 2006, after releasing six albums on Lookout!, the band rescinded their master rights from the label, citing breach of contract over unpaid royalties. Later that year they signed with Asian Man Records.
The Queers play a Ramones-derived style of pop punk, commonly and appropriately referred to as "Ramones-core". Much like the Ramones, common lyrical themes are girls, drugs, alcohol and having fun. Musically the band deviates slightly from the driving rhythm guitar sound of the Ramones and augments their songs with harmony vocals, handclaps, keyboards and guitar solos. They have been described as "The Ramones meets The Beach Boys". Ben Weasel of Screeching Weasel frequently collaborates with Joe Queer to write their songs. The band are well known for the variety of cover versions they include on their records and in live appearances. Bands/artists covered by The Queers include The Beach Boys, The Ramones (including a complete re-recording of the Rocket to Russia album), The Mr T Experience, Skeeter Davis, The Fantastic Baggys, The Who, The Undertones, The Hobos, Tommy James and The Shondells, Helen Love and many more.
The Queers album Olé Maestro was recorded live, 100% overdub free, at Gruta77 venue in Madrid, Spain November 14 2009 and was released on CD and digitally worldwide by MediaDavid/Kallemann Records May 2013.