Alternative rock band Everclear was a staple in the ’90s music scene. With over two decades of songwriting under his belt, Everclear lead singer, Art Alexakis is gearing up to bring his solo tour to Utah.
On Feb. 24 at 8 p.m., “Songs and Stories: An evening with Art Alexakis” comes to Metro Bar in Salt Lake. Tickets are $20 in advance, ages 21 and older only.
As Alexakis readies to travel to the Beehive State, The Signpost caught up with the iconic songwriter. Alexakis spoke candidly of his upcoming solo show. “It’s just me playing the songs I’ve been writing for the last twenty-something years—Everclear songs. Playing them solo and telling stories about the songs,” said Alexakis.
Performing in a more intimate setting allows Alexakis to engage more with his fans. “It’s interactive,” he said. “I like it when people call out songs and heckle me a little bit and I heckle back. Good times, it’s fun.”
Alexakis is no stranger to the Wasatch area. “I’ve been to Utah about a hundred times,” said Alexakis. “I love Utah. Salt Lake City’s a crazy place; a lot of oppression going on there. There’s a huge punk rock scene and it’s always been a fun place to go.”
His upcoming performance will be his first time coming to Utah as a solo artist. Alexakis shared his insight on an unusual reason why bands enjoy touring through the Land of the Mormons.
“I love Utah, I’m just glad that no one from my crew tends to pick up girls in Salt Lake City anymore and take them home. That used to happen a lot, Mormon girls jumping on the crew bus. That’s like the joke, it’s a running joke for bands.” Alexakis said.
Music legend status aside, Alexakis is also known for his outspoken political views. A professed left-wing Christian, Art Alexakis is no fan of the concept of conservative Christianity. “Jesus was totally a liberal. I wrote a song called, ‘Jesus was a Democrat,'” said Alexakis, “I don’t know how that happened, where all of a sudden to be a Christian means you have to be a conservative because that has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ whatsoever.”
Alexakis applauded Pope Francis’ recent statements that seemed to indicate that Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump is not a Christian. “I love how honest (Pope Francis) is,” he said.
Alexakis is no stranger to controversy himself. After releasing the music video for Everclear’s song, “Hater” in 2006, Alexakis found himself in a heated controversy.
“We had a music video for the song and it had an evil Jesus; like the hater Jesus, so it was someone with Jesus’ powers but no one good,” said Alexakis. Soon after the video’s release, Alexakis was invited to discuss the matter with conservative cable news host, Bill O’Reilly.
“I went on Bill O’Reilly about that song and he attacked me with a couple people,” Alexakis said, “They tell you it’s just going to be you and Bill but they bring other people on. I didn’t care; bring them on. I thought it was funny.”
As for who Alexakis is pulling for in the 2016 presidential election, “I’m not
saying, but it’s going to be a Democrat, that’s for sure,” said Alexakis. “I
like what we’ve got; I like both (Sanders and Clinton). We’ll see what
happens. I think both can win. I want them to play nice and not leave a lot of
blood in the water in this primary choosing. But with the knuckleheads that
we’re up against I feel pretty confident.”