Excerpted from the magazine for Billboard.com.
Though it has been hinted at before, Everclear fans now officially can add "political activist" to the many personas occupied by frontman Art Alexakis. "I'm at the point right now where I'm writing about things that are more political," he says. "I'm not trying to say we are the Clash or anything, but I do feel compelled to write about various abuses, things that are just not right about the state of the world today."
Never one to shy away from social commentary, Alexakis' newest lyrical observations -- many are diatribes against the American right wing -- bubble over on Everclear's sixth Capitol set, "Slow Motion Daydream," due March 11.
Alexakis, bassist Craig Montoya, and drummer Greg Eklund dissect the anxiety of global terrorism in "New York Times" and pay homage to horrors closer to home in "Chrysanthemum," which was written after the abduction and murder of a young girl not far from Alexakis' home in Portland, Ore.
"It's been a hard couple of years. There are no illusions anymore," Alexakis deadpans. "Am I a political activist? Yes, at every level, whether it is fighting a war I think is unjustified or going to a demonstration at a local reservoir they're trying to fill up without representation from the community."
The album also features the hooky, satirical first single, "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom," which is No. 30 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. Through a promotional tie-in with the Arena Football League (AFL), the video for the single is will be seen in venues prior to the games. The group will also turn out half-time performances at select games, some of which will air on NBC-TV, beginning April 13. Capitol is also finalizing a deal with a national retailer to offer discount coupons for the album with the purchase of AFL tickets.
The band will also be exposed through promotions involving the National Hotrod Association (NHRA) and motor oil company Castrol. The latter will kick into gear in April via a coupon on cases of Castrol GTX motor oil for a free CD sampler featuring Everclear and a handful of other Capitol and Virgin acts. An Everclear performance at the NHRA championship race in July is also likely.
Everclear is planning to launch a headlining tour slated in early spring. Currently, the band's schedule includes only a pair of shows Feb. 7-8 at Caesars Tahoe in Lake Tahoe, Nev. Dates will be posted on the band's official Web site (everclearonline.com, which is in the midst of a redesign. A note on the site promises the new version will boast "more media, more messages, more mayhem & more Everclear!"
Excerpted from the Feb. 15, 2003, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Billboard.com members section.
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