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All About Art

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Art's Biography-- Arthur Paul Alexakis was born on the 12th April, 1962 in West Los Angeles, California. He grew up lower-middle-class in a housing project in Culver City, California. He was the youngest of five children (one other brother, and 3 sisters), and raised by his mother.

When Art was only five years old, his father ran out on him and his family, and his parents divorced - which Art based the song Father Of Mine on.

His father moved to Florida. As quoted by Art in an interview "My dad never paid child support and was basically an asshole". He used to send Art a birthday card and a Christmas card every year with a five dollar bill and that was all he ever heard from him - "that was my dad".

For the next 5 years until he was aged 10, Art lived in the housing project with his mom.

At age 8, Art first starting drinking, at 9 he was smoking cones, he was dropping acid at age 11, and he shot dope when he was 13.

When Art was just 12 years old, in the year of 1974, a tragic event occurred in his life. His older brother, George Paul, to whom Art was very close and looked up to a great deal, died of a Heroin overdose. He was apparently a 'speed-freak drug dealer' and his death occurred when he was just 21. This, understandably so, affected Art and his family a great deal - "I kind of went off the deep end. My whole family kind of fell apart." (addicted to noise)

In the song Heroin Girl Art refers to an event from this incident with the line "I heard a policeman say just another overdose". His mother actually did hear a policeman say this. And the song Fire Maple Song also deals with his brother's death.

A few years later, his girlfriend also died from an overdose. Also, Art tried to kill himself sometime shortly after his brother George died. He jumped off a bridge into a river, but he survived because he said he heard the voice of his brother telling him to live. So Art swam and barely survived. He was rushed to a hospital after he was found.

Another event that occurred when Art was 12 was, he lost his virginity. "I was 12, she was 15. Her name was Carol and we did it in the back of a car. All the people were sitting around watching. They were like 15 and 18 and they were watching the 'little kids having sex.' I was told I was pretty good - even then...She was not a virgin and her 19-year-old boyfriend was watching us and cheering us on. Lots of drugs. It was the '70s, man. It's one of the few things I've been good at but you can't get a decent job...It doesn't look very good on a resume." (Juice Magazine, Oct '97)

Throughout his teenage years, Art got into a lot of trouble with the police, and he spent some time in Juvenile Hall, as well as jail later on. He was charged with burglary, possession, dealing, and even assault one time. He was in a bad crowd, doing a lot of drugs, but he was also playing music. "I got a guitar and played and played and played," he says, "I was just a guitar player for a long time, plus I was doing a lot of drugs. Cocaine, speed, heroin. To me it was cool to do that. That was my identity. Drugs. I did drugs. And I didn't like myself enough to think that I could do anything else, basically." (Addicted to noise)

When Art turned 18, he received $10 000 as insurance money from the death of his brother, George. With part of this money, he went out and bought a black Toyota Corolla. However, four years later this was stolen and Art used the insurance money from the theft to buy some more cocaine.

He was now 22 years old (1984). He shot up, overdosed and nearly died. This event caused Art to decide to go cold turkey and he's been straight now for 14 years. "I overdosed really bad," he says. "I tried to put quarters of a gram of coke in one shot in my arm. I woke up with the paramedics. About six months later, I started having anxiety and panic attacks real bad and had to get treatment for that. That's basically when I just cleaned my life up. Quit smoking, quit drinking. It was either that or put a gun to my head." (Addicted to noise).

For the next few years Art spent his time trying to get his life back into order. He worked in a lot of different jobs, including road manager for small bands, driver, and many more. He also studied film at Santa Monica College and U.C.L.A., and he was in 2 other bands called the Easy Hoes and Shakin' Brave.

In 1987 he moved to San Francisco with his first wife, and he eventually started up his own record label, Shindig Records, an indie label specializing in alternative bands with countryish styles. At the same time he started up another band called Colorfinger who were an alternative/country type band. He released an album with Colorfinger called Deep In The Heart Of The Beast In The Sun in the year 1990 on his own record label, Shindig.

He sent the album off to Capitol Records president, Gary Gersh (A & R man at Geffen Records at the time), because he was the guy who had signed Sonic Youth so Art thought that was cool. "He sent me a letter saying I think this stuff sounds kind of dated but I think your voice is cool and I think you write really great songs. Please keep sending me new stuff. He wrote by hand, 'Gary.' " Colorfinger toured a tiny bit and gained a few fans around the SF area, but they never signed a major label deal. However, a short while later, Shindig's distributor, Rough Trade went bankrupt and therefore Shindig went down also. So, Colorfinger broke up and Art and his new girlfriend, Jenny Dodson, decided to move to Portland, Oregon in 1991. "I moved to Portland because my life was falling apart, because my record label went under, my girlfriend's pregnant, my band's falling apart. So I'm going to go to Portland." After he moved to Portland, he married Jenny and they had a daughter named Annabella Rose, whom Art is totally devoted to. -Art Alexakis fan club.

In 1992, after moving to Portland, Art placed an ad in a local newspaper. The ad got two responses, one from bass player Craig Montoya, and one from drummer Scott Cuthbert. In fact, their first practice as Everclear was four days after the birth of Art's daughter, Anna.

They recorded the demo that would later be known as World of Noise for $400 as a tape to give to clubs to get gigs. It later became their 1993 debut album. In 1994, Scott Cuthbert was dismissed from the band.

Local drummer Greg Eklund had wanted to join the band for a while. He eventually got a hold of Art's telephone number, and called him up. The band held an informal audition, leaving out any mention of Capitol Records' interest in the band. Having passed the audition, Greg joined Everclear.

In 1995, they released Sparkle and Fade, followed by So Much for the Afterglow in October of 1997. They toured extensively for both albums and the band is now having a well-deserved break for a couple of years. Art is working on a solo album, and many other things too . -Everclear FAQ