Everclear lead singer Art Alexakis likes to think of himself as a “rock ’n’ roll matchmaker” when discussing the popular ’90s rock tour known as Summerland.
amNewYork had a chance to chat with Alexakis about this year’s lineup, his criteria for joining the tour and what irritates him the most when it comes to live acts.
What made you want to start Summerland?
I felt like there were so many great bands from the ’90s that were still out there playing and still making records and people just seemed to want to see that kind of thing.
Talk to me about this year’s lineup. Who can we expect to hear?
Let’s start with Soul Asylum. I was a Minneapolis fan back in the ’80s when I was in college … and I really loved Soul Asylum. Eve 6? I’ve known those guys since high school, believe it or not. They’re one of my favorite bands. And what can I say about Spacehog? I think they made one of the best and most underrated albums of the ’90s. And now this is going to be their first major U.S. tour in 11 years.
What criteria do you look for when inviting a band to join the tour?
The criteria is you’ve got to have huge, iconic rock hits from the ’90s and you’ve got to be a real band, touring and putting out records. No mothball bands, no bands that just come out for the summer tour then hibernate until the next one. The other criteria, is [THAT]you’ve got to play your hits. A lot of bands feel like they’re too cool to play their hits and that irritates me to no end.
What plans are in the works for Everclear beyond Summerland?
We got a brand new album. [We] recorded it at [the band] Live’s studio in York, [Pennsylvania]. It’s the hardest rock record since “Sparkle and Fade” or “World of Noise.” That’s going to come out either later this year or early next year. I’m super stoked to play a couple songs off that [at Summerland] for sure.
If you go:
When: June 17
Where: Irving Plaza