If Art Alexakis had released his first draft of So Much for the Afterglow, people might’ve said “so much for Everclear” back in 1997.
Speaking with ABC Audio, Alexakis recalls his A&R rep’s less-than-favorable first impression of what he’d initially recorded.
“He’s, like, ‘It’s not bad, but it’s not great, and it’s not gonna do what you want it to do. It’s not gonna perpetuate your career,'” Alexakis shares.
At the time, Everclear was coming off 1995’s Sparkle and Fade, which spawned their breakout track “Santa Monica.” Alexakis’ A&R felt that what he’d written as a follow-up was a recipe for the dreaded “sophomore slump.”
“He’s, like, ‘I know you’ve got better in you, you can make this better. There’s some great ideas here, you need to flesh them out better,'” Alexakis remembers, adding that the A&R was “absolutely right.”
“It broke my heart to hear it ’cause I kinda got my a** kicked a little on it,” he continues. “But it just shows you, you need to get your a** kicked every now and then in life, because that’s not what defines you. How you pick yourself up and what you do after it does.”
Alexakis picked himself up by reexamining every song on the album.
“I went through every song just with a magnifying glass and just [thought], ‘Can I make this better?'” Alexakis says. “If I can’t make it better, take it off the record.”
Eventually, Alexakis turned Afterglow into the album that was officially released, which spawned the singles “Father of Mine,” “Everything to Everyone” and “I Will Buy You a New Life.” The record, which turned 25 this month, is now certified double-Platinum by the RIAA.
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