Everclear's Art Alexakis Plans Solo LP

Says he's already written most of the songs for the acoustic record.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Though his band is heavy into its current tour, Everclear's lead singer and guitarist Art Alexakis said he has begun working on a solo album of acoustic music, peppered with loops and samples a la his most recent studio work.

"It's going to be mainly acoustic stuff with some loops and samples," Alexakis said in a recent interview during a performance with his band here.

According to Alexakis, most of the songs for the debut solo record have already been written, and the singer stressed that it shouldn't take long to record the tracks. In fact, he is counting on wrapping everything up in less than two weeks' time, he added. "I just want to record it in 10 days or so," Alexakis said.

Last spring, Alexakis took material from his band's then-unreleased third album, So Much For The Afterglow, and played it at a number of solo acoustic shows, perhaps a sign of things to come for the songwriter and frontman for the Portland. Ore.-based aggressive rock trio. Apparently, that tour has sparked the singer's interest in putting together a complete album of his own material.

In the process of rearranging some of his most recent work, the singer recognized the difficulties of translating a hard-edged sound into a more stripped-down tune and decided to meet the challenge with a complete album of acoustic music that is certain to show another side of the songwriter.

"If you're playing it with one voice and an acoustic guitar, then you might have to do it differently and with different dynamics to make the song work as well [as it would with a band]," Alexakis said, comparing his live performances with Everclear to his solo work.

While the 32-year-old Alexakis expects to do most of the work on the album on his own, he plans to bring in a few friends to help lighten the load during recording, he added.

"I was going to do it all myself, but I've had some friends from other bands who want to play on it," he said.

Alexakis mentioned that Rami Jaffee of the Wallflowers was among the musicians who may contribute to the project. Jaffee played organ on "Normal Like You" and "I Will Buy You A New Life" from Afterglow. "Rami has these trick keyboards he wants to break out," Alexakis said.

As a testament to his more stripped-down tendencies these days, Alexakis and Everclear recently played in Indianapolis, where the band slowed down the tempo noticeably on three acoustic songs.

"I think he is the force behind the band," said Jen Snoddy, 22, of Franklin who attended both recent shows here.

Sandwiched in-between an hour's worth of aggressive rock 'n' roll, the trio of older songs from World of Noise and Sparkle And Fade (the band's first and second albums, respectively) was a respite from the high-volume distortion of the evening. Alexakis seemed happy to sit down and play popular hits such as "Heartspark Dollarsign" and "Strawberry" with an acoustic guitar.

"His acoustic is a driving music too; it's not distorted or mushy," Snoddy said.

Everclear's current tour plans have them playing without much of a break throughout the summer months.

But Alexakis has made it clear that he wants to take September off to record the solo album and relax with his family. "I want to spend time with my daughter, because she's getting ready for the first grade," Alexakis explained, sounding like a proud parent.