The rock band Everclear was quite popular in the ’90s thanks to hit singles like “Santa Monica,” “Everything to Everyone,” “I Will Buy You a New Life,” and “Wonderful.” The band, led by vocalist and primary songwriter Art Alexakis, has remained on the music scene, consistently touring and releasing new albums. Now, the frontman has revealed that he is suffering from a debilitating disease.
On Tuesday, March 26, a note from Alexakis was sent out to members of the Everclear mailing list and was also posted on the group’s official website. In the letter, the 56-year-old artist revealed that he has relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
“I want to tell you something about me that you might not know,” the blond singer began his note to the fans who have stood by the band through thick and thin.
Alexakis then explained that he was in an automobile accident three years ago. He said that his car was totaled, but there were no serious injuries. However, two weeks after the incident, he started to feel “a tingle and numbness” in his arm, so he went to the doctor to get checked out. After undergoing an MRI, Alexakis found out that he had a pinched nerve.
“The pathologist also saw lacerations and suspicious marks on my spinal cord as well… scary, to say the least,” he explained.
The singer was then referred to a neurologist, who made him take “a ridiculous number of tests,” including additional MRIs, a spinal tap, more than 50 blood tests, and many cognitive and balance tests. He then received the relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis diagnosis and was told that he had anywhere from 10 to 20 years left to live.
“I went and sat in my car, and called my wife, and cried for about half an hour. I’m sure people in the parking lot thought I was losing it, and I guess I kind of was,” said Alexakis.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the disabling disease affects the central nervous system, disrupting the “flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.” The cause of multiple sclerosis is still unknown, but scientists believe that both environmental and genetic factors contribute to its development within the body.
After being diagnosed, the erstwhile actor was able to better understand why he had been having some balance and gait issues, was more sensitive to heat and cold, and why he didn’t have the “energy, vigor, and razor-sharp memory that [he] had 10 years ago,” which he originally thought was all just due to the fact that he was getting older.
Alexakis said that MS is just a part of his life now, but it has not stopped him from touring with Everclear, spending precious time with loved ones, and buying a dream house.
“All that said, I can feel the disease slowly growing in me,” he wrote.
“I now have to give myself injections three times a week. My neurologist says, as long as I stay on the medication, I should live into my 80s without progression. We shall see.”
The “Father of Mine” vocalist decided to go public about his disease at this time because he is tired of gossips saying that he is drinking and abusing drugs again because of his unsteadiness. While he doesn’t care about what most people have to say about him, Alexakis said that he wants his real fans to know the truth.
In the meantime, Alexakis has no plans of slowing down any time soon. He is continuing to tour with Everclear, finishing up his first solo album, Sun Songs, which he hopes to release early this summer, and is going to sit down and start writing his memoir later this year.
And, beginning May 1 in Walla Walla, Washington, he will be taking part in the “Songs & Stories Tour: An Evening with Art Alexakis of Everclear, Chris Collingwood of Fountains of Wayne, Max Collins of Eve 6, and John Wozniak of Marcy Playground.” The 32-date tour has the famous frontman playing gigs across North America until June 13 in Wichita, Kansas.
“So, if you see me stumbling… sweaty, looking both tired and anxious at the same time, maybe a little more confused than usual, or forgetting lyrics yet looking happy (which is weird for me), please know that I have not fallen off the wagon. I am just learning how to be the new me.”