Musicians quit bands all the time but it’s not every day that two quit on the same day. That’s what happened with Craig Montoya and Greg Eklund, the bassist and drummer, respectively, for the alt-rock trio Everclear. Both members’ last show was in Palmer, Alaska on August 30, 2003.
“It just wasn’t fun anymore,” says Eklund today from his new Omaha digs, referencing the split. While Eklund is circumspect with regard to reasons why he left, he more than hints it had something to do with the guy who didn’t quit, chief songwriter/frontman Art Alexakis. “It’s not that tough to figure out,” he adds.
After he walked offstage in Alaska, Eklund had no communication with Alexakis whatsoever for nine years until they briefly exchanged pleasantries when the band was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2012. Eklund says he talks to Montoya on occasion, though he admits he never really had anything in common with he or Alexakis.
“Had we gone to the same high school,” Eklund says, “we wouldn’t have hung out.”
Today Eklund divides his time between being a stay-at-home dad (he has two sons), working on a solo album in his basement (he’s three-fourths done), touring with former Rock Star Supernova contestant, singer Storm Large and—though it’s been about eight years now—working with the alt-pop group The Oohlas.
He’s now been out of Everclear longer than he was in it, and now can see what was, for a time, a “shitty job,” as a rewarding one. “I’m proud of the music and when people come up to me and wanna talk about the music they’re very complimentary,” he says. “[They’ll say] ‘Santa Monica’ got me through a break-up or ‘Father of Mine,’ that was my experience. That’s great. I like hearing those stories. I mean I didn’t write the songs so I don’t take credit for the songs but it’s nice to be of someone’s life for whatever reason, good and bad.”