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« on: August 10, 2006, 09:21:32 PM »

Everclear Frontman on Controversial New Music Video

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 8, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, Jesus portrayed by two music figures. Madonna has been criticized by the Vatican for her mock crucifixion on stage during her concerts. The papacy believes it is insulting to Jesus and a desecration. Madonna apparently doesn't care what the Vatican thinks.

Also, the American rock band Everclear has released a video on the Net that is designed to offend at least some followers of Jesus.

O'REILLY: All right. Joining us now from Portland, Oregon, is the front man for Everclear, Art Alexakis.

In this video, Jesus is portrayed as having an orgy, meeting strippers, knocking out an old lady, stealing her necklace, stealing from a homeless man, drinking, driving at the same time. What's the point?

ART ALEXAKIS, LEAD SINGER, EVERCLEAR: He was drinking holy water.

O'REILLY: Whatever. What's the point?

ALEXAKIS: Actually, brother, to be honest with you, that's not Jesus.

O'REILLY: OK. So the horns on and yes.

ALEXAKIS: Your assumption that it's Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill, it's not Jesus. That's a representation of my idea first of all, this is a breakup song, right? This is a song, went through a divorce a couple of years ago. The whole work is dealing with that breakup.

So this is a breakup song that I wanted to show a different face of hate. Everybody who goes through breakup goes through a place where you're sad, where you're feeling lonesome, when you're feeling hate. Well, this is the part when you're feeling hate.

But what we wanted to show in this video is a different face of hate. We could have went political or we could have went religious.

O'REILLY: OK. So why are you wearing the crown of thorns here?

ALEXAKIS: Well, I'm not wearing the crown of thorns.

O'REILLY: Well, whoever the lead guy is that we're watching right now. I thought it was you.

ALEXAKIS: Who, Chris, the actor?

O'REILLY: Yes, you guys look alike. You ought to stop hanging around together. Why is he wearing a crown of thorns?

ALEXAKIS: I wish I looked that good. Listen, he's wearing a crown of thorns because he's a representation of what Jesus could be if he had made the wrong choice.

O'REILLY: I see. Is that clear someplace in the video that you're making it clear to the people watching that that this is a Jesus who made the wrong choices?

ALEXAKIS: Well, if you have to spell it out for people it's not really artwork, is it? It becomes a textbook.

O'REILLY: I know. I spell it out, and I think I'm an artist out here every night. I don't want anybody misinterpreting or saying that gee, I'm a blasphemer, as many people have done on this. What is...

ALEXAKIS: Hold on a second.

O'REILLY: Look, I'm not in your world. So I just got to ask you these dumb questions.

ALEXAKIS: You aren't in my world but if you say it back it up.

O'REILLY: I will.

ALEXAKIS: Wait a minute. Hold on. Look at the people who are saying they like it and don't like it. Eighty-five percent like it. Look at any Web site. OK? That's the numbers...

O'REILLY: But that's your crew. They like what you do.

ALEXAKIS: That's not my numbers.

O'REILLY: But that's your crew watching this thing. The video features the heathen version of Jesus, dubbed Hater Jesus?

ALEXAKIS: Where did you get heathen?

O'REILLY: Well, this is just a description of it. And the video is dedicated to Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

ALEXAKIS: That is true. You finally said something honest and true.

O'REILLY: I'm just trying to get to the bottom of this. A little confused.

ALEXAKIS: Let's get to the bottom of it.

O'REILLY: So know you're incorporating Falwell and Robertson into a video that features a guy dressed up, or at least with a crown of thorns, that's making the wrong decisions in life. Can you link that? Can you explain that for me?

ALEXAKIS: Sure, I'd love to. Let me make an assumption here. You grew up Roman Catholic?


ALEXAKIS: OK. I grew up with a single mom who was a born again Christian, hard core, 1970's. All right. So I got sent to these churches. I had this stuff indoctrinated into me.

My mother, God rest her soul, she died in February from cancer. Her whole life after her youngest son became successful and started taking care of her and supporting her, would take the money that I gave her and send it to these people. These people who claim to be men of God, who claim to be empowered by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ wouldn't have anything to do with these people.

O'REILLY: But you're judging them, and you don't know them. You never met them.

ALEXAKIS: No, that is my judge. I'm going by what they say. You're judging me by what...

O'REILLY: I'm not judging you at all. I'm asking you questions about this thing. You don't know Robertson. And you don't know Falwell. And by the way, I've been critical of both men on this broadcast, but I would never judge them.

ALEXAKIS: No. I'm judging what they say and what they do. I'm not judging them as people. I'm sure they're very nice people.

O'REILLY: Well, I don't know about that. You seem to be putting them in a position...

ALEXAKIS: You don't know if Pat Robertson is a nice person?

O'REILLY: No, I don't know of whether you're not judging them. You seem to be judging them and putting a pejorative on what they do. And that's what you just said, that they misuse the money that your mother sent them. And that they're not...

ALEXAKIS: Not just my mom but millions of moms.

O'REILLY: All right, your opinion and you're entitled to it. Now, so you believe that this song has no relation to Jesus, the deity that millions of Americans believe in, it has no relationship to him at all, this video?

ALEXAKIS: I'm not saying it has no relationship. I'm using icons. We're using icons.

I didn't write this video. Charles Jensen did a really intelligent writer and director. But I loved where he went with it, so I stand by it 100 percent.

O'REILLY: All right.

ALEXAKIS: We made this for a tenth of what we make videos on the streets of Portland. If this was some big, as I've seen some people on the right call it, some big publicity stunt, I think we would have spent more money than most of you people spend on your suits.

O'REILLY: I don't know exactly what that means, but I appreciate you coming on.

ALEXAKIS: Oh, yes, you do.

O'REILLY: All right.

Everclear Frontman on Controversial New Music Video

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