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525 Power Tracks  - Featured Artist


Chevelle - band

Pete Loeffler: vocals, guitars
Sam Loeffler: drums
Dean Bernardini: bass, live backing vocals

Chevelle, Sam Loeffler Interview, Listen NowChevelle, a hard rock band from Grayslake, IL,  formed in 1994 with the members of Sam Loeffler, Pete Loeffler (brothers) and Matt Scott. Matt was later replaced in 1996 by Joe Loeffler as bass player. On July 10, 2005 Joe was fired because of “irreconcilable differences”. Geno Lenardo (Filter) filled in until August 2005, when Dean Bernardini (brother-in-law to the Loefflers) became the new bass player of Chevelle.

Inspired by the lurching riffs of Helmet and the soft/loud vocal styling of Tool, Chicago-based trio Chevelle’s aggressive, heavy sound is all about mounting tension exploding into raw guitar bursts. They started out playing parties and outdoor events, which quickly led to bookings at Chicago clubs when youngest member Joe was just 16. In 1999, Chevelle released their Steve Albini-produced debut album, Point #1, on Squint Entertainment. Three years later — and following tours with bands like Filter, Sevendust, Powerman 5000, and Machine Head — the band had inked a deal with Epic and issued Wonder What’s Next, released in August 2002. The album went platinum by the next summer and their second single, “PlaySend the Pain Below,” was a number one hit on modern rock and mainstream radio.

Chevelle released their newest album, Vena Sera, on April 13, 2007., Vena Sera.
The album was recorded with producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette, whom the band previously worked with on both “This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)” and “Wonder What’s Next” albums. Vena Sera debuted at number 12 in the Billboard 200 with Chevelle being the only rock band in the Top 15.

Chevelle started writing songs for their fifth album in 2008. In 2009, the band entered a studio in Nashville, Tennessee with pro
ducer Brian Virtue. Sam Loeffler stated, "We have spent a lot of time making these songs something different from past records without losing the core of our passion. We are a hard rock, melodic band and it's still what drives us as musicians." Chevelle is issuing updates and videos from the studio on its official Myspace page as the album is being recorded. On April 9th, 2009, in their first concert back in Atlanta Georgia, Chevelle premiered two new songs from the new album: "Letter From a Thief" and "Sleep Apnea". During an interview with Sam, it was confirmed that Sci-Fi Crimes would serve as the title of Chevelle's upcoming fifth studio album set to be released on August 31st, 2009.

CHEVELLE La Gárgola by Rick Florino, February 2014

CHEVELLE open yet another doorway on their seventh full-length record, La Gárgola [Epic Records]. After nearly two decades together, six albums, and countless sold out gigs, the Chicago alternative rock outfit—Pete Loeffler [guitars, vocals], Sam Loeffler [drums], and Dean Bernardini [bass, vocals]—confidently sail through uncharted waters and emerge with a collection that's equally intricate and intimate.

Certainly, it builds upon the group's impressive foundation, including the 2002 platinum-selling genre staple Wonder What's Next and the gold-certified follow-up This Type of Thinking Could Do Us In as well as experimental epic Sci-Fi Crimes and, most recently, 2011's Hats Off To The Bull, which respectively debuted at #9 and #19 on the Billboard Top 200. However, their signature style naturally morphs into a powerful and passionate new beast, otherwise known as La Gárgola—Spanish for "Gargoyle."

"I don't want Chevelle to sound like every other rock band out there," declares Pete. "On this album, we experimented with a lot of stomp boxes, vintage amps, effects, and tools that we never had in the past. It nods to the spirit of Sci-Fi Crimes, but we went further than ever. I had a clear path I wanted to follow."

"This is a little more alternative," Sam adds. "It's still us, but it stands out."

The trio augmented its creative arsenal both musically and lyrically. Pete immersed himself in the classic work of fellow Chicagoans the iconic Ministry, culling an industrial sensibility for his latest compositions. That's most prominent within the bruising guitar throb of "Jawbreaker" and the apocalyptic haze of "The Island" where electronic percussion collides with fuzzed-out six-string twang.

"My brother always swore off drum machines," laughs Pete. "I wanted that fast, dark, and aggressive tone so I bought him an electronic drum kit as a compromise. We wrote in an industrial way, adding something else to what we normally would do."

At the same time, when he wasn't writing or riffing, Pete was religiously watching The Walking Dead in addition to horror classics such as Rosemary's Baby and the original Friday The 13th series. A direct correlation happens on their self-proclaimed "zombie song", "The Damned", which packs a fast and focused punch. Overall, Chevelle breathe fresh life into their music from multiple angles.

"I've always liked horror films," the frontman continues. "Watching them is like riding a roller coaster. Your heart rate goes up, and that's perfect for our music. I talk about so many dark subjects on the album. That's why the album title fits. A gargoyle is a very creepy and cool creature for what it means and depicts. These mythical demons are so fascinating because it's actually socially acceptable to put them on the corner of buildings!"

In order to capture their own newfound fire, the band teamed up with Hats Off To The Bull producer Joe Barresi [Queens of The Stone Age, Tool, Coheed and Cambria] once again. They retreated to his Pasadena, CA studio and embarked down an unmapped path together in late 2013.

"You don't want to repeat yourself," affirms Sam. "Joe always pushes us to try new things. He's not content to let us fall into a formula. He wants to seize something different with each song. Every record has to take on its own identity, and he gets that. As an artist, you have to progress."

The first single "Take Out The Gunman" reflects that progression. It locks and loads an ominous guitar lick with a snap before the singer's voice begins to transfix with a breathy verse and booming hook. Simultaneously, it examines a looming social issue without prejudice or pandering.

"Clearly, we have an issue right now with mental illness and those afflicted getting guns," Pete explains. "This is a scenario of someone dealing with that and their perspective as they try to get out of the situation. It's a heavy topic, and there's no easy fix or solution. Every day, there's a shooting in the news. You can't ignore it. The subject has weighed heavily on me. I didn't want to go into my personal feelings though. I just wanted to talk about the situation. How do you get out of it and fight back? Maybe it will make people think and spark up a conversation."

Elsewhere on the record, Chevelle ebb and flow throughout "One Ocean". The track meanders from elegant soundscapes punctuated by horns into a thought-provoking hum from Pete. "This is more of a serious song," he says. "It's about being called to the ocean for some reason. Every time I'm on the West Coast, I've enjoyed the Pacific. I had been reading up on the ocean's health. If we keep polluting it constantly, that's going to catch up with us. We can't live without it. It's totally different for us."

"We've never written a song like it before," Sam concurs. "That was a special one because everybody really felt it. It's one of our favorites." Ultimately, Chevelle are inviting everybody to join them in this space.

"This record is more of a fantasy world," concludes Pete. "I don't want to write about fucking breakups. I hope La Gárgola takes people somewhere else. I wanted to create something fun in a dark way. It's meant to be an escape. That was the focus." — Rick Florino, February 2014

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