Chevelle frontman Pete Loeffler says he and his two bandmates were "kind of shocked" when their seventh studio album, "La Gargola," snared the highest chart positions of the hard rocking trio's 15-year career -- No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and its second No. 1 on the Alternative Albums survey -- after its April 1 release.
"We knew that album had something special to it with the vibe in the studio," says Loeffler, 27, "but when people started hearing it, friends and stuff, they told us it was kind of a little bit different for us, in a good way. "And people went out and bought it that first week, you know? That was insane."
But Loeffler's older brother and Chevelle drummer Sam Loeffler, 39, puts the achievement in perspective. "Well, we weren't up against Beyonce, which was nice," he notes.
Nevertheless, "La Gargola's" success, which also includes the No. 1 Mainstream Rock single "Take Out the Gunman," is a validation of Pete Loeffler's creative vision for the 10-song set.
"La Gargola," the singer and guitarist notes, is different by design. The melodic hard rock elements of suburban Chicago group's previous releases are there, but this set leans more towards abrasive heavy metal, reflecting the industrial rock Pete says he was listening to prior to making the album. It was a tough sell for his brother and brother-in-law, bassist Dean Bernardini, and Pete says there was even "a moment of panic," during the sessions when he had to call a time out and gather everyone together to discuss where Chevelle was headed.
"At one point they were like, 'Man, we're not vibing on what you're throwing with us right now," Pete, 37, says. "So we walked outside and I said, 'Look, you've got to trust me on this. Some of this stuff's really good.' " And the internal pressure wound up pushing him to write more songs, including the second single "Hunter Eats Hunter" and "Twinge," which he says helped his bandmates settle into his vision.
"It's good to have a little bit of honesty. You get further with that," Pete says. "I trust my guys. We have that conversation every album -- 'Hey, where we at? You guys vibing this?' -- 'cause I have to lean on them. They're my guys. We've been doing this a long time together."
89X Chill on the Hill
Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 6-7. Doors open at 1 p.m.
The Offspring, a Day to Remember, Bad Religion, Group Love and more (Saturday); Rise Against, AWOLNATION, Chevelle, Taking Back Sunday, the Orwells and more (Sunday)
Weekend passes are $99.89 and $79.89 pavilion, $29.89 lawn. Single day tickets are $59.89 and $49.89 pavilion, $19.89 lawn.
Call (586) 268-5100 or visit www.freedomhill.net
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