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Interview:
Chevelle at DTE, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

» See more SOUND CHECK

Twenty years ago Chevelle released its first album, "Point #1." And the hard rock trio from suburban Chicagoland hasn't looked back since.



Since then it's been eight studio releases (nine if you count the 2018 rarities set "12 Bloody Spies"), with another currently in motion. Chevelle has notched 13 Top 5 Mainstream Rock singles on the Billboard charts -- five of which hit No. 1 -- has also logged time on tours such as OZZFest and Disturbed's Music As a Weapon package. It also just announced a new bear, named La Gargola after its 2014 album.



There have been some stumbles along the way -- notably the acrimonious departure of bassist Joe Loeffler during 2005, but his brothers Pete and Sam Loeffler and brother-in-law Dean Bernardini have kept Chevelle rolling, and there's no plan to apply the brakes any time soon...



• After a bit of quiet time following the touring to support 2016's "The North Corridor," Chevelle is happy to be back on the road again. "We haven't done a ton of show sin the last year and a half -- maybe 12 or 13," singer-guitarist Pete Loeffler says, "so this is going to be 10 weeks straight of rock festival-style, blow it out every night. It's going to be fun. And it's a big summer (amphitheater) tour, so we're excited about that, too. (Playing live) is what we do, so it's a good feeling to be back. I miss it, hugely."



• The summer trek is also giving Chevelle its first extended hang with tourmates Breaking Benjamin. "We've hung out a few times before," Loeffler says. "Ben (Burnley) and I text randomly to each other. But this is definitely the first major run we've done together. It's a long time out -- so more time to get on each other's nerves. (laughs) I think it's a good bill, though. It’s just going to be a blowout every night."



• Loeffler says Chevelle has spent much of the past year and a half writing its ninth studio album, which it began recording during late May with producer Joe Barresi. The guitarist says the process has "been quite difficult," mostly due to internal creative pressures. "We're just going for the next level on this one. Joe has been pushing us harder and harder and more than he ever has. I think he's right, too, so it's just been sort of searching for the next level -- what are we going to contribute and where do we stand and what do we want to communicate through music now? It has been tough, but I think that the music is next level, I really do."



• This year marks 20 years since Chevelle's first album, "Point #1," which Loeffler says feels like it was another lifetime in many ways. "I think that we did not know what we were getting into. The recording we had done before was on our own in a basement with an 8-track (recorder). Then you're thrown into the fire with a legend (Steve Albini) who recorded Nirvana, PJ Harvey and the Melvins and stuff like that. We were kind of wide-eyed and just rolling with it. But we learned a lot really quickly and we learned about things we want to do, things we don't want to do and moved on from there. If I went back now that record would be quite a bit different, naturally, but it was a time -- we were kids, and it was the beginning.



• Loeffler adds that he "could not have dreamed" that he'd still be playing in and talking about Chevelle 20 years later, either. "I think I had probably hoped, but I don't think I thought that far ahead. I don't think I thought five years ahead -- I don't think any 21-year-old does that. I think because everything is big, everything is new, everything is right around the corner. You'd get an excited phone call, 'Oh, we get the option to tour with...' this band or that band, 'which one do you want to do?' So you didn't have time to think that far ahead. We're just happy to still be here and still excited to get in the studio and release something. It's incredible."



Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Three Days Grace and Dorothy perform at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. $29.50 and up. 313-471-7000 or 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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