When duty calls, the dutiful report.
Chevelle had to delay work on their next album for two weeks earlier
this month because frontman Pete Loeffler was called for federal jury duty. “Even rock stars can’t get out of it,” his brother, drummer Sam
Loeffler, laughed. “We really believe that it’s our responsibility to do jury duty. I did
it before and so did [our brother/bassist] Joe. You have real life
sometimes, and that’s just a part of it.”
Pete did his time and was released without serving on a case, and now
Chevelle are back in the studio writing for their next album, which they hope to have
out by next summer. They’ve currently got 11 songs in rough form, though
many are missing intros, outros, bridges and lyrics.
Despite their prenatal condition, the tracks are already a developmental step ahead of the ones on the band’s platinum second album, Wonder What’s Next,
Sam said. They’re still rooted in a melodic hard rock framework, but the songs are
heavier at times and are shaping up to be more complex. Chevelle were inspired to experiment more with tempos and arrangements by groups they toured with on Ozzfest.
“Apex Theory are a really amazing band, and we’ve adopted some of their ideas
and their style,” Sam said (see “Apex Theory Offer ’Hope’ To Metal — Diggy-Da” ). “Also, we really like Pulse Ultra. They’re heavy
and really dynamic. They have a lot of different guitar sounds and their singer
is almost operatic at times. We want Pete to go a bit higher and use his
range a little more like that” (see “Ozzfest Act Pulse Ultra Lead New Nu-Metal Crusade” ).
One problem with being ambitious is recreating that creativity live as a
trio. Chevelle haven’t totally written off the idea of some day adding another
guitarist for touring, but right now it’s not on their agenda. So they’re striving
to keep their musicianship just simple enough for Pete to be able to sing and
“When you have two different things going on like that it really hinders your
ability to switch up meter,” Sam said. “So we’ll sometimes end up watering it
down a little bit to make it manageable.”
Chevelle will continue writing through November 1, when they’ll launch a
headlining tour with S.T.U.N. (see “Chevelle Plan Headlining Tour, Are Happy To Offer
Fans ’Closure’ “ ). The Chicago trio will resume writing when they return
from the road December 17.
“We’ve written a couple things on tour in the past, but it’s hard because
there’s no drum kit,” Sam said. “Pete has to write acoustically, then bring what
he’s done to me when we get back into the studio before we try to make an
actual song out of it.”
For fans who can’t wait for the next studio album, Chevelle are selling the
10-song concert album Live From the Road on their Web site. The disc
was recorded earlier this year during gigs opening for the Foo Fighters and at
headline shows on days off from Ozzfest.
“We recorded it ourselves on hard disk with a 24-track recorder,” Sam said.
“It’s exactly what we sound like in real life. It’s not built up or Pro Tooled
out. And we had fun listening to it, so we thought we’d make it available