Chevelle to race into casinoWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The trio Chevelle is constantly fine-tuning its performance engine, adding torque and recalibrating its heavy sound, which has a reputation on the street.
“We’re always trying to do something a little different,” said drummer Sam Loeffler. “We’re still a melodic hard rock band; that’s what we like to write and play. But your tastes expand, your sound develops.”
Helping harness that horsepower is Joe Barresi, who produced the band’s 2011 disc, “Hats Off to the Bull,” which featured “Face to the Floor,” a track that motored to No. 3 on Billboard’s rock chart.
“Joe’s a great guy. He’s done so many great-sounding records that are classics when it comes to modern rock or alternative rock — things like Tool and Queens of the Stone Age and The Melvins’ records,” Loeffler said. “He’s such an experimental guy; he’s always open to try new things, so it was just very natural that we go with him.”
During a phone interview from his Chicago home, Loeffler said the group plans to start recording new music in October. Meanwhile, he and his brother, singer and guitarist Pete Loeffler, and their brother-in-law, bass player Dean Bernardini, are writing songs and playing weekend gigs.
“We’re working on our seventh record, and it’s hard to be a career rock band, but here we are and we’re really grateful,” Sam said. “And we’re still writing the music that we want to play every night; not everybody can say that.”
Sam and Pete formed the band in 1995; their brother, Joe, later joined and played bass.
“We were just playing a couple songs out with our friends and they said you need a name. We grew up around anything with wheels. So kind of as a joke, we went ‘Oh, let’s call ourselves Chevelle, it’ll be funny.’ It’s sort of the king of the muscle cars. And we were just never able to come up with anything better,” Sam said and laughed.
“Eventually, the band makes the name, the name doesn’t make the band.”
Chevelle revved up and turned heads with its 2002 disc, “Wonder What’s Next,” which debuted at No. 14 on Billboard’s album chart. “The Red,” “Send the Pain Below” and “Closure” were on the CD.
“This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)” came out in 2004; its first single, “Vitamin R (Leading Us Along),” topped the mainstream rock chart.
Joe was then replaced by Bernardini, and Chevelle rolled on with 2007’s “Vena Sera” and 2009’s “Sci-Fi Crimes.”
“There’s a song called ‘Sleep Apnea’ from ‘Sci-Fi Crimes’ that we love that we play pretty much every show. ‘Roswell’s Spell’ is a fun cut,” Sam said. “We still play ‘The Red’ every show. And ‘The Pain Below,’ people sing along to it.”
Chevelle will pull into Hollywood Casino Toledo for an 8 p.m. concert July 26. Tickets are $30.
“When you get to a show, you want people to feel like it’s Friday night and leave their problems at home,” Sam said.
And yes, the guys do have hot wheels.
“We have a ’69 Chevelle,” Sam said. “It’s satin silver. It’s not an everyday car, but it’s a ton of fun.”