Chevelle takes on bullfighting and Bernie Madoff on latest album.
The Chicago-based band Chevelle has been at it for more than a decade, seemingly unscathed by the pressure to remain on top of the alternative-rock music scene and despite the band’s notorious lineup change.
In 1995, Chevelle started out with the three Loeffler brothers — Pete (guitar-vocals), Joe (bass) and Sam (drums) — until Joe was replaced with Dean Bernardini, another family member.
Despite this and other obstacles, Chevelle, which performs at the House of Blues at Showboat in Atlantic City on Saturday, March 3, has remained focused on its own style of music over the course of six albums, starting with 1999’s Point #1.
Even through all of the controversy surrounding the band, Pete Loeffler and company have pressed on, engaging fans with Chevelle’s loud and aggressive style of music.
The band has certainly created its own style, both in terms of lyric writing and performance, which is evident on all of its recordings. Having been labeled everything from “alternative” to “metal” to “Christian rock” — Chevelle initially signed to a Christian label just to get its music out there — the band’s success speaks for itself despite the changing categorizations.
Chevelle’s hard work ethic paid off. More than 10 of the band’s singles have hit the Billboard charts, including two No. 1 hits — 2003’s “Send the Pain Below” and the following year’s “Vitamin R (Leading Us Along)” — and Chevelle’s albums, such as 2004’s This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In) and its most recent release, Hats Off to the Bull, both cracked the top 10.
Released in December 2011, Hats Off to the Bull is the latest addition to the band’s artistically expansive discography. The album’s first single, “Face to the Floor,” remained in the No. 1 spot on radio’s Active Rock Chart for an impressive 13 weeks.
“I was shocked it did so well,” Pete Loeffler tells Atlantic City Weekly during a recent phone interview. “It has big shoes to fill,” he adds, regarding the band’s next single and their latest album’s title track, “Hats Off to the Bull.”
Despite the road bumps along the way, the members of Chevelle have been determined to keep doing what they love and remain in the race to see another day. Luckily for the band’s earliest fans, that day turned into another several years of insightful and inspiring music. Chevelle fans have remained loyal, even through all of the drama and evolution of the band’s music.
“We hope we’re not losing any of our fans because we try to progress,” adds Loeffler. “We don’t want to lose our original sound, but we also want to progress.”
Loeffler stays optimistic when asked about gaining new fans with each new album.
“We’re not just breaking on the scene; we’re not a fad,” he says, adding that social media has become — just recently — something the band has been utilizing to reach a more diverse audience.
“I think it’s harder to try and make new, younger fans,” he says. “I actually just started [a] Twitter account last year, so I’ve been on Twitter. I have my own personal account that I run, and then we have the Chevelle one, of course. But that’s one of the ways we try to connect. Sam takes care of [our] Facebook [page] so he’s always posting on there and we’re trying to roll with the times. … It is actually kind of fun to do Twitter. I didn’t think it would be.”
In a recent phone interview with All-American Rejects guitarist Mike Kennerty, he addresses the Rejects’ fans, the new album — released March 27 on Interscope — and the tour, which will be making a stop in Atlantic City at the Borgata on Friday, April 13.
Chevelle headlines at the House of Blues this Saturday, March 3, and guitarist/vocalist Pete Loeffler spoke to Atlantic City Weekly about the band's ambitions and inspiration.
Atlantic City has tried on different looks to entice visitors to town, from playing up its place as an adult playground to a strategy to be more family-friendly. However the Showboat went in yet another direction when the casino championed its hotel as a place where you can let the dogs in.
Promotions and specials deals at the Showboat.
Kool and the Gang will be opening for the legendary hard rockers, which also includes Eddie Van Halen, his son Wolfgang replacing Michael Anthony on bass, and Alex Van Halen on drums.
Revel reportedly outbid another Atlantic City Casino to book the popular pop rock band, but it’s unlikely they’ll actually christen the new showroom.
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