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Chevelle opens at Saltair tonight

Drummer Sam Loeffler and his guitar-playing brother Joe have been performing together for 12 years.

"We've always been interested in music," Sam Loeffler said during a phone interview from Hollywood, Calif. "We were into hard melodic music. We were into fIREHOSE and the Minutemen. And then he, being a guitarist, studied a bit of Van Halen."Loeffler's band, Chevelle, which also features little brother Joe on bass, will open for Filter at Saltair tonight. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The idea of including his brother on bass was something that just happened, said Loeffler.

"Pete and I were in a band with another bassist," he explained. "The bassist had to take some time off and we had a gig to do. So Joe stepped in and rehearsed. A short while after the gig, the other bassist told us he was leaving for school, so Joe became permanent."

There are pros and cons of being in a band with your brothers, said Loeffler.

"Well, we grew up with each other, so we're a little less tolerant of each other than we would be with others," he said with a laugh. "But we also know each other, and know when to give each other space. We don't, however, have fistfights, like every other sibling band in the business."

Chevelle's single, "Mia," has brought the band to the forefront of MTV's "120 Minutes," as well as appearances on M2, the Box and Chicago's JBTV.

The band's music is also featured in the "Skydive!" CD-ROM game. And Chevelle has shared the stage with Orange 9mm, Local H, Joan Jett, Type O Negative, Big Sugar and Dovetail Joint.

"We are very lucky to have a manager that helps us keep our integrity," Loeffler said. "That's something we want to make sure we have. If we want to change our ideas, that's OK. But it isn't OK if we change just because people want us to."

While the band is touring to support its most recent album, "Point #1," the Loeffler sibs are thinking about a new album.

"We're taking two new songs on the road," Loeffler said. "We're pretty excited about them. We still want to make hard, melodic music, but these are a little harder."

And unlike other artists who prepare a lifetime for a debut album and the well runs dry, Loeffler said Chevelle is somewhat prepared.

"We wrote more than 80 songs and only 10 got on the last record," he explained. "There's a reason. We want to make sure we have a lot of songs to choose from."