Chevelle is a family business.
Pete, 28, Sam, 29, and Joe Loeffler, 24, three Chicago-area brothers, have been making head-banging rock since 1995. Songs like "Vitamin R (Leading Us Along)" balance heavy, distorted guitar riffs with melodic lulls in the skewed metal tradition of Korn and Tool.
The group released its first album for Epic Records, "Wonder What's Next," in 2002. Powered by "Send the Pain Below," a single that topped Billboard's modern rock and mainstream rock charts, the album went platinum and landed the group on the Ozzfest tour.
Chevelle has followed this up with a second full-length album, "This Type of Thinking Could Do Us In," and the group now sits atop the heavy rock pile with just a few other bands. The album has sold well, going gold six weeks after its September release.
The trio has hit the road to promote the album, and the touring life has its share of stress and strains — particularly for band members in the same family.
Singer-guitarist Pete Loeffler talked with The Associated Press about smashed guitars, meathead fans and walking out on the Carson Daly show.
AP:You've been on tour since late October. Any good stories yet?
Loeffler: Since we're all brothers, we kind of fight and bicker a lot. First day of this tour, Joe destroyed his bass. Smashed it on the ground. He was ticked off at Sam. Chucked it at Sam. It was bad. The tour was over before it even started. Then we ended up patching it up that night and left the next morning. That's pretty much what we deal with on the road. That's the negative part of being in a band with brothers, and there's a lot of good stuff.
AP: Are you able to unwind when you finish a tour?
Loeffler: I like to run, mountain bike and take out our cars and beat on them and do doughnuts.
AP:What's it like being in a band with your two brothers?
Loeffler: You never know what side of the bed somebody's gonna roll off — roll out of their bunk and be in a good mood or a bad mood. We can come off stage and have a great show, and we can walk into the dressing room and somebody will just blow up at the other person for no reason. We have all this baggage that we brought into this. It's tough. I would never suggest it. When it works, it's amazing. But when it doesn't, it's hell. We're like literally living in hell. They're my brothers, but you know what, you shouldn't necessarily work with family.
AP:That sounds like it's rough. Are there any positives?
Loeffler: The positive is that you can trust your band members that nobody's going to do something to screw someone else financially. Sam is the drummer, and he takes care of the business aspect. I take care of writing music and the videos and the artwork. Joe pretty much fills in the low end onstage. He does interviews, which is cool. I can't say too much. He'll read it and kick my butt (laughs).
AP:Do your parents like your band?
Loeffler: They're cool. . . . They're pretty hip people.
AP: How has it been making videos this album?
Loeffler: We shot this video for "Vitamin R (Leading Us Along)," and I didn't have a guitar with me. I wanted to get a white one for the video. I ended up borrowing one of Dave Navarro's guitars from Jane's Addiction. So that guitar that I'm playing in that video is from Dave Navarro.
AP: You've played some television shows to promote this album. Do you get nervous when you're on camera?
Loeffler: I actually almost walked off the Carson Daly show because their crew started yelling at us. They were doing a camera block, and we were just trying to do sound check. So, we had to stop and make changes. I was yelling at them, they were yelling at me, so we walked off. We ended up doing it anyway.
AP:There are a lot of bands doing the heavy/melodic thing. How do you stand out?
Loeffler: We like to keep the dynamics in the music. . . . We don't just want to come out of the box heavy and stay there and not have the explosive ending or the energetic bridge. There're not a lot of bands out there that are writing quality lyrics so much. So we really try and focus on those and try and not just rhyme for rhyming's sake.
AP:Are there any lyrical themes you gravitate toward?
Loeffler: We gravitate toward making fun of big bruisers. That song "Forfeit" is all about when there's a mosh pit, you always have that big tough guy out there who's trying to kill people. That song is making fun of those people. It's like, "Yeah, I want you to jump around. Have a good time. . . . Vent. Go to a show and get lost for an hour or two in the music and enjoy. But don't go out and kick people's butts."