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. “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”.
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 play simultaneously.
“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.. 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 to everyone.”