When people of a certain age hear the name Chevelle, they typically think of Chevrolet’s high performance sports coupe from the ’70s. Oddly enough, the brothers Loeffler (Pete on lead vocals/guitar, Sam on drums) had the same thought when naming their band in 1995; the Chevelle was their father’s favorite car.
After losing their original bassist, the suburban Chicagoans added 14-year-old brother Joe to the lineup, making Chevelle a full family affair. The trio’s debut album, 1999’s Point #1, was produced by Steve Albini and reflected the Loefflers’ Alternative/Hard Rock influences (Helmet, Tool, The Cure), but caused a dust-up with its release on a Christian music label, creating confusion over Chevelle’s philosophical perspective (Sam Loeffler once clarified the members’ religious status as “recovering Catholics”).
Chevelle’s major label bow, 2002’s Wonder What’s Next, roared into Billboard’s Top 20 on the strength of hit singles “The Red” and “Send the Pain Below,” which were followed by slots at Ozzfest and tours with Disturbed and Audioslave. After a live album, 2004’s This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In), streaked into the Top 10 but controversy struck again with the dismissal/departure of Joe Loeffler; Chevelle remained a familial unit with the addition of brother-in-law Dean Bernadini.
After another pair of successful albums and a second live set, Chevelle released 2011’s Hats Off to the Bull, which was both a return to its early energy and an expansion of its sonic textures, and perhaps the group’s most critically acclaimed album to date. The band’s current tour is in support of the recent release of a greatest hits collection, Stray Arrows, and as such promises to be a wild celebration of Chevelle’s nearly 20-year history.
CHEVELLE performs Monday, March 18 at Bogart's in Corryville. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.