Chevelle’s Loeffler brothers wouldn’t trade places with higher profile bands who are playing larger venues. The hard-rock duo, which has sold more than 6 million albums over its quarter century career, is content to perform to a loyal fan base that gives the act space.
“If you could bottle anonymity and sell it to the super famous, they would buy it immediately,” Chevelle drummer Sam Loeffler said while calling from Minneapolis. “Can you imagine what Brad Pitt’s life is like? If he wants to ride a motorcycle, he’ll have four paparazzi follow him. That’s got to be awful. Fortunately, I’ve never dealt with any of that. It’s been a great career for us since we can just go out and do normal things and then go up on a stage and do what we love in front of an audience.”
Chevelle, which will perform Thursday at Northern Quest Resort & Casino, is a unique band that crafts melodic hard-rock. Chevelle, whose name came from vocalist-guitarist Pete Loeffler and Sam Loeffler’s love of fast cars, was tossed into the nu-metal ghetto at the turn of the century, even though the act never had hip-hop or industrial elements in its music.
The group out of suburban Chicago was influenced by muscular guitar-driven acts such as Helmet and Tool. “Those bands had an impact on us but so did Depeche Mode, the Cure and Nine Inch Nails,” Sam Loeffler said.
Unlike many of their peers, Chevelle has gone to great lengths not to repeat itself over its nine-album run. Pete Loeffler created songs with new wrinkles with each album, which is a considerable accomplishment.
“It’s not easy,” Loeffler said. “Pete writes everything and he has to compete with himself. It’s an effort to make every album different from the last but it keeps it interesting for us.”
“Niratias,” Chevelle’s 2021 album, is a sci-fi concept album inspired by the work of Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson that is adventurous, urgent and surprising.
“Tyson is one of the most amazing people anyone can ever speak with,” Loeffler said. “I was talking to my dad about him. I asked my dad if he ever spoke with someone who is that brilliant. This is someone who understands all that we know about the cosmos. He has a scientific mind that is far beyond any of us. It makes me think about how we, regular people, can make any good decisions.
Another genius who had an impact on the Loefflers is John Cleese. “We met John when we were on the Craig Kilborn show (“The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn”) and it was such a great experience,” Loeffler said. “John is a brilliant man, who is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He would sit around and joke and he answered our questions.”
The Loefflers’ career has enabled the brother act to meet top-tier talent but go about regular life without disturbance. “It’s worked out well that way,” Loeffler said. “It’s a great position to be in. We get to make our music and do our thing without being bothered.”
Chevelle has completed eight songs for its next album, set for release in 2024. Loeffler is reluctant to discuss details. “We have songs in the can but things might change by the time we put the next one out,” Loeffler said. “All I can say is that the new songs are hard rock songs, which is the type of music that inspires us.”
Don’t expect the band to preview any of the unreleased material when it plays Northern Quest. “We have enough songs to draw from,” Loeffler said. “We’ve worked hard to come up with this collection of songs. It’s all about working hard in this business. We’ve put in so much effort but that’s what it’s about. It’s also about challenging ourselves, which is what we try to do with each album we make.”