[update: proper credit to Barry Schwartz for the term “doozh”]
Hard-rock outfit Chevelle keeps it simple, with riffs, energy and, of course, doozh
(The Guide, 4/24) The hard-rock band Chevelle has maintained a solid following and steady success over the past decade while other bands of its genre have faded away, and they’ve managed to do so without changing their sound much from album to album. So don’t expect to see, say, any duets with Kanye West.
“Although I wouldn’t be against it if he called me,” lead singer and guitarist Pete Loeffler said in a recent interview. “But I’m not going to be calling him anytime soon.”
Chevelle, 10 Years, Fighting with Wire
When: 8 p.m. April 24
Where: Shoreline Ballroom, Ocean Center, 40 Folly Field Road, Hilton Head Island.
Tickets: $25 at the door, $22.50 in advance
Information: 843-842-0358, www.shorelineballroom.com
That is, in brief, the reason the band has continued to tour, release albums and draw fans even as their peers in the hard-rock resurgence of the ’90s lost momentum (Remember Trapt? No, of course you don’t). The band knew its formula, heard it resonate with radio listeners and stuck to it. They created spacious riff-driven songs, such as hits “The Red” and “Send the Pain Below,” that specialized in sonic resonance best described as “doozh,” which sounds exactly like it’s spelled. The sustained, building strain of Loeffler’s voice stretched across the tracks earned the band comparisons to Tool, the masters of the genre.
“With this band, it’s just a hard-rock band. We don’t go that far off our original idea, which is just to write good hard rock music,” Loeffler said. “Every record has a different vibe. But we’re still doing what we’re doing.”
That means no rap-rock crossovers, no overemotive neo-power ballads, no experimental noise rock.
“We’ve never gone to mainstream radio,” he said. “That’s one thing that could be do or die: You put out a song that could be alienating to some of your fans.”
When the band first started in Chicago in the mid ’90s, they were the ones facing alienation. There were a lot of pop-oriented bands out at the time, but not many from a hard-rock background. The band members came up watching fellow Chicagoans the Smashing Pumpkins hit it big — a band Loeffler fantasized about someday being successful enough to work with.
The band went to Las Vegas to record its last album, 2007’s “Vena Sera,” to feed off the city’s energy. But for the follow-up they’re currently working on, they took the opposite approach, recording in the quiet woods outside Nashville. That process is creating a product that was much more intrinsic, Loeffler said.
“When you’re out in the country and you sort of need to get that excitement, you have to create it from nowhere,” he said. “There’s nothing around you that you can get hyped up about. I love all our records but this one happened to be a lot more work for me. It was a good thing, a lot more
That album could be ready by June, he said.