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Brotherly Love - Chevelle speeds into A.C. as festival co-headliner
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Brotherly Love - Chevelle speeds into A.C. as festival co-headliner

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Orange loop fest chevelle

Chevelle brings their sibling-based hard rock to the Orange Loop Fest with a headlining slot on Saturday, June 11.

Formed in 1995 and named after the classic Chevy automobile of the same name, Chevelle’s brand of post-grunge hard rock made its mark on the pop charts with the release of their 2002 album “Wonder What’s Next,” which contained their biggest hit singles, “The Red” and “Send the Pain Below.”

The core of the band since the beginning has consisted of brothers Sam and Pete Loeffler on drums and vocals, respectively, with various members playing bass throughout the years, including their other brother Joe, who filled the chair until 2005.

Though the band’s biggest success was during the early part of the millennium, back when hard rock and nu-metal acts were all over the radio, Chevelle has managed to continue to put out records over the last two decades, with their most recent release being 2021’s “Niratias.”

We spoke with Sam Loeffler in advance of their upcoming headlining performance at the Orange Loop Rock Fest. Here is what he had to say:

RYAN LOUGHLIN: The core of your band is you and your brother Pete, and for a while you had your other brother Joe as a member, as well. Does working with such close family members make things easier or harder? So many bands that have siblings in them are famous for fighting.

SAM LOEFFLER: It’s actually been really good for us. Pete and I have always been really close, but that’s obviously not the case for everybody. If we weren’t close, we definitely wouldn’t have been able to be successful, because it seems that the key to success is longevity. My other brother was in the band early on, but he isn’t a writer, and he really didn’t love the lifestyle, so he moved on pretty quickly.

RL: You came up at a time when guitar music was all over the radio. Now there are very few guitar-based acts on the charts. Do you think that will change anytime soon?

SL: I think what we are seeing is that things are cyclical. Everything comes back around, but I don’t know if it will in my time. I don’t think people change their interests as much as the industry changes what it chooses to focus on. It’s not like all the rock fans just all the sudden began listening to Harry Styles or something. Music taste is so fundamental to who we are.

RL: Was it frustrating to be lumped in with the “nu-metal” scene initially? So many of those bands aren’t remembered very fondly.

SL: At the time it was good that there was a scene to be a part of. I’m not sure who the grandfather of nu-metal would be, but I think that it’s a pretty broad selection of bands, but at the end of the day I don’t think it’s bad to be a part of something. At this point in our career it is what it is, but I don’t feel like we have to lean into anything that has any negativity associated with it whether it be nu-metal or whatever the genre is.

RL: You released an album last year. Any new music in the works?

SL: We are always writing new music. Right now we are working on putting a new album together. Our last album came out during the height of the pandemic, which was a rough time to release a record, but we had to release it because we are a band and that’s what we do. So we did it and it did well on the charts, but we weren’t able to tour and that held us back a bit.

RL: What is your writing process like? Do you tend to work things out in the studio or do you prefer to go in with fully fleshed-out song arrangements?

SL: We write everything ahead of time. Pete works on music and usually brings me a piece or something, and we usually go from there and work on it. Or sometimes he will bring in a fully written song too. But no matter what, we won’t go into a studio until a song is fully fleshed out.

RL: What can fans expect from your show at the Orange Loop Rock Fest in Atlantic City?

SL: We just want people in the audience to be engaged and be a part of it. That being said, it’s a lot of work to write a setlist and try to touch on all these different albums that we have put out. But that’s what we always strive to do, because having people connect and sing along is amazing – that’s always what we are shooting for.

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