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Chevelle Reveal ‘Face to the Floor’ Was Inspired by Ponzi Scheme Victims

Chevelle
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Texas radio station KEYJ recently conducted an enlightening yet light-hearted chat with all three members of Chevelle – vocalist / guitarist Pete Loeffler, his brother, drummer Sam, and bassist Dean Bernardini. The rock vets called in to offer up more than a few key details about their crunchy new single, ‘Face to the Floor,’ and the upcoming album on which it lives. ‘Hats Off to the Bull’ is due out Dec. 6, and the power trio is spreading the word via a tour with Bush!

“Every night is Friday night for us,” Sam Loeffler said about the tour, which is going swimmingly well. The threesome joked about Bush’s “side project,” dubbed “Shush,” which is all jazz covers of Bush songs. See, these are the things bands come up with while they’re on the wide open road and have lots of hours to fill when they are not performing or doing interviews.

Other things the band joked about were the pranks that are part and parcel of touring life. Sam said, “Our guitar tech’s wife was coming out to a show, so we posted naked pictures on the inside of his box!” Oh, boys! They will be boys, won’t they?

The trio revealed that the overarching concept of ‘Hats Off to the Bull’ is to root for the underdog, and that ‘Face to the Floor,’ which is erected on staccato, stop-start riffage, is a “pissed off, angry song about people who got taken by the Ponzi scheme that Bernie Madoff had for all those years.” They added, “It’s for Kevin Bacon,” since the actor was one of those swindled by Madoff. Clearly, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon has evolved beyond film and filtered into music.

The boys also spoke briefly about the album’s title. They don’t support activities or bloodsports that harm bulls, but they did share their thoughts on the riding of mechanical bulls, which from the look of it, is just as violent as riding the real thing. The band said, “The real bull rolls its skin, so a mechanical bull has to be ridden without underpants to get the grip.” We’ll have to remember that next time we’re in a watering hole down south and want to romp on a bull. Maybe the album title should be ‘Underwear Off for the Bull!’

Chevelle also opened up about some of the experimentation that took place on ‘Hats Off to the Bull.’ The band employed atypical instruments like the organ and cello, and Bernardini’s wife even sang a chorus with Pete. Despite the additional layers of sound and instrumentation, the band doesn’t foresee expanding to a four-piece in the future. They do, however, like the idea of jamming with someone else. Hey, you never know what could happen with future collaborations.

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