Chevelle’s Sam Loeffler Talks ‘La Gargola’ Album + ‘More Cowbell’ With ‘Loudwire Reloaded’
Chevelle are back with a new album, 'La Gargola,' due April 1. The disc has already generated the new single 'Take Out the Gunman,' and we'll be playing that song on this weekend's 'Loudwire Reloaded' radio show. Host Sandman spoke with Chevelle drummer Sam Loeffler about the band's upcoming disc and you can read the interview below and catch a portion of the chat on this weekend's 'Loudwire Reloaded' show.
Sam, it's been awhile. How are ya?
Oh, I’m great, man. Thanks for having us.
'Take Out the Gunman' is such a great song. You know, the thing I like about Chevelle, you never know what to expect. Again, you guys have come out with something kind of unexpected. A very different sounding song for you guys.
Yeah, it’s a “more cowbell” kind of song. Ha-ha.
You know, I was going to say, a little bit more percussion song than usual.
Yeah, there is. Actually, the whole record is kind of like that. We did a track with Joe Barresi and we had all kinds of percussion stuff. He just had buckets of it. So we used anything we could. And, really, it’s just about adding and adding to the flavor and adding a little bit of … I don’t know, it just definitely adds another element to it, I guess that would be the way to say it.
Sam is not only the drummer for Chevelle, but his brother Pete plays guitar and sings, and your brother-in-law Dean plays bass so, quite the family affair.
Yeah, we’ve got that going for us. So, if anyone has a family, they know what it’s like to work and be close to them, they can sympathize.
Ha-ha. The new Chevelle album, the follow-up to 'Hats Off to the Bull,' is called 'La Gargola' and it’s coming out April 1. So, are you guys still doing some recording? I know Loudwire.com did a behind-the-scenes/in-the-studio with you guys working on some tracks. How much more is left before the album is finished?
Well, it’s finished in a sense that everything is recorded now. We have a few more days of mixing to do. And, usually, when we’re done with a record we’ll come home from whichever studio we’re in and then live with it for a couple of weeks and then start to add little things here and there, vocal parts, maybe a guitar part. On this one, when we got back from Pasadena, with Joe Barresi, there wasn’t really anything to do. We really worked 12 hours a day on it and I think it worked out because at the end of the day you want to put everything towards it but you have to, you just have to end it. If you don’t end it, or give yourself an end date, you’ll never stop working on it.
Yeah, you’ll never be satisfied with it.
You really won’t, yeah. And many people have had that problem when they work and do records in their own studios, or they’re around it everyday and it just never gets done. There’s some famous stories about people working in their studios and not being able to finish a record.
I can only imagine. You have to have a producer that is a bit of a task master, I would think, too, to keep you on point and, not only do that but, also offer new ideas like you were talking about with the percussion and some of the different things. I noticed in the [behind-the-scenes video], Pete was talking about fuzz pedals and some different sounds that he’s not really used as far as his guitar technique before.
Yeah, that’s a really good point. It’s really about being pushed to do something. There’s producers who will push you out of the studio after four hours and replay the parts themselves, and with Joe -- we would never work with somebody like that, by the way --with Joe, he’s always totally thinking about the song and he’ll put [an instrument] in your hands and say, “See if something will come up here.” And sometimes it just doesn’t work at all, and you know it doesn’t work. And other times, he puts you in front of a keyboard with a couple of fuzz pedals and he’ll say, “Just see if you can write a part.” And there was a song like that where we sat for, like, two hours, trying to write a three-note part that would work, and it ended up playing like percussion on a keyboard and it worked out really well. It just gave that song the extra thing that it needed and it’s important, man, to have a producer that pushes you.
Well, and like I said earlier, you guys, always, are known for the unexpected. I could not tell you one Chevelle album that sounds like another and I think that’s what your fans love about you, I’m sure.
Yeah, I mean, we certainly … At the end of the day I think we sound like our band without trying to sound like somebody else, and that’s important. But at the same time you hope your music evolves. To me, it does evolve but it’s still melodic hard rock music which is what inspires us to want to write.
Well I do want to mention that you guys have a brand new website. We want to make everyone aware -- well, I’m sure your fans are aware of that, but the casual listener may not be -- it’s GetMoreChevelle.com. And I’ve got to tell you, I was checking out the website today, and it looks awesome.
Thank you! You know, it’s one of those things where you can compile your Facebook and Twitter and all the things that come alive with social media and your actual music and you can put them all in one place, and your merch company, so you can sell t-shirts, and we’re able to put special videos and whatever on there and have everything come together. It’s … I don’t … I mean, you agree that its hard to find the right social media to attach yourself to, because you attach yourself to Facebook and then somebody’s like, “Oh, well, now the whole thing is Instagram,” and you’re like, “But I put all this time into Facebook!”
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Well, I know you guys have your Twitter stream running in a widget on your new website, which I think is really cool too.
Yeah, like I said, we’re really trying to compile it all together to make it easier. And, if you could go to one place and find everything from the band, it’s not from the label or some management company that’s just doing it for you; it’s actually us doing it together. That takes some real time but we, hopefully, know what people really want to see there.
So, again, we invite people to check out the new website, GetMoreChevelle.com, and I’m guessing that pretty soon you’ll have some new tour dates up on the website as well.
Yeah, we should be announcing on Feb. 10, I think. We’ve already posted a couple but we’re going to do a headline tour that is some of the East Coast and Florida, Texas, some of the Midwest. Not a super long one, it’ll be about three weeks, and then we’ll take a couple of weeks to do some one-off shows, really big shows like Rock on the Range is a real popular one. Then we’ll go back out and do another headline tour and that’s really what we’re focusing on.
Sam Loeffler, thank you so much for your time today.
Oh yeah, anytime. Thanks for your support, again.
Our thanks to Chevelle's Sam Loeffler for the interview. Check out GetMoreChevelle.com for more info on the band, as well as the behind-the-scenes video which premiered on Loudwire. And be sure to catch 'Loudwire Reloaded' counting down the top hard rock songs in the land this weekend.
Listen to Chevelle's 'Take Out the Gunman'