Chevelle is an American rock band formed in Grayslake, Illinois, in 1995. The band was originally composed of two brothers, Pete Loeffler and Sam Loeffler , along with Matt Scott . Scott was replaced by Sam and Pete's brother, Joe Loeffler, in 1996. When Joe left the band in 2005, Geno Lenardo subbed in as the touring bassist until he was replaced by Pete and Sam's brother-in-law, Dean Bernardini. Bernardini departed from the band in 2019, and in 2021, Kemble Walters joined the band as a touring bassist.
The band's first studio album, Point #1, was released on a small record label called Squint Entertainment. Chevelle's second album, Wonder What's Next , was certified double platinum by the RIAA after a debut at No. 14 on the United States albums chart, Billboard 200. This Type of Thinking , the band's third album debuted at No. 8 and has been certified platinum. Chevelle has since released six more albums: Vena Sera , Sci-Fi Crimes , Hats Off to the Bull , La Gárgola , The North Corridor , and their latest Niratias . Other releases from Chevelle include two live albums, DVDs and a compilation of band favorites.
Chevelle formed in 1995 in Grayslake, Illinois, when brothers Pete Loeffler and Sam Loeffler started enjoying and learning to play music. Pete started playing guitar and singing while Sam began playing drums in their parents' garage. Bassist Matt Scott was also in the band until 1996. Their youngest brother Joe Loeffler joined the band replacing Scott. Each of the band members were self-taught musicians. The name Chevelle came from the band members' passion for fast cars. It was also a car their father liked, the Chevrolet Chevelle. The band started playing small outdoor concerts and clubs around Chicago, Illinois, with Joe being only 14 years old.
Chevelle recorded a seven-track demo known as The Blue Album, released in 1998. The band played small concerts for the next three years until they were signed on to Steve Taylor's Squint Entertainment, a contemporary Christian music label. The band recorded with Steve Albini for 17 days in Electrical Audio studios and released its first full-length album, Point #1 and in 1999. Two singles were released from the album with accompanying music videos, "Point #1" and "Mia". The songs received GMA Dove Awards in 2000 and "Point #1" in 2001. The album received an award for "Hard Music Album" in 2000 by the Dove Awards. The album was well received by Phantom Tollbooth and HM Magazine, yet was criticized for its repetitive song structures by Jesus Freak Hideout, a Christian music website. The band's label at the time was going through legal troubles as Word Records was attempting to wrestle control of Squint from Taylor. This caused uncertainty with the band's future. Discussing the legal battle, bassist Joe Loeffler stated "we weren't sure if anything was going to happen after that, it was pretty crazy."
Chevelle toured as support to bands such as Sevendust, Machine Head, Filter, and Powerman 5000 in this period. Squint Entertainment closed down in 2001 and the band signed with Epic Records in 2002. In 2002 Chevelle released its second studio album Wonder What's Next on Epic Records. The band released the single "The Red", which reached No. 3 on the Mainstream rock charts, and the video was played in regular rotation on MTV.Wonder What's Next soon peaked at No. 14 on the United States Billboard 200 album chart. Brian O'Neil of AllMusic stated the album "offers uniqueness not often heard in more commercial fare, no mean feat." Chevelle released two more singles from the album, "Closure", and "Send the Pain Below", the latter of which reached the No. 1 position on both of the mainstream rock and modern rock charts.Wonder What's Next was certified 2× platinum by the RIAA with excess sales of one million copies sold in the United States alone in 2003.
In 2003, Chevelle performed at Ozzfest, where the band recorded and later released its first live album, Live from the Road, and a live DVD, Live from the Norva. The band toured Europe with Audioslave in early 2003, and later in the year they played on the Music as a Weapon II tour with Disturbed. On the tour with Disturbed, Chevelle appeared on the tour compilation album, titled Music as a Weapon II, featuring the songs "The Red" and "Forfeit". Keith Miller of EvangelSociety.org was critical of Chevelle for touring with Ozzfest with bands such as Cradle of Filth, who he claimed incorporated strong satanic and anti-Christian themes into their lyrics. In 2004 Sam Loeffler said, "It's something that's probably going to follow us around forever and that's fine. It's pretty simple. We originally signed with a record company that was backed by Word , so was in Christian bookstores. It was really an accidental thing." Sam also told the Chicago Tribune, "Our faith is still extremely important to us, but it's also very personal. None of us feels being a rock band on stage should be a pedestal for preaching."
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