Thursday 24 Apr

IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Rock solid

Rock solid

Chevelle likes it hard. Rock, that is. Staying true to that ideal has kept the band at the top.

Joshua Boydston March 14th, 2012

Chevelle with Middle Class Rut and Janus
7 p.m. Friday

Diamond Ballroom

8001 S. Eastern


$24 advance, $29 door

credit max hsu_10-58x7-06cm
Can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Case in point: Chicago rock act Chevelle.

Swiftly approaching two decades since forming, the group remains as aggressive and loud as ever.

“We are still writing music that inspires us, and hard rock is what inspires us. There’s no reason to fake it,” drummer Sam Loeffler said. “Yeah, there’s less screaming than there was earlier in our career, but there’s still always this release in every song. It’s something that is important to us.”

Chevelle boasts a more diverse audience than most in its genre, all while remaining true to that foundation. An ear for hooks and affection for The Cure and Tool helped the outfit cross boundaries and break through to the mainstream back in 2002 with Wonder What’s Next, on the heels of standout singles “The Red” and “Send the Pain Below.”

“Most music comes down to melody. If the melody is good, it doesn’t matter what the genre is,” Loeffler said. “Even though we are a hard rock band, we’ve always concentrated in that, and I think it does pull in some people who wouldn’t otherwise seek us out.”

Beyond that, Chevelle does little else to ensure wide appeal, especially weary of tech trends now dominating American music. The band’s 2009 disc, Sci-Fi Crimes, was built using entirely live recordings; its latest effort, December’s Hats Off to the Bull, was made the same way.

“A couple of years ago, we decided that we weren’t going to be a part of the drum sample, Auto-Tune, Pro Tools style of production,” Loeffler said. “Every sound that is on the record is something we made. Nothing is stolen. It shouldn’t be a novelty, but it is.”

Hats Off finds Chevelle feeling like underdogs, yet the disc debuted on Billboard’s Top 20. The group’s Cinderella story keeps going. 

“We felt like it was a good idea to make a nod to the underdog. It applies to a lot of things right now, whether being the actual bull in a bullfight or the music industry as a whole,” Loeffler said. “It could even stand for our economy or the way things are going with the country. As Americans, I think we can all feel like underdogs in some way, and everything is about proving the others wrong.” 

photo by Max Hsu

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