CHEVELLE vocalist/guitarist Pete Loeffler spoke to Radioactive MikeZ, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM program "Wired In The Empire", about the progress of the recording sessions for the band's new album. The disc was recorded in part this past May at Joe's House Of Compression studio in Pasadena, California with producer Joe Barresi (KYUSS, MELVINS, THE JESUS LIZARD).
Pete said (hear audio below): "We have eight songs tracked with our buddy Joe Barresi. He started mixing [on September 16], so we're gonna have finished mixes here in about, probably, 10 days. So we have a few more to do, depending on how many tracks we wanna make it."
Regarding the musical direction of the new CHEVELLE material, Pete said: "There's some heavy stuff, there's some lighter stuff. I hope people dig it; that's really what I want.
"We went really dark on the last two [albums] — really heavy, more metal. Those singles were, like 'Rivers', super screamy. 'Joyride', stuff like that," he continued. "'Door To Door Cannibals'. It's personally where I wanted to be and where I like to live on stage. But this record, [Joe] was, like, 'Let's try and do some melodic stuff.' So I went down that road.
"There's about four songs we're trying to pick between to be the first single. They're on the melodic side. There's one, though, that comes out of the gate heavy as balls. And it's got a working title called 'Mars' right now, and it's all about this dude that's jumping on board with Elon Musk and heading there. I'm fascinated with space travel — it's intoxicating, actually, the more you find out about it — so there's a lot of that content on this album, lyrically."
According to Pete, he wrote "about 25 songs" for CHEVELLE's new album, but only the aforementioned eight have been recorded so far. "We're trying to pick only the best to work on," he explained. "So Barresi kind of came down on me and he was, like, 'Look, let's search through these and let's only do the eight best, and then let's move on from there.' He's a good gauge for me, 'cause this is the fourth album we've done with him."
CHEVELLE's latest album, 2016's "The North Corridor", debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 album chart and produced a No. 1 Mainstream Rock single, "Joyride (Omen)".
The band's album of rarities from 2002-2016, "12 Bloody Spies: B-Sides And Rarities", was released last October via Epic.
On Saturday (September 21), CHEVELLE bassist Dean Bernardini announced that he will "take a break from the road" after completing this year's shows with his bandmates. He added that he will "continue to work" in music in some form or another while also putting time into his art and furniture business at home.
Bernardini has been with CHEVELLE since 2005, even though 2007's "Vena Sera" marked his first studio recording with the band.