/ 31 May 2013

The dark beauty of Chevelle

The sibling trio Chevelle will be hitting SA shores this weekend.
The sibling trio Chevelle will be hitting SA shores this weekend.

Chevelle manages to garner support from die-hard rock fans with their beautifully dark, mercurial and yet melodic sound while still receiving high rotation on commercial radio stations. Their intensely introspective yet accessible albums have continued to hit platinum-certified status since their humble beginnings with a small label in 1995.

And now, they’re coming to South Africa.

The band was meant to play at Oppikoppi in 2011, but had to cancel due to time constraints on finishing their album Hats off to the Bull. Fans were veritably incensed, even though the band promised they would come to our shores in the future.

And lo and behold. The promise has been kept.

Chevelle said of this year’s tour: “We were always planning on it since we had to cancel our last trip. We know that we have some really dedicated fans and of course are looking forward to playing some crazy shows.”

The group doesn’t have time to see much of South Africa, but said they would “travel mostly [in] the city” as “it’s difficult to travel too far in between shows.”

They are also most excited about playing their track “Piñata and any of the new stuff from Hats off to the Bull” at their concerts this weekend.

While the band received moderate acclaim for their first album Point#1, it was 2002’s Wonder What’s Next with brooding hits like The Red and the dark and emotionally-intense Send the Pain Below that gilded them as solid rock artists. Their success was followed by three more acclaimed albums and finally Hats off to the Bull in 2011.

Chevelle has always set themselves apart with a mature and poetic approach to their lyrics. Shameful Metaphors  describes the age-old feeling of not having an impact on the world, with lyricist Pete Loeffler asking: “So why then, has all my life made no sound?” While Family System describes the discomfort of interpersonal conflict with “I’m tired of your open mouth, crawling inside my skin.”

The band attributes their durability in the industry to pure love for what they do. To other bands hoping to strike it big one day they say: “Play every show you can get, no matter how small.  But the most important thing is to stick it out and play music that the whole band likes. That way it’s real.”

Chevelle will be playing at the Grand Arena in Cape Town on Friday and the Big Top Arena in Carnival City, Johannesburg on Sunday.