After having to replace a bassist (and brother) between their last two albums, the members of Chevelle were happy to have a drama-free interim leading up to their new "Sci-Fi Crimes."

"Having it be such a tight-knit group now, we were able to just have a good time and do the record we wanted to write," drummer Sam Loeffler tells Billboard.com. "Without a doubt we tried to have more fun; we even took a trip to Mexico together, all of us, which was great. We've never taken a vacation in our lives. We stayed in a resort and a bunch of our friends and families came and it was a great time. I want to do it again in January."

Chevelle -- which also includes singer-guitarist Pete Loeffler and brother-in-law Dean Bernardini, who replaced Joe Loeffler in 2005 -- recorded "Sci-Fi Crimes," due Sept. 9, mostly in Nashville with producer Brian Virtue. Sam Loeffler says the group took "a little bit more time" writing and exploring tones but that the overall intent was to worry about performance rather than perfection.

"We wanted to do a record that was more true to what our live sound is like," he explains. "We wanted to go in the studio and play the tracks and just record them and not make a perfect record the way I think a lot of our records in the past have been made. We wanted to compete on that same level by not tuning the vocals and not tuning every single chord and not adding samples so ever single snare hit is exactly the same. We just went in and recorded. It's not a sonically perfect record; it's more like you get if you go into a studio and just play. And I'm curious to see if people notice a difference."

Chevelle is trying out a couple of the "Sci-Fi Crimes" songs -- the single "Jars" and the opening track, "Sleep Apnea" -- on audiences during the Stimulate This! Tour, which runs through Aug. 30. Loeffler says the trio, which is planning headline dates after the "Sci-Fi Crimes' " release, is hoping the summer jaunt will drum up some excitement for the album and maybe even broaden the audience as well.

"We're out with Staind and Shinedown," the drummer notes, "which are both bands that have been able to cross over to...more of a mainstream format, whereas we're certainly more of an active rock band. I think people know about us and know a couple songs or whatever, but they don't know a lot about us. So they're sort of a captive audience, and hopefully we can get them interested in what we're doing."

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