Chevelle Announces Summer Tour (Exclusive)

Chevelle is in the midst of an extended break from touring, partly to give drummer Sam Loeffler some family time with his wife and their new son, who was born last week. But the road cases won't be packed for long.

The suburban Chicago-based trio, continuing to promote its seventh album, "La Gargola," has announced a 22-date (so far) summer run kicking off June 20 in Toledo that visits the West Coast, plains states and a few Midwest locales, including the already announced 4-H Fair on June 22 in South Bend, Ind., and a lone Canadian stop at the Tail Creek Mud and Music Festival on June 27 in Alix, Alberta. Chevelle also plays Rock on the Range on May 17 in Columbus, Bluesfest on May 24 in Niceville, Fla., and Britain's Download Festival in Derby, England on June 14.

Chevelle has already spent some time on the road this year, and Loeffler tells Billboard that, "we've really been enjoying it, and our sets have been great. We've been doing 19 songs, 'cause it's hard to make a set list from seven albums at this point. We're going out in these five-week runs and there's some fun festivals and stuff that are cool. It's been a really great time to be here right now."

Loeffler adds that he and his bandmates -- brother Pete Loeffler and brother-in-law Dean Bernardini -- have also been pleased with "La Gargola's" showing since its April 1 release. The the Joe Barresi-produced set gave the group its highest ever Billboard 200 debut (No. 3) as well as its first No. 1 on the Top Rock Albums chart and second No. 1s on the Hard Rock Albums and Alternative Albums survey. 

"We weren't up against Beyonce, which was nice," the drummer cracks. 

The first single, "Take Out the Gunman," also topped the Mainstream Rock Songs chart, and Loeffler says the debate is on about its successor; the band, he says, favors "An Island," while Chevelle's management and label are pushing the hard-hitting "Hunter Eats Hunter."

"It's about what's downloaded more, what our fans say, that kind of thing, so I think it's probably going to be 'Hunter Eats Hunter,' " Loeffler notes. But he adds that there's also hope that the atmospheric change-of-pace track "One Ocean" may also be considered for a single release down the road. "That's one I think people might really like, and maybe people who don't necessarily know our band might hear it and be inclined to check it out more from that song," Loeffler says. "But it's such a departure for our band, even though it does really work on this record, that if we do put out 'One Ocean' it would be a third single. We think it's a really good song that shows a different side of the band."

Loeffler says fans can expect to see more of the macabre beaked mask, modeled after those worn by doctors during ancient plagues, that Pete Loeffler sports on the cover of "La Gargola." "He hasn't worn it on stage, but somebody will. That's coming up," Loeffler says. "But he did wear it after one of the shows; we were in St. Louis and he came out wearing the mask and took pictures and signed autographs and stuff after the show, and it was really funny." 

It seems like the kind of thing that might make an appearance on the tour bus, too. "Oh, it does," Loeffler says with a laugh. "It does when we're drinking."

Chevelle's current tour itinerary, with the new dates, includes:

May 17 -- Columbus, OH - Rock on the Range
May 24 -- Niceville, FL -- Bluesfest
June 14 -- Derby, U.K. -- Download Festival
June 20 -- Toledo, OH - Hollywood Casino
June 21 -- Rock Island, IL - Rock the District
June 22 -- South Bend, IN - St. Joseph County 4-H Fair (already on sale)
June 24 -- Sioux Falls, SD - The District
June 25 -- Fargo, ND - The Venue
June 27 -- Alix, Alberta - Tail Creek Mud and Music Festival (already on sale)
June 29 -- Bilings, MT - Babcock Theatre
June 30 -- Missoula, MT - Wilma Theatre
July 02 -- Boise, ID - Knitting Factory Concert House
July 03 -- Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory Concert House
July 05 -- Seattle, WA - Showbox SoDo
July 06 -- Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
July 08 -- San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
July 09 -- San Diego, CA - House of Blues
July 11 -- Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
July 12 -- Las Vegas, NV - The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
July 13 -- Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
July 15 -- Lubbock, TX - Lonestar Pavilion
July 18 -- Corpus Christi, TX - Concrete Street Pavilion
July 19 -- Austin, TX - Emo's Austin
July 20 -- New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
July 22 -- Tulsa, OK - Brady Theater
Aug. 15 -- Des Moines, Iowa - Iowa State Fair
Sept. 7 -- Sterling Heights, Mich. - Freedom Hill Amphitheatre