As Chevelle ramps up towards its 10th studio album, the trio has dipped into its vaults for what singer-guitarist Pete Loeffler calls “a good little collection of randoms.”
The group’s new 12 Bloody Spies: B-Sides and Rarities is due out Oct. 26, featuring a dozen songs — see the accompanying full-album trailer, premiering exclusively below — that have existed alongside the group’s standard output. “It’s something that my brother Sam (Chevelle’s drummer) and I have been talking about for years, just kind of putting everything together,” Loeffler tells Billboard. “We left a few things off, a couple of covers and other things, but this is a lot — 12 songs that didn’t really see a whole lot of daylight, and we thought they should. We put together a sequence and thought, ‘Y’know, it’s a nice, full album of songs, so something’s going on…’ It was kind of a cool thing to do between albums.”
Led by the single “Sleep Walking Elite,” which was initially recorded in Loeffler’s basement and redone for 12 Bloody Spies, the material hails from a variety of circumstances. “Some of them were recorded in my basement,” Loeffler says, “some of them were recorded in some crappy studios, and some of them were done by the best people out there, like Joe Barresi. It is kind of a weird collection, but it is us. It’s part of our history since 2002 and on.” Among the more interesting tracks is the closing “Leto’s Headache,” which was written for 2009’s Sci-Fi Crimes and inspired by time spent hanging out with Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman and Academy Award winner Jared Leto and his drummer brother Shannon.
“We had a good friendship for awhile,” Loeffler says. “The song just kind of touches on what I saw when I’m around him and how his fame grew so rapidly that…it’s hard for him to go out and all that. He has a famous headache, so I wrote about that.”
The exercise of putting 12 Bloody Spies together has also whetted Chevelle’s appetite to do some more digging into the vaults — even beyond the songs it chose to leave off this release. “That’s one thing we might do in the future — release a few demo songs just so the fans can see where a song starts and where it ends up,” Loeffler says. “This is a good trial run at that.” But the real focus now is on the group’s next album, the follow-up to 2016’s The North Corridor.
“I have about nine demoed songs and a whole bunch of ideas that span the last decade,” Loeffler says. “It’s going to be the 10th full-length release for us, so I feel like we have to dig deep on this one. I want to stretch a little bit more — that doesn’t always go over well with everybody, but we have to do it. We’re creative beings. I think I could play five of these demo tracks that I have and fans would be into it, and the other four or five, I’m not sure. It will be interesting to see what people think.”