Offbeat Interview With Sam Loeffler of Chevelle

Artist Meets Artist Interview: Paul Wandtke of The Sammus Theory interviews Sam Loeffler of Chevelle for our Off-beat interview section.

Date: November 8, 2009
Location: Wichita, KS
Venue: Cotillion Ballroom

** If you would rather watch the interview video, just scroll to the bottom…

The Beginning:

Paul: How old were you when you started playing?

SAM: I started when I was fourteen, so it’s been many years. I didn’t take drumming seriously until about 18 or 19 years old.

Paul: Did you ever take lessons?

Sam: No not formally but anything I learned was from Dean our bass player. I actually met Dean when I was 18 while he was playing in another band as a drummer and he is an amazing drummer.

Paul: What were a few of your favorite drummers growing up?

Sam: My biggest influence since I was a kid was George Hurley from the band Minutemen. Later on the band Minutemen became the band Firehouse where Mike Watt was the bass player. After, George Hurley I became influenced by one of my most favorite/influential drummers Matt Cameron who I think has a style that’s all his own.


Paul: It’s been ten years of you being with Chevelle doing numerous tours and five studio albums. How do you think you’ve progressed as a drummer over the years? Since your first album to your latest release Sci-Fi Crimes what’s the most significant difference in your playing?

Sam: Yeah man……… I mean you definitely progress. Drumming as we always say is the hardest because everything you ever learn you can spend a lifetime learning and learn it all backwards or with the other hand or other foot. I think I still sort of focus on technique, being able to play something smooth. I’m certainly not the fastest drummer but I have certain things that I love about drumming and I try to control those things and get as best at them and incorporate new little things. I find that lately the most new things that are being incorporated come from our songwriting as a band because we’ll get to a place and be like, “well what fits here?” Then we can have all kinds of options and write all kinds of different fills. Dean is great for that because we sit there (in the studio) together and work off of each other on fills and things.

Paul: I noticed that your drumming has progressed in many ways most being the fact that you started incorporating double bass. Is it true that you never started on double bass until later?

SAM: I didn’t start playing double bass drum until I was probably 20 or 21.

Paul: Your bass drum playing is very tasteful with Chevelle what inspires that?

Sam: You know, I’m not a super fast double bass drum player; I really use it to accentuate our music. Dean and I have been really careful about not over playing because our music is not that kind of music. I think it’s great that there are players out there that set the bar on double bass drumming but that’s not what we’re about as I really use it to accent the music.

Click Tracks:

Paul: Do you guys use click tracks live or in the studio? Have you ever?

Sam: I do play to a click in the studio. With this record Sci-Fi Crimes I played everything to a click (in the studio) but we did everything live together. It was real important because I didn’t want to go back and put drum samples over the drum sounds that we made and I didn’t want anything to be cut up and quantized so we didn’t do anything like that for this record. It is what it is.

Paul: Nice! No sound replacing.

Sam: For live, I use the lights from the metronome for reference. I’ll use a click for a couple of songs like I get it, and Rosewell Spells. It helps using a click live as it gives an exact reference before playing a song especially for a song like Rosewell Spells because it’s so slow.

Singing backup vocals:

Paul: How long have you been singing back ups? Isn’t that a new thing for you?

Sam: Yeah, I’ve been singing back ups for about 4 years now but I don’t do it for a lot of songs. I’ll do it for Another Know it all, The Fad, Sleep Apnea, and a couple of others. It’s mostly just screams.

Paul: What inspired that? Was it your idea or………?

Sam: It was Pete’s idea. He was like, “hey, you have the same voice as me so you need to start helping me with these screams!”

Paul: Did you do any back up vocals in the studio?

Sam: No, it’s all Pete.

Playing in Arenas:

Paul: Earlier in 2009 you guys were on an arena tour right?

Sam: Yeah, we did this tour called Stimulate This Tour with Staind. It was fun.

Paul: Was or is there a significant difference playing in arenas as opposed to playing smaller venues?

Sam: I think there definitely is. It’s kinda a little about letting the audience inspire you.

Paul: So you feed off of the vibe of the audience?

Sam: Yeah, it’s both because sometimes you can have a crowd of stoned face people that are not really paying attention so you’ll be like ‘I’m gonna play as hard as I can.’

Paul: What about preparatory things before arena shows, did you feel any different before hitting the stage then you would before a smaller venue?

Sam: I have the same sort of set up. Two hours before the show I’ll start stretching and do rudiments on my practice pad. It almost seems more important to really warm up when your sets are shorter. When we have nice long sets like when we do on a headline run you have enough time to try things out while on stage.


Paul: Any tips or advice for aspiring rockers?

Sam: Coming from our band I would say just be really aware of the music that you are playing. Don’t try to do every fill you know in every song or every trick you know in every song. It’s good to sit back when you are with that right band to let the shiny things shine and be able to support the music. Also, I always say to people to play every show you possibly can get.


Paul: Thanks for doing this interview Sam, especially for doing it after your set, which is really rare for artists to do.

Sam: Yeah absolutely, it was good because you guys got to see us play before doing the interview. haha `

Paul: Totally, you guys kicked ass.

Sam: Thanks.

Paul: Thanks again Sam!



!! Watch the short outtake video here:


Джиро Исудзу "бесплатные анимированные заставка скачать"потянулся за своим мечом.

Отец выпорол меня прямо на улице "скачать музыку радио вани"и сказал, что с меня сдерут "скачать романтическую музыку"кожу живьем и четвертуют за "программа скачать на русском"богохульство, если только я еще раз "скачать бесплатный проект бани"позволю себе подобное.

Мог бы "скачать 3д звук"предупредить, сказала она, возможно между "скачать программу для скачивания безплатно"нами не было сильного чувства, но "Скачать русификатор для fear 3"ты, по крайней мере, мог попрощаться.

Убийцы это, например, болезнетворные "скачать программу для взламывания страницы в контакте"вирусы.

Если у вас "скачать аллегрова угонщица (минус)"что-нибудь получится с вашими дурацкими затеями Римо твой.

Ты выглядишь не таким героем, как я предполагал.

Когда-нибудь вы встретите "Завидный жених" человека.

Приди вы на час "Если у ребенка жар" или на день позже, вы чувствовали бы себя по-другому, несомненно, "документы для потребительского кредита" а она все равно "Рапунцель. Волшебные сказки" была бы мертва.

По-моему, это телячья кожа "Занимательные задачи по информатике" или что-то в этом "Поделки из кожи для украшения интерьера" роде.

Мистер Мускаменте говорил о силах Вселенной, а "Возрожденный Дракон" его лейтенанты вежливо слушали.

Держа бутылку двумя руками, Уилсон сделал "Сто лет одиночества. Осень патриарха. Любовь во время чумы. Двенадцать рассказов-странников (комплект из 4 книг)" большой глоток и хотел "Справочник индивидуального застройщика От расчетных формул до экономии материалов" было протянуть бутылку обратно, но не "Мантисса" удержал и выронил.

Да я же ничего особенного не делаю.