Saturday will see performances by Chevelle, Hinder, Stephen Pearcy: The Voice of Ratt, Great White, Slaughter, Doro and more, while Sunday will feature Stone Temple Pilots, Hoobastank, Puddle of Mudd, John 5 and the Creatures, LA Guns, Dangerous Toys and a performance of one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other from Naughty By Nature rapper Treach.
And, if all that still isn’t enough to entice you to buy a ticket, there will also be midget wrestling taking place at various times on Saturday and Sunday.
Chevelle steps up in AC as festival co-headliner
Formed in 1995 and named after the classic Chevy automobile of the same name, the post-grunge hard rock brand of Chevelle made their mark on the pop charts with the release of their 2002 album “Wonder What’s Next,” which contained their biggest hit singles, “The Red” and “Send the Pain Below”.
The core of the band from the start has been brothers Sam and Pete Loeffler on drums and vocals, respectively, with various members playing bass over the years, including their other brother Joe, who held the chair until in 2005.
Although the band’s greatest success came at the turn of the millennium, when hard rock and nu-metal bands were all over the radio, Chevelle managed to continue releasing records over the course of the two decades, their most recent album being 2021’s “Niratias”.
We spoke with Sam Loeffler ahead of their upcoming headlining performance at the Orange Loop Rock Fest. Here is what he had to say:
RYAN LOUGHLIN: The core of your band is you and your brother Pete, and for a while you also had your other brother Joe as a member. Does working with such close family members make things easier or harder? So many bands that have siblings are famous for their fights.
SAM LOEFFLER: In fact, it has been very good for us. Pete and I have always been very close, but obviously not everyone is. If we weren’t close, we certainly couldn’t have succeeded, because it seems that the key to success is longevity. My other brother was in the band at the start, but he’s not a writer and he really didn’t like the lifestyle, so he moved on pretty quickly.
RL: You came to a time when guitar music was everywhere on the radio. Now, there are very few guitar-based acts on the charts. Do you think that will change soon?
SL: I think what we see is that things are cyclical. Everything comes back, but I don’t know if it will in my time. I don’t think people change their interests as much as the industry changes what it chooses to focus on. It’s not like all rock fans suddenly started listening to Harry Styles or something. Musical taste is so fundamental to who we are.
RL: Was it frustrating to be lumped in with the nu-metal scene at first? So many of these groups are not remembered very fondly.
SL: At the time, it was good that there was a scene to participate in. I don’t know who the grandfather of nu-metal would be, but I think it’s a pretty wide selection of bands, but at the end of the day, I don’t think it’s wrong to be part of something. At this point in our career, it is what it is, but I don’t think we should look into anything that has any associated negativity, whether it’s nu-metal or whatever genre .
RL: You released an album last year. New music in the works?
SL: We are always writing new music. We are currently working on a new album. Our last album came out at the height of the pandemic, which was a tough time to put out a record, but we had to put it out because we’re a band and that’s what we do. So we did it and it did well on the charts, but we couldn’t tour and that kind of held us back.
RL: What is your writing process? Do you tend to work things out in the studio or do you prefer to dabble in fully fleshed out song arrangements?
SL: We write everything in advance. Pete works on the music and usually brings me a track or something, and we usually go from there and work on it. Or sometimes it will also bring a fully written song. But no matter what, we won’t go into the studio until a song is fully fleshed out.
RL: What can fans expect from your show at the Orange Loop Rock Fest in Atlantic City?
SL: We just want people in the audience to be engaged and part of it. That being said, it’s a lot of work writing a setlist and trying to touch on all these different albums that we’ve released. But that’s what we’re always striving for, because it’s amazing for people to connect and sing together – that’s always what we’re looking for.
5 Questions to Stephen Pearcy: The Voice of Ratt
If there was a Mount Rushmore of 80s metal singers, Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy would probably be on it.
With his rocky, pitch-perfect vocals, his love of crisp guitars, and his ability to write some of the catchiest rock tracks of all time – “Round and Round”, “Back for More”, “I Want a Woman”, ” Lay It Down,” “Way Cool Jr.” — Pearcy epitomizes the sound and image of that funky, gluttonous era of rock.
Now 65, Pearcy will bring his solo band to the Orange Loop Rock Fest on Saturday, June 11, inside the Showboat Hotel, in a day that will feature colleagues such as Great White, Slaughter and Doro, as well as 90s and early 2000s rockers Chevelle and Hinder.
The 20e On the anniversary of the day-to-day death of bandmate Ratt and guitarist Robbin Crosby, Pearcy reminisces about his late friend, Ratt’s glory days and what to expect this weekend in Atlantic City.
SCOTT REVIEWS: Stephen, it’s great talking to you, but today must be a little bittersweet.
STEPHEN PEARCY: As we celebrate 20 years of Robbin today, it’s still Ratt & Roll. (Music) has life… so we’re stumbling in the right direction. He was such an important part of the group. I knew we could play without him, but when he left I knew the band was over. I knew we could go through the stages with different players, but I lost a real, real partner there…a rider in that machine. So, I keep doing the solo thing because I can write whatever I want and do solo records and tour whenever I want…with whoever I want. We were supposed to do a big summer tour with Ratt this year. I started doing something if the guys got together. But there’s no reason for them to do it or a need for them to do it, so I decided to go solo. And I’m better. Some of these guys (in my group) have been with me for 18, 20 years. So if you want Ratt & Roll, come see my shows.
SC: The 80s scene was so unique. I miss the guitars and all the over the top nature of that era.
SP: Well, it never went away. I mean, when the 90s came around, people were like, “Where did they all go?” Well, some of us were and still are on our feet. You’ve got Motley Crue there headlining stadiums, and you’ve got me and a lot of others traveling to do shows. Watch everyone on this festival this weekend. Everyone is there to have fun. It’s colorful, it’s dangerous, it’s exciting again.
SC: We always say that rock is dead, but that’s far from the case. Do you think the music is cyclical and we will have a return of the big guitar riffs?
SP: I already see it now because I listen to a lot of different genres of music, and the stuff that’s being played now sometimes feels like it’s imitating the 80s. When it comes to us and bands like us, people say, “Yeah, I remember them. I grew up with them.” At the time, the demographics were interesting. You had 14-year-old daughters at their mothers and everyone in between came to see us. Now, 30 and 40 years later, they’re still Rattin’ & Rollin’, their children are Rattin’ & Rollin’, and their children’s children are Rattin’ & Rollin’.
SC: Do you feel blessed to have been in your prime when rock stars weren’t afraid to be rock stars?
SP: For sure. It’s possible to have a decent career now, but it doesn’t seem as fun. I’ll tell you a funny story: when we took Poison on the road years ago, they thought they might give us a party, and we sent (Poison frontman) Bret (Michaels) to the hospital after a concert.
SC: When did you realize you had done it?
SP: It was an awesome experience to have. It was when Robbin and I were headlining with Ratt, and we were playing Madison Square Garden for the first time. When we were walking backstage from the ramp to the stage, we looked at each other and said, “Led Zeppelin was there! We did it!!”
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