CHEVELLE vocalist/guitarist Pete Loeffler has revealed to "The KiddChris Show" on Cincinnati's WEBN radio station that his band is a free agent after fulfilling its contractual agreement with longtime label Epic. "We just finished our record contract," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "How many bands can say that? We just handed in our last one for Sony/Epic, and we're stitting here wondering what's next. Where do we go now? Do we go back to being an indie band? I mean, that's kind of cool. That sounds exciting. I don't know. I don't know where we're gonna go now. Do we start a label? Do we do it ourselves? We're not a TikTok band necessarily; we don't have that platform."
He continued: "We're trying to change, but not change too much to lose your core fanbase, and yet you do wanna grow, and yet you don't wanna be stuck in the same archaic music-business model."
Asked if he and his brother, CHEVELLE drummer Sam Loeffler, still don't know if they will re-sign with Epic, Pete said: "Contracts are a bitch, and we've signed some raw ones. And we need to start trying to make some money off of our catalog, which is 10 albums deep, plus all the side stuff. We haven't made any money off of record sales, album sales. It's all gone to the major labels. A lot of people make money off of us; we just don't make money the way the deals are structured. We just aren't excited to get back into any kind of contract. So if we find a new home at a new label, wherever it is, it's gotta be a special deal where you get something for your hard work.'
He continued: "It would be nice to do something different and actually make a buck off of an album for once; it just hasn't happened for us. We've sold six million albums for Epic Records, and they've made 50 million dollars. It's lopsided. And the artist — just like [American stand-up comedian] Dave Chappelle said, he knows he signed a deal with for the Chappelle show ['Chappelle's Show'] long ago, and it's a raw deal. It went to someone else, and they can put it on any platform they want, whether it's Netflix or HBO or whatever, and he went to them and said, 'Look, I know I did that, but it's wrong — it's still wrong. You need to compensate the artist.' And that's kind of where we're ending up too. It's a bad business model for the artist."
Pete went on to say that Epic still retains the rights to CHEVELLE's entire catalog. "The fact of the matter is when you sign a record deal with a major, they own it for, like, 20-something years," he explained. "We said, 'We'd re-sign with you if you just sent some of it through the pipeline to us.' All the profits, they're keeping everything. 'And if you just send a little bit through, maybe we can talk about this, [about] continuing on.' I mean, there's some good people at Epic. And then, in a lot of ways, we feel burned."
CHEVELLE's latest album, "Niratias" (Nothing Is Real And This Is A Simulation), was released on March 5. The follow-up to 2016's "The North Corridor" was recorded throughout 2019 and 2020 with longtime producer Joe Barresi (TOOL, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE), CHEVELLE.
"Niratias" bowed in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200. It debuted at No. 9, and was the first new release to chart within the Top 10 in over three weeks. In addition, "Niratias" achieved several other accolades. This week, the LP impressively debuted at No. 1 on several Billboard charts, including Rock Album, Alternative Album, Hard Music, Overall Album, Digital Album and Internet Album. "Self Destructor", the album’s acclaimed lead single, also reached the summit of the Active Rock radio chart this week, marking CHEVELLE's 12th No. 1 single at the format.
"The North Corridor" debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 album chart and produced a No. 1 Mainstream Rock single, "Joyride (Omen)".