Wonder What's Next is the second album and major label debut of American alternative metal band Chevelle, released in 2002 by Epic Records. With hit singles "The Red" and "Send the Pain Below," it proved to be Chevelle's breakthrough album, landing them high-profile tour slots including the Main Stage of Ozzfest 2003. Having sold over 1 million copies, Wonder What's Next remains the band's most successful album.
After experiencing label troubles, Chevelle's management set up a showcase in New York. The group received three offers and ultimately chose Epic. After debating between GGGarth and Ben Gross, they enlisted Garth to produce their sophomore album. Recording was scheduled at The Wherehouse Studio in Vancouver to begin the day following the September 11 attacks. With a tragic event having just taken place in the band's home country, they were met with an unsettling start to the recording process. The band spent nine weeks at the spacious studio.
Wonder What's Next would feature a heavier, more textured sound than its predecessor, which, according to frontman Pete Loeffler, was "more indie" and didn't effectively capture the band's intensity. While Chevelle's debut album was recorded in standard D tuning, the band switched to drop B, with some songs written in standard D♭ tuning. The band also spent much more time adjusting tones and preparing before recording, as opposed to the less refined studio process of working with Steve Albini. Ben Kapplin, the Pro Tools editor, also took a liberal approach to adding textures underneath much of the music. The band was at first uneasy with this approach but came to appreciate the influence it had on the overall sound. However, the track "One Lonely Visitor" breaks from this with its bare-bones approach; a demo was recorded in a home studio, but after rerecording it with Garth in Vancouver, Loeffler still favored the original, less-produced version for its more natural feel and convinced the label to use it. The same method would be used on the final track of their follow-up album in 2004.
"The Red" served as the album's lead single. It had an accompanying music video depicting an anger management seminar and gained heavy rotation on MTV2. "Send the Pain Below" provided an even more successful follow-up single by reaching #1 on two charts. It, too, had an accompanying video revolving around a snowboarder. A final single was released in December 2003 with "Closure." The moody track landed spots in the top 20 of both aforementioned charts and had a video featuring concert footage from live version of the song.
Leading up to the album's release, Chevelle toured the United States with Local H and Burning Brides from March through May 2002. They then joined Ozzfest from July through September. For the remainder of the year, Chevelle continued touring the US with Stone Sour and Sinch. Chevelle also performed "The Red" on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn on November 8.
The band toured Europe with Audioslave in early 2003 before returning to the US. In the spring, they played on Music as a Weapon II with fellow Chicago-based headliners Disturbed. Chevelle later appeared on the tour compilation album Music as a Weapon II, featuring the songs "The Red" and "Forfeit." The band appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman to perform a lead single from the album, "The Red," on May 20.
From June through August, Chevelle performed on the main stage of Ozzfest, where they recorded and later released their first live album, Live from the Road, and a live DVD, Live from the Norva. Starting in November, the band performing radio gigs until the end of the year when they took a several-month break from touring to begin writing their next album.
Reviews for Wonder What's Next were generally positive. Brian O'Neill of Allmusic noted how the band demonstrates an "indie rock mindset" in spite of the album's slick production. He added "Chevelle managed to retain its credibility yet still put out 11 tracks that, while still catchy, offer uniqueness not often heard in more commercial fare, no mean feat." MusicOMH's Tom Day described the band's sound as comparable to the likes of Helmet, Tool, and Deftones and summed up by stating, "there are no qualms with the high calibre, heavy rock that Chevelle have served up here."
The album's first single, "The Red," was released far in advance in July 2002. It met with significant radio airplay and charted highly on both Mainstream Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks. Its music video also gained significant TV rotation. In October, the album debuted at No. 14 on the Billboard 200. A follow-up single, "Send the Pain Below" attained even greater success than its predecessor in February 2003 by reaching No. 1 on both Mainstream Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks. Both "The Red" and "Send the Pain Below" have since become concert staples. To round off promotion of Wonder What's Next, "Closure" was released as the third and final single far later in December to substantial success.
By summer 2003, Wonder What's Next sold over 1 million copies in the US alone. The following year, it had reached 1.3 million. A Deluxe Edition was released March 4, 2003, which features three cover songs as well as a song previously exclusive to the Daredevil soundtrack. This was Chevelle's first biggest selling album.
All lyrics written by Pete Loeffler; all music composed by Chevelle."Until You're Reformed" was featured on Daredevil: The Album.
"Family System" was featured on The Osbourne Family Album.
"Send The Pain Below" was featured on Donkey Konga 2.
"An Evening with el Diablo" is 5:43, but ripping the song produces a length of 5:58 (although the final 15 seconds are silent).
ChevellePete Loeffler - guitar, vocals
Joe Loeffler - bass
Sam Loeffler - drums
Technical personnelGarth Richardson - producer
Andy Wallace - mixing