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The Veldt arouses the rock world with ‘Afrodisiac’

It’s obvious to twin brothers Danny and Daniel Chavis, of the North Carolina alternative-rock quartet The Veldt, where they get their inspiration.


On the group’s big-label debut album, “Afrodisiac” (Mercury), there are recurring themes of optimism-overrules-despair and try-to-progress-not-to-regress. They would know.

“Danny and I were raised by four women – our mother, grandmother and two aunts,” lead singer Daniel Chavis said recently, “and they didn’t have anything. Our father wasn’t around.

“I’ve seen how men are and what our momma had to go through, so I have to understand their point of view because they were our providers. I know where they’re coming from. It’s not a condescending, ‘Oh, I know how you feel.’ I was there, and I have an idea that, with any woman, they want to be treated right.”

That inherent fortitude came in handy while the Chavis twins waited patiently for their big break in the rock world. Formed in 1986 by the twins, The Veldt has been the hot topic of the clubs in and around Chapel Hill, N.C., ever since. Fans have been asking, “When are they finally gonna hit the big time?”

It hasn’t been easy.

“What you’re hearing off ‘Marigolds’ (their ’91 EP) and ‘Afrodisiac’ are songs going back to 1989 up until now,” said guitarist Danny Chavis. “All those songs were supposed to be on ‘Marigolds,’ so we’re backed up with songs.

“In that timespan, we should be on our fifth album by now. There was a mixup with Capitol, our first label, and all that happened to Mammoth Records. We were in litigation for a while … so you’re hearing things that should be on one record.”

Through all the delays and broken promises, the Chavis twins applied the tenacity instilled in them from the women in their lives.

“We’re comics,” Daniel said. “It got to the point where we just had to laugh about it. That’s what our momma would do.”

“Sometimes I think it’s for the good,” Danny countered, “because it gave us a chance for our songwriting to mature.”

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