Veteran rock act Cheap Trick returns this week with "Rockford," an album named after the Illinois town that birthed the group over three decades ago.

Veteran rock act Cheap Trick returns this week with "Rockford," an album named after the Illinois town that birthed the group over three decades ago. The band produced the Cheap Trick Unlimited/Big 3 Records project itself, but with the aid of renowned studio pros Steve Albini, Jack Douglas and Linda Perry.

"We oversaw the thing, because we were the only 'constant,'" bassist Tom Petersson says. "Steve didn't record any of the songs -- he mixed everything and put it all together. He made it all cohesive, because it was kind of all over the place. It was a bit of a pain in the ass for him, but he did a great job, I thought."

"People look at us like we should know something since we've been around for so long, when we actually know about as much as the producers do," adds guitarist Rick Nielsen. "Making records is harder work than it seems, but it's not physical labor, so we don't get many blisters from working too hard. But as far as spending time away from your family and being holed up in a studio -- it's a long, lengthy process. You've got to love it -- that's why we're still doing it."

The group, which also includes singer Robin Zander and drummer Bun E. Carlos, enlisted Perry to produce and co-pen lead single "Perfect Stranger." "She's an engineer, songwriter, producer, guitar player and a singer," Nielsen enthuses. "She can do it all -- I don't know why in the heck she needs us!"