Celebrated producer Rick Rubin is currently working with Weezer on material for its next studio album, and will begin work shortly on the next Slipknot effort. In the meantime, he's continuing to prep

Celebrated producer Rick Rubin is currently working with Weezer on material for its next studio album, and will begin work shortly on the next Slipknot effort. In the meantime, he's continuing to prepare material for his fifth collaboration with Johnny Cash.

Rubin tells Billboard.com that he's been doing pre-production on Weezer's fifth studio set for the past seven or eight months, adding that he plans to head into the studio with Slipknot in a week or two. He recently wrapped work on albums by Palo Alto and Mars Volta, which features ex-members of At the Drive-In. The Palo Alto set is due to be released on Rubin's own American imprint next month; the Mars Volta album arrives in June via Universal.

Rubin says the always-busy Cash recently sent him a CD carrying six new songs. "This one has 'Four Strong Winds' on it, which is a really beautiful song. It's a song from the '60s. It was originally done by Ian & Sylvia." The track might also sound familiar to fans of Neil Young, who covered it on his 1978 acoustic classic, "Comes a Time."

When asked how he comes to work with a particular artist, Rubin says, "It just happens kind of naturally, and it feels right. I usually meet the people, and if there's a sense of connection, and it feels like there's a chemistry, then we do that."

"It's different for different artists," he continues. "Some it's like a mutual goal, where we're both trying to accomplish the same thing, or they explain their vision of what they're trying to do, and I can see that I can help in that vision -- and what they're explaining appeals to me. That's one version. Another is, I see an artist and I just fall in love, and think, 'This is my favorite thing in the world, and I want to be part of this."