Cheap Trick has been on a three-year cycle between albums during the past decade, but that doesn't mean the band isn't thinking about new material in the interim.
"We were just in Los Angeles and came up with 10 ideas that we're working on that are very strong contenders [with producer Julien Raymond]," bassist Tom Petersson tells Billboard.com. "That's how it works now. We just do it as it happens, when opportunities come up, just putting together ideas. And once you get 10 or 12 strong things it's like, 'Wow, we have the record!' "
"The Latest," Cheap Trick's self-released 2009 disc produced by Raymond, debuted at No. 78 on the Billboard 200 chart -- the group's best showing since "Busted" in 1990 -- but Petersson says that albums serve a different purpose for the group these days. "We're not unrealistic about it," he acknowledges. "We don't have to make records; we just really enjoy doing it."
Cheap Trick recently wrapped up a run of its "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" show in Las Vegas and is back out on the road, with a five-show run with Blondie starting Aug. 21 in Red Wing, Minn. The group will do "Sgt. Pepper's Live" again in September, but Petersson says it's unlikely Cheap Trick will ever take that on the road.
"There's too many people involved," he explains. "There's 30 people in the orchestra, six background singers, an Indian ensemble, a conductor, all this stuff -- about 50 extra people besides us. We couldn't afford to do it. If it made sense we would do it, but it doesn't. And we travel so much anyway, it's great to have something that's in one place sometimes."