"Y'know, we always write, but it's more fun to write for a project and write for a reason," guitarist Rick Nielsen tells Billboard. "We have a company (Big Machine Records) that believes in us and they like the work and they're letting us make more records, which is cool. Making records is one of the ambitions we've always had. I don't think the desire has ever gone away."
Cheap Trick recorded We're All Alright! -- whose title, of course, references the 1978 hit "Surrender" and 1999's "That '70s Song" -- with Julian Raymond, who also helmed Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello. Its 10 tracks (13 on the deluxe edition) hail from the group's past and present, with older, previously unrecorded songs such as "Radio Lover," "Lolita" and "She's Alright" sitting alongside material written and recorded specifically for the album.
"Long Time Coming," a crunchy hard rocker driven by a Kinks-flavored riff, is a bit of a one-song tribute to Cheap Trick's influential forebears. "It's our interpretation of Slade and MC5 and AC/DC and Aerosmith -- a lot of riffs that are reminiscent of the Move, but they're not steals," Nielsen says. "It's just, like, all the bands we like." The song also features a synthesizer underbelly that was a signature in "Surrender," "Dream Police" and other Cheap Trick songs.
Nielsen, meanwhile, says another new album in 2018 is a distinct possibility. "Starting in May we're going back in the studio," he says. "There's stuff around and there's some ideas that never did get fleshed out, which we hope to. It's exciting."
We're All Alright! will be available for pre-order starting May 5, with "Long Time Coming" and "Lolita" as instant grat tracks. Both songs are available now for individual purchase, and the group will offer more early purchase perks via a PleadgeMusic campaign. Meanwhile, Cheap Trick will be promoting the album with a summer tour with Foreigner and John Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience; Foreigner and Cheap Trick will both be celebrating 40th anniversaries, Cheap Trick for the release of its first two albums in 1977.
"There's a lot of good songs," Nielsen says. "They had so many hits, and we've had a number of hits. When we were doing shows together back then (Foreigner founder) Mick Jones used to grab the guys in his band and point at us and say, 'Now THAT's a band,' 'cause (Foreigner) was kind of put together. I think he saw us as, like, a real band as opposed to a bunch of different players put together."
The full track list for We're All Alright! features:
You Got It Going On
Long Time Coming
Brand New Name On An Old Tattoo
Listen To Me
The Rest Of My Life
Blackberry Way (The Move cover)
Like A Fly
If You Still Want My Love