Cheap Trick Roars Back On 'Rockford'
Veteran rock act Cheap Trick will return on June 6 with "Rockford," an album named after the Illinois town that birthed the group over three decades ago.Veteran rock act Cheap Trick will return on June 6 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 tells Billboard.com. "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!"
Although Cheap Trick just finished "Rockford," Petersson says the band has already reserved Albini for its next studio effort. But as for the Albini-produced re-recording of classic 1977 album, "In Color," he says there are no concrete plans for its official release. "Since it's already finished, we should do something with it. But I don't know what's going to happen with it."
The band is especially excited about shows next month in the United Kingdom supporting Def Leppard. A reunited Sensational Alex Harvey band is also on the bill. "They were huge favorites of ours," Petersson says. "Unfortunately, Alex is dearly departed, but boy, they were such a great band. It's a big honor to be working with them. Def Leppard have [also] been real nice to us. They've got a great audience."