Cheap Trick is answerable for many of your favourite karaoke staples: “The Flame.” “Ghost Town.” “Dream Police.” “I Want You to Want Me.”
However Rick Nielsen – the band’s co-founder, guitarist and chief songwriter – is sort of overly modest when requested concerning the group’s longevity.
“I similar to what I do. We’re not the best however we’re not dangerous,” Nielsen tells USA TODAY. “We’re not superstars. We’re lots of people’s fifth favourite band. They are saying, ‘I’ve acquired Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, the Beatles.’ However I do not thoughts being fifth.”
The Illinois-based rockers put out their self-titled debut in 1977. On Friday, they launch their twentieth album, a sprightly 13-track effort titled “In One other World.” The album options longtime vocalist Robin Zander and bassist Tom Petersson, in addition to Nielsen’s son, Daxx, on drums. It additionally features a cowl of John Lennon’s 1971 protest music “Gimme Some Truth,” which Nielsen believes is as related now because it was then.
Between “the pandemic and the politics of the final 5 years, it was not precisely an inspiring time, which is among the causes we added ‘Gimme Some Fact,’ ” he says. “We let John Lennon get the credit score and the blame as a result of we’re not a political band.”
USA TODAY talked to Nielsen, 72, concerning the new music, his recollections of Lennon and Kiss’ Gene Simmons, and ideas on ex-Low-cost Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos:
Query: What types of concepts or themes had been you drawing from for “In One other World?”
Rick Nielsen: We launched “The Summer Looks Good on You” as a single a number of years in the past earlier than we began engaged on the album. The refrain, “Right here comes the summer season,” (suggests) one thing good and optimistic that is coming. The summer season might be a metaphor for change, a brand new concept, one thing recent, wanting ahead. So a few of these phrases had been in our thoughts and form of flowed out (as we wrote the brand new music). We attempt to be a bit darkish however then on the similar time uplifting. Uplifting is a greater factor than doom and gloom.
Q: You and Bun E. Carlos initially performed on John Lennon’s “I’m Losing You” and “I’m Moving On” in 1980. Your son, Daxx, was born whilst you had been within the studio, proper?
Nielsen: My spouse knew that John Lennon was my favourite, so I acquired a corridor cross. If it was Paul McCartney, I might’ve been again on the hospital. (Laughs.) And by then, it was her third child, so she knew what was occurring. I am most likely no consolation anyhow.
Q: Did you ever float any concepts by John about different collaborations?
Nielsen: Whereas we had been doing “I am Shedding You,” he mentioned, “Man, I want we would had Rick on ‘Cold Turkey.’ (Eric) Clapton froze up.” I did not hear that immediately from him, however I heard it from Jack (Douglas, Lennon’s producer). And really after that, we had talked about Low-cost Trick being the band for John Lennon. We had been massive followers of Plastic Ono Band and all the opposite spinoff bands he had, and we thought we would be good at it. We’re not session guys, however we knew that stuff. It was form of second nature to us. Not the massive preparations that the Beatles had (later), however the Cavern Membership mentality (from after they began out) as a result of we had performed so many reveals in golf equipment.
Robin and I had been going to do concord on the document, which turned out to be “Double Fantasy.” However by the point we acquired again from Japan and went to New York, that they had completed the document and we did not get to try this.
Q: Low-cost Trick opened for Kiss on tour in 1977. Did you ever get to celebration with them?
Nielsen: I hung round fairly a bit with Gene (Simmons). He was a completely distinctive man. Paul (Stanley) was form of on his personal on a regular basis. Gene was essentially the most level-headed whereas nonetheless completely eccentric, which did not trouble me. So we acquired alongside pretty nicely.
Q: Eccentric how?
Nielsen: What I assumed was most fascinating was after we’d keep at a lodge. As a substitute of getting bothered by folks, we had aliases (that we would examine in beneath). First I used to be Les Paul, then I used to be Neil Richards. Gene would at all times go beneath Gene Simmons as a result of he needed girls to go up and see him. “Is Gene Simmons there?” “Yeah, we’ll put him proper by.” “Whoa!”
Q: You additionally launched “I Need You to Need Me” in ’77. How does it really feel to see that music stay on all these years later?
Nielsen: I at all times joke that I want I used to be that silly extra usually, to write down one thing that is gone on to place my children by college. I most likely wrote it in about 5 minutes and now it has been round for ages. All people form of is aware of it and it makes folks completely satisfied, even robust guys with leather-based and spikes. All of them have tender moments with their family members, too. For 3 minutes, they arrive collectively.
Q: Do you might have a favourite cowl of it?
Nielsen: Niko Flynn and The Holmes Brothers each do cool variations of it. And this band Propagandhi, a punk band, did it actual quick. Taylor Swift really did it, too. She performed it stay in Chicago, like, “Hey guys, this is a music I like from some guys that stay proper round right here.” And so there’s 18,000 (mothers) within the viewers and their children singing “I Need You to Need Me.”
Q: Do you take pleasure in Taylor’s music?
Nielsen: Oh, she’s so proficient, yeah.
Q: What did Low-cost Trick’s 2016 induction into the Rock Corridor imply to you?
Nielsen: That simply validated us being in a band as a result of after we began, there was no Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame. We had been eligible fairly some time again, however I felt all of the reveals we had accomplished, these had been the (true) Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame. We continued to play it doesn’t matter what occurred. We have had success, we have had failures and it is cool that it wasn’t all success as a result of then our egos can be larger than they’re.
Q: How did it really feel to reunite with Bun on the ceremony? (Carlos fell out with the band and was changed by Daxx Nielsen as drummer.)
Nielsen: We’re professionals so we do what we now have to do. He is a terrific participant and it is too dangerous that, at this level in our profession, we did not find yourself with all the identical guys however issues simply did not work out that method. He was of a special mindset and he thought we’d by no means make one other document. We’d by no means change the setlist as a result of he was like, “You possibly can’t play that, you possibly can’t play that.” And we did not argue, we simply agreed with him. He was by no means comfy taking part in greater than the wanted hour and 55 minutes. So it was simply time.
Q: Have you ever been in contact with him since then?
Nielsen: Yeah, by lawsuits, clearly. However after we had been collectively, we by no means actually chatted or frolicked.