He was like, I love your band, you know what you’re doing in there.” Deal in hand, Cheap Trick and Raymond quickly set to work.Described by all as the band’s de-facto “fifth member,” Raymond has been a friend and sometimes collaborator for three decades, relied upon as both confidante and traffic cop.Carlos retired from active touring and recording with the band he co-founded.Daxx’s innate virtuosity and spirited musicianship were propulsive in more ways than the usual, inspiring fresh energy while also keeping the band in touch with its roots. “He’s so into it, he can play all of our songs on any instrument.Co-produced by Cheap Trick and GRAMMY® Award winner Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell, Fastball), songs like “Heart On The Line” and the turbulent first single, “When I Wake Up Tomorrow,” are deeply connected to the band’s own irrepressible history just as they accelerate their trademark sound and vision into the now.The glorious “Long Time No See Ya” marks another in a long line of salutations spanning “ELO Kiddies” and “Hello There” to “Goodnight” and “Say Goodbye,” while the piledriving “Do You Believe Me” showcases dueling solos from Nielsen and six-string icon Wayne Kramer – a milestone meeting of the long established Midwestern mutual appreciation society between Cheap Trick and the mighty MC5.The band immediately got into their groove by locking into a playful version of “The In Crowd.” Written by Billy Page and made famous in not one, not two, but distinct chart hits by Dobie Gray, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, and Bryan Ferry respectively, the song was a staple of Cheap Trick’s earliest live sets, a reliable crowd-pleaser as they made their bones at local dives all over the Midwest. “We continued writing from that sound.” All three original members cite drummer Daxx Nielsen as the most significant contemporary influence on Cheap Trick’s current creativity.A musical polymath who has played with artists spanning Dick Dale to Brandi Carlisle, the younger Nielsen was the obvious choice when the seemingly irreplaceable Bun E.
Several of his many career highlights include the masterful album “Sun, Moon and Herbs” in 1971 which included cameos from Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger and 1973’s “In The Right Place,” which contained the chart hits “Right Place Wrong Time” and “Such A Night.” In addition to his six Grammy wins (1989, 1992, 1996, 2000, 20), he has received six other Grammy nominations over the years.“He really understands our band and because he’s not us, he can see things that we don’t or can’t see in ourselves.We’re so close to this music, you need somebody else like Julian.” Sessions got underway in 2015 at Los Angeles’ East West Studio.Each member has skin in the songwriting game, contributing elements – a riff, a chorus, a hook that won’t stop – which are then jammed into three-and-a-half minute pop perfection by the entire unit, ensuring everybody’s respective two cents are represented in every finished tune.
“We start something and the songs take on a life of their own,” Petersson says. It’s not like one person had to think of everything for 40 years straight.I think that keeps us in top form.” Fast approaching their fifth decade, Cheap Trick is among the most active and successful in music history, with featured appearances on over 20 movie soundtracks, more than 40 international gold and platinum certifications, myriad awards and industry honors, and total record sales well in excess of 20 million.