In concert

Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen: We’re a rock band

 
 
Nielsen
Nielsen
Akerlund / The Washington Post

Surrender to the sounds of Cheap Trick on Saturday night at Magic City Casino. The band — which formed in Illinois 40 years ago (yes) — is ready to rock out the stage and perform such never-die songs as I Want You to Want Me, Dream Police, and The Flame.

The People Page spoke to lead guitarist Rick Nielsen before the show:

Your stuff isn’t exactly cookie-cutter. Can you describe your writing process?

Everything you write or do, you don’t want everything to be the same or rehash or whatever, but we still want to keep the wholeness of what we do intact. We never tried to go electronic; we never tried to go all keyboard. We stayed true to what we’re doing.

Are you surprised by how popular you guys still are?

Of course not! [Laughing.] No, I think we’re a good band. We’re of the time where we actually used to play three to four sets a night. I mean, this was years and years ago, but it honed our skills. We never had to depend on an extra this or an extra that. I’d hate to try and compete in today’s world, because none of us can dance, we don’t have any background singers, we don’t use auto-tune. It’s a rock band. We don’t have just one song, we have, I don’t know how many records we have out, but like 300 songs.

Do you record live, like everyone playing at the same time, or do you record drum tracks, bass, guitar?

We do it both. Sometimes everyone’s there, sometimes not. But for the most part the best way to do it is with everyone there. And then if I do my part, and get through the thing, I can go back and work on it. That’s what we’ve always done. But as far as actual playing, the initial basic track we try to always do live.

Is there a song you enjoy playing live more than others?

No matter what we do, we only do songs 3 ½ to 5 minutes long, so even if you don’t like it, you get through it.

Was there any song you wrote that, as you were writing it, and you were like, oh yeah, this is working? You just knew?

There were a bunch of them. We had a song called “Tonight It’s You.” We had everything except the chorus, and we worked on it and worked on it. All of a sudden I was ticking one day, and I just came up with the chorus, just standing there, and I was like “yeah, that’ll tie everything together.” I wrote a few others.

Working on new music?

We’re working on an album to be recorded next year. We’ve already got stuff in the can. It’ll be good.

Tickets: 888-56-MAGIC; www.MagicCity.com

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • The music scene

    Weird Al still making fun of hit songs

    Attention, pop stars: If “Weird Al” Yankovic shows up at your concert or has tracked down your personal email address, you’re likely his next parody conquest.

  • In the spotlight

    Charlie Hunnam: no regrets about ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

    The Fifty Shades of Grey movie is slated for Valentine’s Day 2015, and the original Christian Grey, Charlie Hunnam, says he can’t wait for the finished product.

  • Celebrity roundup

    Cameron Diaz defends bestie Drew Barrymore

    Don’t mess with Cameron Diaz, at least when it comes to her friends. During the around the world media blitz for her latest bomb Sex Tape, the actress called in to Australia’s KIIS 106.5’s Kyle & Jackie O show, and cut short an interview with co-host Kyle Sandilands after he made a comment about her Charlie’s Angels costar Drew Barrymore. Sandilands remarked that the girl in the raunchy comedy (Giselle Eisenberg) reminded him of Barrymore in ET, adding snarkily that he hoped she didn’t go down the same path of drug use. Diaz hit back: “I’m sure, Kyle, you’ve never been through a drug phase, have you? Or alcoholism or anything like that? Pretty clean; always did it right? Congratulations,” then cut the interview short and hung up.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category