Since the 1970s, the band Cheap Trick has been performing the catchy and recognizable songs such as "I Want You to Want Me," "Surrender," and "The Flame" by powerfully blending elements of pop, punk and metal.

The band was honored in October of 2007 by the Chicago Chapter of NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) for their tremendous contributions to the music industry with more than 5,000 performances, 20 million records sold, 29 movie soundtracks and 40 gold and platinum recording awards. Also, they were featured in the John Varvatos Spring 2008 ad campaign.

In September 2009, the band performed the classic Beatles album, "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band," complete with an orchestra and guest artists Joan Osborne and Ian Ball for nine critically-acclaimed shows in Las Vegas.

Their most current album, "The Latest", has earned many glowing reviews worldwide, and they continue their reign as power-pop/rock progenitors as they celebrate their 35th anniversary.

Cheap Trick is dropping by Boston, MA and having a gig on the 30th. Blast got a chance to talk to Rick Nielsen, lead guitarist of the band.

BLAST: What is it like to be back on the road after all these years?

Rick Nielsen: It’s very good.

BLAST: How do you connect with audiences around the world?

RN: Oh! I’m really international and universal. And I think music is the other thing which helps me to stick at the language, so it’s all good!

BLAST: What types of fans are coming to your shows these days?

RN: When I played in New York,……yeah, all ages. ALL ALL AGES! It’s real good. Young kids, old fans, and new fans are coming too.

BLAST: How young are they? High school age?

RN: Even younger!

BLAST: Wow, that’s sweet.

RN: Yeah, we got junior high school kids last night.

BLAST: The band has played the Beatles’ songs as well. How does the Beatles inspire the Cheap Trick sound?

RN: Well, I think the Beatles’ music just inspired a lot of people. So, I don’t know! (Laughs) We are the four guys and play the Beatles’ world.

BLAST: What’s the meaning behind the new record title "The Latest"?

RN: We tried to think of the title and an interviewer said, "What’s the latest album of you?" We were stuck thinking of the title but the guy said, "What’s the latest being released?" So I just said, "Oh, you just called it ‘The Latest.’"

BLAST: So does it mean to "listen to the latest Cheap Trick sound" or something like that?

RN: Right. If people said, "I’d like to get the latest Cheap Trick record," then get "The Latest!” (Laughs)

BLAST: How have you managed to keep going over 30 years?

RN: I love to play and I think everybody in the band likes to play. It’s really good. And people like us! (Laughs)

Cheap Trick will be playing at the House of Blues in Boston on January 30.

About The Author

Eiko Watanabe is a Blast staff writer in New York

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