Rick Nielsen Discusses Cheap Trick’s Songwriting Method And His Role

Cheap Trick lead guitarist Rick Nielsen talked about the band’s songwriting process and revealed how he created and recorded his own guitar riffs for the song in his latest interview with Guitar World. Also, Nielsen drew attention to harmony in all parts of their songs which they have been focusing on for years.

Founded by Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson, Randy Hogan, and Bun E. Carlos in 1977, Cheap Trick gained fame firstly in Japan thanks to their second studio album entitled ‘In Color.’ Their live album’ Cheap Trick at Budokan,’ released in February 1979, brought them international success, especially in the United States. The band has released twenty studio albums until now, and almost all of them got positive reviews.

The band’s latest and twentieth studio album named ‘In Another World’ was released on April 9, 2021, after it was rescheduled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The tracks were praised for their unique sound and well-crafted lyrics written by all the band members. Therefore, during his interview, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen wanted to share details about their songwriting method and how he created his guitar riffs.

Nielsen stated that they don’t write their lyrics by focusing on a specific theme or idea and considering it a task. As it turns out, they have created many songs for their albums but only used some. He noted that they recorded almost 500 songs, and they don’t have any method or pattern for creating them, and that’s why he can’t point to a specific method of writing.

Nielsen stated in his interview the following:

“We don’t write with a specific idea in mind or a specific task that we have to do. You get a bunch of songs together, and before you know it, it’s an album. We wrote more songs than these. It’s like getting a pile of songs and flushing them out, seeing how they do. I always play my parts according to the song. If it’s a fast song, I’d better step it up. I always try to do what the song dictates, at least what it dictates to me. We’ve recorded probably 400 or 500 songs, so there’s no set pattern of how we do anything.”

Rick Nielsen added that he always composes his guitar parts according to the song’s style and pace and follows the song’s pattern. Therefore, as understood from his statement, Nielsen does whatever the song tells him while working on his unforgettable riffs.