Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson says the band has wrapped work on its next album — and they're already on to the one after that.

Describing the LP as "vintage Cheap Trick," Petersson tells the Macomb Daily that the group is "halfway to another record already," and describes an outlook very different from the increasingly discouraged tone many veteran acts strike when asked about the prospect of releasing new music into an uncertain marketplace.

"The thing is we’re going to keep going," he insisted. "We want to record a record every year and just keep them coming out, like in the old days when everybody had a record out every six months, us included. We’re writing all the time, so what good is it if those [songs] don’t come out?"

Cheap Trick haven't released an album of new material since 2009's The Latest, and in the interim, as Petersson pointed out, they've been consistently on the road.

"We’re not the kind of group that will take two, three years off to go make an album or something," he noted. "If we have two or three weeks off, it’s a miracle. We work all the time — not non-stop, certainly, but we’re back and forth a lot and we do all sorts of different shows. It’s like having a small business. We honestly have to keep going to survive, and that’s what pushes us forward. It’s our livelihood. And we like it. It’s fun, so we wouldn’t want to stop even if we could."

Between concert and recording dates, Petersson's been working on a project called Rock Your Speech, which uses music to help autistic children hone their speaking skills — as he put it, "a way to do therapy without a therapist there."

"It’s a scary thing for people," he said. "There’s talk about the cure, and that’s all well and good, but what do you do day to day? That’s what people need to hear about. I’m in a position where I can put myself out there and say, ‘This is happening to us, too, and this is what we’re doing.’ And hopefully that helps."

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