Rock veterans Cold Chisel have spent the past week in the studio with producer Kevin Shirley.

A message on the group’s Facebook page says: “Putting down some new tunes – a week in the studio,” accompanied by a picture showing long-time associate Shirley behind the mixing desk.

Producer Shirley returns to the fold despite enduring a difficult ride on Chisel’s last album, 2012’s No Plans.

South African-born Shirley joined the band Down Under to begin recording, but revealed he had to have “strong words” with them as the Aussie rockers weren’t in the right frame of mind.

“The first time I went over, they weren’t ready to record at all,” he says. “They didn’t even know the chords to the songs – I had to have strong words with them.”

Frontman Jimmy Barnes put the lack of focus down to the sudden death of drummer Steve Prestwich in January 2011, saying: “It wasn’t a case of being slack – it took much longer than expected to get into the right frame of mind after we lost Steve.”

Barnes is celebrating 30 years as a solo artist with the release of 30:30 Hindsight next month – an album featuring 40 tracks with various artists.

“I wanted to do something special for the 30th anniversary,” Barnes explains. “There was talk of a tribute album, but that would have taken me out the picture. Then I thought of a better idea – I’ll get all my favourite acts and sing with them.”

Among the tracks, Barnes re-visits Good Times with Keith Urban, Going Down Alone with Journey, Too Much Ain’t Enough Love with Joe Bonamassa and Stand Up with his daughter Mahalia. The album will be released on August 29.