LOS ANGELES — Turns out that Uncle Kracker's no stranger to joy, either.

While 2002's No Stranger to Shame, featuring the melancholy smash single "Drift Away," lived up to its title, Stranger's follow-up will flip the mood.

"I'm gonna have a little more fun this time around," Kracker said recently. "The last record wasn't so fun, but this record will be, whether I like it or not."

Kracker spent a few weeks in December in the studio and plans to work on the album until January 22, when the Twisted Brown Trucker Band will launch its latest tour with Kid Rock in Michigan. The DJ's as-yet-untitled third solo album will be released in summer or fall. On June 3, he will join country star Kenny Chesney's Guitars, Tiki Bars + A Whole Lotta Love Tour through September 10, visiting mostly outdoor venues.

"I go in with a couple of ideas and then do everything else kinda on the fly, whatever feels good that day," Kracker said of his approach to recording.

Rock will stop by for some studio sessions, but where the music will end up is anyone's guess. Besides their respective solo careers, Rock and Kracker have also been working on a much-discussed side project (see "Uncle Kracker, Kid Rock Make Like Bungled Beasties On Side Project").

"We were working on this other [Butthole Surfers'] Locust Abortion Technician, Mr. Bungle-y kinda stuff, but it probably will never see the light of day," Kracker said. "But it's fun."

Between both of their studios, Kracker believes he and Rock are sitting on hundreds of unheard songs.

"What ends up on my records is ridiculous compared to what's sitting around," he said. "There's so much, it's almost a shame. But I think our kids, or somebody, will dig it later on."

Still, Rock recently discussed another Kracker-related side project.

"We would like to make an old-school hip-hop record," he said, "that fun old-school hip-hop I used to enjoy as a kid. Who knows when that'll happen? But I hope it does."

Would that project have any guest producers or rappers?

"Kracker talked about getting this great producer, Kid Rock, for the record," Rock deadpanned. "Then I talked about this great songwriter, Uncle Kracker. We thought we'd get those guys. Am I talking about myself in third person? Yes I am."