Friday Night Videos
Having sold over 30 million discs, Canada's Nickelback is one of the nation's all time most popular rock and roll exports. They have been nominated a half dozen times for every major music award and with the exception of a Grammy (despite six nominations), they have won at least a couple from each event.
Since their second release, the late 90's breakthrough The State, they were poised to sound like they could define the next post-grunge FM sound. Charted singles like "Breathe" and "Leader of Men" sounded like a rising band ready for the spotlight. Their 2001 release Silver Side Up made them bona fide rock stars, and with arena anthems like "Never Again," "Too Bad," and especially the popular "How You Remind Me," it was easy to see why.
The next year lead singer Chad Kroeger would team up with journeyman Josey Scott for the Spider-man 2 classic "Hero." Though Kroeger was the only member of Nickelback on the song, it didn't matter. Same music, same face, same thing. "Nickelback" was now in the business of big Hollywood themes.
Through the decade it's been steady as she goes:
Gold and platinum records, blockbuster movie themes, WWE and Olympic anthems. They sell out concerts worldwide and have influenced dozens of chart topping bands. As far as rock bands go, they don't get much bigger.
So why do they suck?
They may be one of the world's most popular rock acts, but they are reviled in a way no band has ever been before. Not Poison, not Bon Jovi. Nickelback hatred is unique. Despised by critics and constantly mocked by the public, this video from a few years ago displays a short timeline of the perpetual attacks that seem to take place on Wikipedia's Nickelback entry. Relentless, it is one of the most vandalized non-political pages I've ever seen:
By the late 90's it was assumed that the FM sludge of bands like Bush, Creed, and Big Wreck would be on its way out. Except for the purpose of music history, no longer would there be use for the term 'post-grunge.' This tiresome cliche of rock grandeur was supposed to end with the new millennium, but the zombie Nickelback resurrected the corpse.
In addition, Nickelback has come to symbolize the phony rock star. A glossy rock and roll rebel that is nothing more than a subsidiary of a big corporation. Their tensionless and perfectly crafted songs about strippers and booze as seen from the loser's table has become the muzak of FM radio. Strange, considering they're nice, humble guys who don't even party like rock stars should. That might actually be the sole reason for the immense Nickleback hatred: they're boring.