Photo Credit: T. Cody Strubel

The Nickelback Paradox: Hated Yet Loved by Millions

Nickelback, hailing from Canada and led by the charismatic Chad Kroeger, has faced a tidal wave of criticism over the years. Often, their sound, referred to as post-grunge or bro-rock, has been at the heart of this backlash. Songs like “Photograph” and “Rockstar” particularly faced intense scrutiny. In 2011, fervent music enthusiasts even campaigned to prevent the band from performing at a Detroit Lions halftime show.

A significant blow came in 2003 when comedian Brian Posehn, during an appearance on Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn”, humorously suggested that Nickelback’s music incited violent tendencies. This quip, played repeatedly for six months, seemed to stoke the flames of widespread disdain for the band. The band members feel that this incident might have intensified the ongoing negative sentiment towards them.

Adding to the drama, a public disagreement arose between Chad Kroeger and Corey Taylor of Slipknot. Kroeger once branded Taylor’s other group, Stone Sour, as “Nickelback Lite” and dismissed Slipknot as mere “gimmickry”. In return, Taylor didn’t mince words, directly calling Kroeger an “idiot”, though expressing no hard feelings towards the rest of Nickelback.

Yet, amidst this maelstrom of negativity, Nickelback stands tall with over 50 million albums sold and an impressive six Grammy nominations. It’s noteworthy that some of the disdain for Nickelback seems to be fueled by mere bandwagoning, with many disliking the band simply because it’s considered ‘trendy’ to do so.

But here’s the thing: Nickelback has a fervent, devoted fanbase. They flock to concerts, sing along to every tune, and passionately defend the band’s honor. There are those who genuinely believe that the animosity directed towards Nickelback is just a fleeting trend and that their music resonates with many.

Being a music enthusiast and appreciator and after covering the Get Rollin’ Tour stop in Hershey, PA, I see the value in recognizing Nickelback’s undeniable commercial achievements and their ability to connect with legions of fans. Their journey highlights that while an artist might face criticism, the true testament to their worth is the devoted listeners who find joy in their craft.

About T. Strubel

Founder of Rock Documented in September of 2015. Serves as Lead Photographer, Writer and Editor. Voted "Best Photography" by the Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame. Currently shoots with 2 Nikon D850s, Nikon 22-70mm 2.8 VR, Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 VR, and Black Rapid Shoulder Strap.

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