Band of the Month: Nickelback – In defense of the Dark Horse

For the latest rock music news “Like” The Rock Riff on Facebook:

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here:


Nickelback in concert
Photo credit: Barry Brecheisen Photography

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this blog post has been years in the making. I’ve been a Nickelback fan since about 2006 and I have always had a strong opinion about their position in the rock/ music industry. Over the past few years I have read countless reviews and articles concerning Nickelback which are almost always negative or are written from a positive point of view, but still cops out towards the end of the article by saying something nasty or negative about the band. Just in case that writer gets some heat from so-called haters. I’m here to comment on what I have witnessed on social media and to give my opinion on the band.

Nickelback has proven time and time again that they don’t take themselves too seriously for example in the video they made in response to the Detroit petition that was started as an attempt to have Nickelback replaced as the halftime act for the Thanksgiving game. Many interviews of the band support this statement, because they are always joking around.

You can view Nickelback’s response to the petition here:

I will be honest, musically I can’t really comment on the structure of their songs, because I don’t have the necessary knowledge (music-related qualification) to form an objective opinion.

Being labelled mainstream in the rock music industry is like admitting that you have swine flu at a party. Everyone tries to stay away from you and you will eventually be teased/taunted about it. I support Nickelback as a mainstream rock band, because they are the only rock band that have managed to top the charts on a regular basis. Do rock fans rather want pop/tween acts topping the charts? Through their efforts they are almost single-handedly waving the flag for rock music. Even David Draiman from Disturbed admits to this fact:

Nickelback and David Draiman on Twitter

Nickelback and David Draiman on Twitter

As for those who have said that “How You Remind Me” and “Leader of Men” was pretty decent, but they haven’t made good music since then. I beg to differ, obviously these people forgot to listen to The Long Road Nickelback’s fourth album released September 23, 2003. Its one of my all-time favourite albums, because it covers a wide variety of topics and included on the album is their awesome cover of Elton John’s Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting featuring Kid Rock and Dimebag Darrell. My favourites off of that album are “Should’ve Listened” which is a pleasant surprise when you listen to the album for the first time and “Yanking Out My Heart” is another fave with its angry lyrics and fantastic chorus. Listen to “Should’ve Listened” here:

I just want to make clear that I’m not a Nickelback fan who only like the tracks that they release as singles. I love their whole discography and I especially like the tracks that aren’t released as singles. I believe there are two types of Nickelback fans those who like them for the ballads/popular singles and then there are the rock music fans that love all of their songs.

There are some rare jewels to be discovered when you listen to their entire music catalogue, for example “Worthy To Say“, “Woke Up This Morning”, “Midnight Queen”, “Just To Get High”, “Fly”, “Follow You Home” and “Next Contestant” to name just a few. Then there are some hard rock tracks which I always look forward to with every album they release like “Side of a Bullet” dedicated to the late Dimebag Darrell from Pantera which just proves what Nickelback are capable of.The song includes a guitar solo by Dimebag from his Pantera days, and was used with the blessing and cooperation of Dimebag’s brother and Pantera/Damageplan drummer, Vinnie Paul. “This Means War” is another crowd pleaser and its best played extremely loud, the same goes for “Burn It To The Ground”. “Figure You Out” is another solid rocker with slightly different subject matter and I think its just one of those songs that will never get old. In my opinion their most meaningful ballads on one album was from All The Right Reasons. Those songs might have entered the U.S. Hot 100 top 20 singles, but they still carried so much meaning especially “If Everyone Cared” and “Savin’ Me” which was rumoured to be about a childhood friend of Chad’s who was incarcerated and died in prison. I heard about this rumour a few years ago, but I’m not sure if its true.

Nickelback have never been subtle in their choices for supporting acts such as Seether (from South Africa!), Bush, Three Days Grace, Buckcherry, Daughtry and Shinedown. You have to be pretty famous and confident to take these massively successful bands on tour with you. Nickelback have always managed to cultivate friendships with the bands they tour with, so as people they are pretty likeable if you ask me. On numerous occasions I have witnessed (on the internet) their tour mates only having nice things to say about them. It takes a lot of confidence in your own abilities as a band to keep such famous company.

Aside from all the success that Nickelback has had, Chad Kroeger started his own record label 604 Records in 2002 and holds the position of Executive Producer. Here are the list of artists signed to the label:

Official website of 604 Records:

Nickelback was discovered by Roadrunner’s Artists and repertoire (A&R) Ron Burman who travelled to Vancouver to see the band perform live, the then unknown venue was packed. It took Ron Burman three months to convince his label bosses’ to approve the signing that would mark Roadrunner’s first move into mainstream rock. They have never looked back since, even though Roadrunner fans are constantly complaining about the fact that Nickelback are included in their list of signed artists.

Many a rock band has covered Metallica at some point in their career, but no one has done it quite like Nickelback. I just wish I could hear the song in its entirety. Nickelback started out as a Led Zeppelin and Metallica cover band called “Village Idiots”.

Watch it here:

At the start of their career Nickelback’s sound was a little ruff around the edges and gritty, but I suppose that is what made them so appealing back in 1995 and since then their sound has become more polished and controlled. I believe this change occured due to years of experience and adapting to what the fans wanted. The earlier Nickelback albums are more acceptable to rock music lovers, because it wasn’t as polished and that was the appeal. In my opinion The Long Road was the best combination of both worlds and after that album was when Nickelback departed from the minds of hard rock lovers and entered the mainstream music industry. I listen to and support both sides of the coin(/nickel) and I will always remain grateful to Nickelback for introducing me to rock music. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t know who most of the modern rock bands are, my love for rock music started with Nickelback and branched out to the bands that supported them on tour. I looked up bands like Shinedown on the internet just because they started touring with Nickelback.

The band has sometimes been critiscised over their use of themes such as strippers, sex, prostitutes, drugs and drinking. People will drink, regardless of the fact that Nickelback is singing about it and the same goes for the rest of the content for their songs. Most rock bands cover these subjects at one point or another in their career, I also believe that its Nickelback’s way of being risque and not remaining safe in their subject matter.

Here are some great photos of each band member:


Daniel Adair

Daniel Adair
Source:Marcus Chacona Photography

Mike Kroeger

Mike Kroeger

Ryan Peake

Ryan Peake

Chad Kroeger

Chad Kroeger

Nickelback in concert

Nickelback in concert

Follow Nickelback on Twitter here:

If you would like to connect with fellow Nickelback fans you can follow Nickelbackers here:

Nickelback just finished the European leg of their Here & Now tour with Daughtry. You can check out the rest of their tour dates here:

Thank you for reading!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K


Recent News 24/09/2012 – 30/09/2012

For the latest rock music news “Like” The Rock Riff on Facebook:

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here:

Daughtry‘s bass player Josh Paul is leaving the band

Josh Paul

Josh Paul Daughtry’s bass player

On the 24th of September 2012 , Josh Paul announced on Twitter that he will be leaving Daughtry after six years.

“Josh Paul Statement: Hello my Daughtry friends and fam, I’d like to start this note by saying that you are all amazing! The love and support that you give to the band and to me is overwhelming and beautiful. I couldn’t ever ask for better…

fans and friends. The time has come for me to bow out and let the band continue on without me. This has been a very difficult decision, as these are not only my band mates, but my brothers. For six years we have worked to build something special together, not only on stage and in the studio, but in our lives. I wish the band all the the luck and success that they deserve! I not only want to thank the guys in the band for all that we’ve accomplished together, but I really want to thank all of you for your undeniable support. Daughtry truly has the best fans! I love you all!!! JP @therealjoshpaul And always remember to SMILE!!!!”
This was Josh Paul’s statement that was posted in Daughtry’s Facebook page:!/daughtry
I’m sure all of Daughtry’s fans are sad to see the charming bass player leave the band. JP is such a positive person and he is always ready to interact with his fans on Twitter. From the start JP made it very clear that it was HIS own decision to leave the band and that there was no drama involved in the decision. Through Daughtry JP has gained a lot of fans who will continue to support his future endeavours. I can only be grateful that I got to see him play live, before he made this decision. You can read Chris Daughtry’s official statement on their official website here:
You can follow Josh Paul on Twitter here:
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators release Bad Rain music video!

On the 26th of September 2012 Slash announced the release of his new music video Bad Rain, which is one of my favourite songs off of Apocalyptic Love. I more or less had the same visualisation of the song in my head when I first heard it, maybe less the skeleton part :).

Shannon Leto will no longer be collaborating with Antoine Becks
On the 27th of September Shannon Leto from Thirty Seconds To Mars made it very clear that he will no longer be working with Antoine Becks.
Here is the post for those of you who missed it:
Shannon Leto's Tweet

Shannon Leto’s Tweet on 27/09/2012

Godsmack and Staind pay tribute to Dimebag Darrell during Texas Uproar Festival
Godsmack has always stated how much of an influence Pantera has had on their career so a tribute to Pantera in their hometown was imminent.
Fans were treated to a performance of Pantera’s This Love from Godsmack joined by Mike Mushok and Aaron Lewis of Staind. This Love comes from Pantera’s 1992 release ‘Vulgar Display of Power’.
Members of Fozzy and P.O.D among others later joined the bands on stage and even Rita Haney, the longtime girlfriend of late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott joined in at the other side of the stage.
You can view some of the videos members of the crowd recorded during this special performance here:
Rock Regards,Lauren K