I’ve never really understood the universal slandering of Nickelback and why they’re so hated. I think they are far from being the worst band in the world. In fact I’d argue that Red Hot Chili Peppers are significantly more annoying, and have significantly less hits — but I’ll delve into that some other time.
Nickelback bassist Mike Kroeger recently sat down with WSOU in promotion for the band’s 15th-anniversary release of their record, All the Right Reasons.
During the appearance, Kroeger was asked about the public perception of Nickelback and why they’re so hated: “What are your thoughts on the band’s pretty unfair reputation of being the bands that everyone loves to hate, that even borders with complete disrespect at times?”
“I have a number of ways of looking at that,” he mused. “I think firstly, it’s sort of what happens when you become known by a lot of people; people feel like they’ve had enough and it’s time for you to move on, and they’re gonna be a part of what pushes you out of the lexicon.
“The reality is – in the beginning, you come out as an artist, as a musician, as a band, and frankly, nobody cares. So you’re fighting hard to do your thing, and you start to develop a very ground-level fanbase from nothing, you’re making your fans literally one at a time.
“And those fans, as they spread and as more come on board, it’s like a team, they’re cheering for you, they want you to succeed and move forward and do big things because they feel it and the other thing is that not enough people know about it.
“So they feel like on the inside – like it’s something really special that not everybody knows, and then as time goes on, hopefully, it’s either you do achieve some kind of success and get some notoriety, people know who you are…
“So what happens, it opens up to the broad mainstream, I guess, or whatever you call it, more and more people start to know about you.
“And before everybody knows you, the people that are pulling for you, they’re your cheerleaders, they’re behind you, there’s like an army of people that are supporting you.
“And I think they feel like you’re probably not going to make it, it’s like chances are that’s not gonna happen, so everyone loves an underdog, so they’re cheering for an underdog real hard, and then what happens is you break-through, and you’re not an underdog anymore.
“Now, you’re part of what’s getting shoved down everybody’s throats – because the industry does that.”
He continued, “Then, those people that were there in the first place, they feel alienated because all of their friends who didn’t see it before; now they do, so it’s not special to them anymore.
“They’re like, ‘Whoah, that sucks! I knew them before this when everything was brand-new and now everybody knows about it so it’s not special anymore.’ So that’s when your own hard-core fans kind-of turn on you.
“And the new fans are so fleeting, they come and go so quickly, so it’s kind of a double-edged sword because you lose all your hard-core fans, and all sorts of fans come and chase the hard-cores away.
“And when the heat wears out, the fairweather fans are gone too, so you have this situation, you know, some of your hard-core fans stay with you the whole time, and some of those fairweather fans turn into lifelong fans.
“But for the most part, those people want to see you go away. They’ve had enough, they feel like you’ve been forced on them, and that you’re redundant now – you’ve had a good run, and it’s time you get cut out of the picture.”