If one was to do a cursory web search for Nickelback, a vast majority of results would be almost unanimously critical of the group.

Yet, with 50 million record sales to their name, countless singles, and numerous sold-out tours, the fact remains that the band are one of the most successful rock acts going around.

But the question then is, why? How have Nickelback managed to defy their haters and push forward with a career that would make most other bands jealous? Well, to answer that, we have to go right back to the amazing beginning of their career.

Check out ‘Fly’ by Nickelback:

YouTube VideoPlay

Ask anyone about the first time they heard Nickelback, and the answer would usually involve some response related to their 2001 breakthrough, Silver Side Up. However, by this point, Nickelback had not only been around for six years, but already had two grunge-inspired albums to their name.

After forming back in 1995, the group recorded their debut album the following year. Titled Curb, it was heavily influenced by popular grunge acts of the early ’90s.

While the album didn’t actually chart anywhere for another six years, it enabled the band to get their foot in the door, and allowed them to write the tracks that would make up their 1998 follow-up, The State.

The State wasn’t much of a success upon its release, but it managed to make quite an impression upon Nickelback’s audiences, who supported it enough to warrant a re-release the following year. When it was re-issued for the second time in 2000, it managed to spawn a massive four singles, including tracks like ‘Leader Of Men’, and the widely acclaimed ‘Breathe’.

Love Classic Rock?

Get the latest Classic Rock news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

Check out ‘Breathe’ by Nickelback:

YouTube VideoPlay

Just one year later, Nickelback would be hitting the big-time, releasing Silver Side Up in late 2001, and topping charts around the world.

Bolstered by the success of tracks like ‘How You Remind Me’, the record allowed the band to reach a wider audience, and provided them with the level of success needed to become household names.

Over the next few years, this success would only continue, with the band releasing The Long Road and All The Right Reasons, which both charted in the ARIA Top 5.

With each and every record came smash-hit singles; tunes that would dominate commercial radio, and are to this day staples of stations like Triple M. Needless to say, the band had well and truly made it, having put in well over a decade of hard work, they were finally reaping the benefits.

Check out Nickelback’s ‘Savin’ Me’:

YouTube VideoPlay

In 2008, Nickelback released Dark Horse, co-produced by musical icon Robert ‘Mutt’ Lange. Boasting a massive eight singles, the record ended up becoming one of the band’s most successful, selling millions of copies, and winning Album of the Year at the 2008 Juno Awards in Canada.

As the years went on, Nickelback would release a further three albums, with their most recent, Feed The Machine, dropping last year. Each and every album spawned worldwide Top 10 chart positions, and accruing millions of sales – proving their hard-rock sound continues to make them irresistible to the music-loving masses.

Amazingly, this love of hard-rock has actually made the band one of the more unique groups going around, outliving many of the other hard-rock groups of the 2000s, including acts like Staind, Creed, and Puddle Of Mudd. To this day, few acts from this genre are able to sell millions of records and sell out stadiums in the same way Nickelback do.

Check out Nickelback’s ‘Song On Fire’:

YouTube VideoPlay

Apart from their obvious talent, chart-topping success, and ability to write radio hits, one of Nickelback’s most enviable qualities is their ability to actually poke fun at themselves.

Even after Rolling Stone named the group the second-worst band of the ’90s, they’ve managed to display one of the greatest examples of good humour in musical history. From thanking The Black Keys for insulting them, to joking about the way they write songs, Nickelback’s attitudes towards the haters may actually be one of their finest qualities.

In fact, by refusing to take the bait, Nickelback have managed to turn the idea of ‘hating Nickelback’ into something of a cliche, allowing former haters to discover their music and rebrand themselves as fans.

Check out Nickelback’s ‘Feed The Machine’:

YouTube VideoPlay

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine