Why Do People Loathe Nickelback So Much? (And Do They Deserve It?)

nickelback_church.jpg
People are in a bit of an uproar over this week's announcement that Nickelback—the Canadian post-grungers whose seventh album, Here And Now, comes out later this month—would be the halftime entertainment during the Thanksgiving Day NFL tilt between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers, which will be played at Ford Field in Detroit and which is one of the two NFL games beamed all over the country on Turkey Day.

There have been numerous blog posts. There's a petition, which has engendered even more blog posts and actual news stories. Nobody from the band's camp has commented yet, but I'm sure they're wondering what I am: Why are Chad Kroeger and his rock comrades pilloried, when, say, bands with similar aesthetics like Seether and Staind are still around, too? It's not just the sort of misplaced patriotism that recoils at the idea of a Canadian band serving as the centerpiece of televised entertainment on the most American of holidays.


Nickelback, "Bottoms Up"

Let the record state, first of all, that this inquiry is not a defense of Nickelback's music at all. I spun through Here And Now earlier this week and it's pretty crummy; the above song, one of the album's first singles, is a very blatant rewrite of the F2K-honored ode to oral fixations "Something In Your Mouth," only this time it's about drinking. (Perhaps the working title was "Something Else In Your Mouth"?) They do have a couple of decent tunes—their breakthrough "How You Remind Me," the slight "Remind" flip "If Today Was Your Last Day"—but try as Kroeger's snarl might, their blandness is probably the most aggressive thing about them.

Still, though, the vitriol sent in their direction is ridiculously high—particularly when you compare it to the ire raised against other artists of their ilk, or of their sales stature. It wasn't like people started petitions about the Black Eyed Peas being the Super Bowl halftime show last year—and that was for a much bigger stage than a football game that'll be viewed through a collective tryptophan haze. Here are some hypotheses as to why this came to be.

They represent not just one, but two bygone aesthetics. Nickelback straddle the not-as-vast-as-people-think chasm between grunge and arena rock; they've worked with Mutt Lange, the producer who's epitomized a certain maximalist aesthetic since Def Leppard's 1980s breakthroughs (there's a reason Lady Gaga chose him to produce her end-of-the-night lament "Yoü And I"), while Kroeger's yarl sounds like Eddie Vedder's voice copied at 150% on a malfunctioning Xerox.

Put those two factors together with the way that some of their songs just work on a pop-song sense—dislike "How You Remind Me" as much as you will, its structure is pretty impeccable, as anyone who's performed it at karaoke can attest—and the end result is that listening to Nickelback and enjoying it can be sort of embarrassing, like being confronted with an awkward-teen-years photo.


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159 comments
Mr.facts
Mr.facts

Their song wasn't for the Spider-Man reboot it was for the first movie, the one that came out in 2002, so much for being factual.

wisecasey99
wisecasey99 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Hating them is stuppid their not the best but (no offence Taylor fans) its not like Taylor swift writing songs about all her exs that could kill they're careers so she can feel good about her self

jackwahlquist
jackwahlquist

I don't like their music because it's very overused, like Evanscence, in cheap homemade videos and the like. The cheap feel rubs off on the songs, and creates a negative connection. I also don't like their music because it's very cliché for rock, and I don't even find rock all that great. That being said, I don't hate them. Hating them has become a meme, like hating Rebecca Black or Justin Beiber. The word has lost its meaning in some ways, the hate is not really hate. But the intensity of complaining is still there, even if people don't mean it in a way that actually makes them want to kill these infamous stars. Also, the people who hate for the sake of hating mainstream might go overboard into hipster snobbery, but some are like me and simply don't like the redundancy or cliché predictability. 

 

Spetsnaz
Spetsnaz

I think allot of people loath their attitude...especially towards women. I know thats what makes me dislike allot of what they do. That said, there is quite a bit I do like from them, so I'm torn

Jesse m
Jesse m like.author.displayName 1 Like

I actually enjoy their music. Not in all situations, but they are one of my favorites. I understand people not caring for their music, or even hating it. That is okay. What is not okay is when people actually feel the need to tell people who enjoy their music that they are stupid, as if that makes them better. You don't have to like the same music as me, but I do expect you to respect that not everyone likes the same things. It honestly doesn't matter to me why people don't like nickelback, I just wish they had enough brain cells to not blindly criticize someone else's fun. For example, I hate rap music, but I respect the fact that other people like it.

Saraeberwein
Saraeberwein

music IS art... whether you like it or not.  they must be doing SOMETHING right... we're still talking about them.

alonso
alonso like.author.displayName 1 Like

lets see u all do better that's if you all can

Antares Clare
Antares Clare

People have different tastes. Just like food. Some people like anchovies and mushrooms, others prefer banana peppers and sausage. They have a choice, to eat or not eat certain foods because they don't like them.  Of course, we're talking about a band, but other than that, nearly the same thing. Everyone should just quit the bitching about it and get over it. Would you rather have Beiber or Selena Gomez performing and only somewhat appealing to tweens and early teens? And us Americans actually do like Canada and Canadians. That's not the issue here. It's that some people dislike Nickelback, and some don't, and the people that don't dislike Nickelback have the majority. America is a democracy, so they should have an online poll for it, problem solved, before a band is slated to perform.

Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn like.author.displayName 1 Like

Yet the people who hate them "because they're mainstream" don't realize that they're only hating them because the very IDEA OF HATING THEM is mainstream? That is, while trying desperately to look as though they don't agree with most people, they are, in actuality, agreeing with most people? How confusing. It's sad that people find it so hard to just not care what anyone else thinks, and form an independent opinion, and thus actual reasons, to like/dislike/love/hate.  I'm glad this article explains some real reasons for disliking them, rather than the foam-at-the-mouth, irrational, hate spew that people usually give seemingly on reflex whenever asked why they don't like Nickelback. I feel indifferent toward the band, and it's hard to find a reason to "hate" when the people that hate don't seem to have a reason other than, "because people hate them."

taj1994
taj1994

Autotune DOES suck! Why don't people understand this?

guest
guest

question: why do people think that they can rant about bands who actually have talent? i get it, freedom of speech blah blah blah. still you guys don't have a reason to. unfair to nickelback, who has been working thier asses off to make great music. BTW: AUTOTUNE SUCKS!!!

Alexlong232
Alexlong232

Wordy and never gets to the point. People hate nickleback because of their sell out to doing credit card commercials at a time when the banks were getting away with crimes against society. Every nickel back fan I know couldn't get a credit card if they lied.

Guest
Guest

I'm kinda confused at the severity of the dislike for Nickelback. I don't like their music, so I don't support them in any way but I also don't seek them out to talk shit. People who go out of their way to talk crap about a certain band on that band's website or whatever are, in my opinion, over-killing it and only doing it to save face and hope people think they're cool when all they are.. are douche-bags. Douche-bags who probably LOVED Nickelback, until it became cool not to. So you don't like a band... okay? Don't listen to them, pretty simple. I don't like a LOT of bands... and I don't listen to them. Very simple solution. And as for Cananda.. it also gave us Avril Lavigne (I hate her) and Justin Beiber... but I also have awesome Canadian friends. Turns out Canada is just like the U.S., there's douche-bags and awesome people.

antonio Peixoto
antonio Peixoto

WTF with these pansy haters? They are a hard rocking bad with great hooks. Great live band and work their asses off!

Rodney Schneider
Rodney Schneider

I think it's just that people hate pop music across the board, whether it be rock, country, or rap.  Nickelback has just become a new target due to their overwhelming exposure.  BTW, I hate them too.  A hatred that started with Bush, 311, and continued with Disturbed, Eminem, and Limp Bizkit.  It's taught me to turn off the radio, for all it's ads and pop formulas. 

Cailan Lefavre
Cailan Lefavre

I'm just concerned for the well-being of people who were suckered into being their fans.  Someday, hopefully, they will wake up from whatever spell they're under and realize that they were conned by some corporate machine to like a bunch of posers pretending to be musicians.  It's really sad (for them) and painfully obvious (to many). I wonder if these same people think The Kardashians are celebrities for some type of talent?  That would be an interesting story.

wisecasey99
wisecasey99

@Cailan Lefavre I'm sure they work a lot harder than you can u imagine everyone saying you suck at your job when your barley hanging on and most songs are about real lif not like you would know :) thanks and have a blessed day unless you think god is just another scheim love ya

Fran
Fran

bottom line;you like Nickelback? cool.you don't like Nickelback? cool.

that's all folks, everyone can go home now.

ZeroLover64
ZeroLover64 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Dear lord. Not gonna play the ' If you hate Nickelback you suck ' game, but I actually find all of their songs really catchy, some of them even inspiring. This makes me feel really bad for them.

Johnnyboyjunior
Johnnyboyjunior like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I actually really Like nickleback. One of my favourite bands

Rewhblcain
Rewhblcain

Who the hell does Detroit think they are? Their football team is the biggest embarrassment in the history of the game. They will wish they had Nickleback so Thanksgiving day when they are 0-10!

Foosa808
Foosa808

screw you dude! you have a really poor judge of character. if you don't like nickelback, stop bitching about it and don't listen to them!! if you didn't like that they were there, don't fu%king talk about it!!

Beals541
Beals541

Canada had nothing to do with it. There's no talent, plainly said. It's a cheap band w/ CORNY, demoralizing, disrespectful lyrics. They are SO NOT TALENTED. They're only famous for the Spiderman soundtrack. Whoever signed them rode the short bus. I'm sure Chad did. Nothing unique that I've experienced, which is nothing short of mediocre kareoke

wisecasey99
wisecasey99

@Beals541 watch their video for lullaby and them come back and if u don't like them don't pot about them

Foosa808
Foosa808

just another thing, how the HELL are their lyrics disrespectful? you don't make any fucking sense at all. "Check yourself, before you wreck yourself!"- Ice Cube

Foosa808
Foosa808

all of their lyrics have to do with forgiving others and having your life be as simple as possible. thier lyrics do have some significance. listen to " If today was your last day" all the Fricken way through, and you will know what I mean. Also, i think that all of their songs have to do with standing together and fighting for the world to be peaceful. And they are so talented. i am actually defending them and I will ask only once before i get into anymore pissed about all the crap that you exploit on the internet about them, STOP BITCHING ABOUT NICKELBACK!!! THEY ARE FU#%ING AWESOME AND YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!! That is the one thing that I will say!

Foosa808
Foosa808

I wasn't saying that people hated Canada!! I wasn't saying that you hated the people in the band!! I was simply saying that people need to get the heck off of their back. Jesus!! quit taking stuff so personally. And just so you know, the people who say that Nickelback is dumb, you are so F*@#ing judge-fricken-mental!! Nickelback is so awesome. Nor do all of their songs sound the same!! they all have a different tune, guitar pattern, and different theme. They might sing the same in every song, but SO F*@%ING WHAT. DEAL WITH IT. That is how they do it, you can't do a goddamn thing about it, and you might as well deal with it. And don't hate me for saying this on the internet. it is on the internet forever!!!!!!!!!   =^..^=

Elizabeth Kistner
Elizabeth Kistner

I don't HATE Canada. I don't HATE the people in the band. I just HATE the fact that EVERY song from Nickelback SOUNDS THE SAME. Seriously. Their first album was good. Then, they continued making the same thing over and over. THAT is why I DON'T like Nickelback.

x138x
x138x

CURSED were from Canada.  And they KILLED it!  Now who could hate them--really?  It's not Canada, it's particular musicians and their approach . . . and their trashy lyrics . . . and their redundant writing.  Nickelback are music's latest least common denominator.  Period.  But thankfully I can take the advice given elsewhere here: I simply choose NOT to listen.  I just had to mention CURSED in this whole Canada conversation.

Foosa808
Foosa808 like.author.displayName 1 Like

anybody who says that they can't be friends with a nickelback fan, is a jerk.(No offense) but it is the truth. nickelback fans are just ordinary people who like a certain band that all people may not approve of. it all comes down to wheather or not you have a judgemental personality or not. I LOVE NICKELBACK!!!!! DEAL WITH IT PEOPLE!!!

Stigbeve
Stigbeve

If I know someone and they like nickelback, then I know I can never be friends with that person. Wish that was a joke

Foosa808
Foosa808

why are people hating on nickelback? they have actually made really good songs. and just FYI, if they sucked so bad, how the heck did they get a grammy in 2008. sure you're all saying "that was so long ago." no it isn't. avril levign, simple plan, andrew allen and justin beiber are from Canada and people aren't hating on them. just because they might not be of your musical tastes, doesn't mean that you have the right to make fun of them. and they are good enough to be able to go to detriot and perform. so, the people who said that was the worst performance ever, be grateful that you even saw them in concert. Jeez!! 

Breannaa
Breannaa

I actually like Nickelback. I'm proud of it too. I dont care what anyone thinks because I'm sure everyone hates at least one artist that every person likes. Sure their stuff sounds the same I know, but they are still successful. I believe there are a lot of fans out there but they are hiding because people joke on the band all the time. Keep your opinions to yourself and build a bridge and get over it. Not everyone likes what you like.

Foosa808
Foosa808 like.author.displayName 1 Like

at least some people have some sence not to hate a band because of who they are. But to all, listen to the words before you judge a band. "Don't judge a book by its cover."

Karategirl16
Karategirl16

i like nickelback. my mom's a music major, my brother's a music major, and i play three instruments, including electric guitar, which i taught myself, although i am an elementary ed major. their sound may be generic, but it's good. it's almost classic metal, just a generic version. i'll be the first to admit my taste in music is generic... i love pop and alternative rock. but, from what i have seen, there is no difference between nickelback and other alternative rock bands. Here and Now is actually a musical deviation from their norm... the rock songs are harder than Dark Horse and All The Right Reasons, and the ballads... well they're the same. the only thing i have an issue with is their lyrics, which i didn't mind, but i'm starting to find them too vulgar. Bottoms Up and This Means War are two great singles, but not everyone's gonna appreciate them. they're too stuck in "I hate nickelback" world. Here and Now is their best album yet, and people are hating it just as much as the last one without listening to it. but oh well. we all have our interests that no one else is interested in :)

Sweetness
Sweetness

" but oh well. we all have our interests that no one else is interested in :) " you should get a tan and push your chest out more. I think you'd be right where you want to be at that point lol!!!

Wikmas
Wikmas

I pity you. So much influence, so little independant thought

Jon7
Jon7

Personally, I quite enjoy Nickelback. They have great riffs, awesome harmonies and vocals and put on an amazing show every night. Many other bands sound similar to them; Theory of a Deadman, Seether, Finger Eleven, Foo Fighters and more. I listen to a plethora of different kinds of music and I agree with the people that have said music is purely subjective. Even from a fans perspective some of their song have been over played however what band is not overplayed nowadays. From my perspective the people who hate on Nickelback who state only that "they suck" do not have a voice or an opinion because they are following the "hate trend" of their friends or whomever. From a musicians perspective they are a type of band that just makes you want to jump up and rock/dance, for those who enjoy them of course. On a side note, yes, they do have some vulgar lyrics, but so does Steel Panther, Avenged Sevenfold and other bands. Hate them all you want, Nickelback and their fans are doing just fine without you.

a person who cares
a person who cares

i personally think nickelback is good, but i'm not  fan, i mean yeah most of there songs is about drinking and whatnot but some of there songs are good like "saving me for example" i mean COME ON!!!! people shouldn't bash on musicans for superficial reasons, "because they suck" yeah that is a good reason, NOT, that is a horible reason, i maybe canadian nd all but atleast i can tell you, a lot of people have different tastes in music, and you shouldn't bash on other peoples taste in music or anything in the matter, that is just low

green1o1
green1o1

are you seriously bitching about nickelback? honestly? why dont you get a god damn life!

Connor
Connor

i love nickelback,and all my friends do too. hating him must just be a city thing

taj1994
taj1994

I live in a small town just outside of Edmonton, Alberta, and most of my friends (and myself) love Nickelback's music. After any concert that they have in Edmonton, I see a good chunk of the people in my school of about 800 wearing t-shirts from the concert. My friends from Edmonton mostly hate them, so it must be mostly a city thing... (Alot of my friends are exactly the same way with country music) I just think that it's awesome that they are from a tiny town in the middle of nowhere (Hanna, Alberta. Population is approximately 2700. I know it is tiny not just because of the population, but because I've actually been there) and are this successful

Hackyhoser
Hackyhoser

"It's because they suck." This guy who started the petition is the biggest idiot i've ever seen grace the face of the Earth.

Burnfizzle
Burnfizzle

Nickelback  BEST BAND EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HATE THIS BLOG!!!! ALL YOU HATERS GONNA BE HATED....

Sylvie Lassiaille
Sylvie Lassiaille

I'm not a Nickelback fan at all, but seriously, why do people hate them so much? I've seen terrible insults hurtled at them, even death threats, and yet they reply to them with a dry sarcasm that's hilarious. If you don't like the music, don't listen to it. Simple. Some people like them and it's their right. If you don't like it, it's your right too. But that doesn't mean you have to go and whine and rage at their very existence. I prefer Mozart to rock, does that mean you're going to kill me and say I have no taste? Seriously, get a grip, people.

Terri1977
Terri1977

I agree. I like a few of their songs, but i'am not a supper fan. Yes some of the sounds in their songs sound similar, but the same is true for R&B, HIP HOP, COUNTRY and so on. I do think that some of the hate may be jealousy, i could be wrong, but it doesn't really matter, its all personal taste. If you don't like something you change the channel and listen to what YOU like.

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