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

Categories: Nickelback

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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161 comments
ktunus
ktunus

capn kruger blows chocolate submarines

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

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

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

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

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!

guest
guest

No. Nickleback is painful.

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.

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

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

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!

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

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.

Foosa808
Foosa808

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.

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 :)

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

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.

optimist
optimist

sry i love this band, sure some of their music is about partying and geting pussy but what famous rock band doesn write songs about that? No i became A fan when I heard their songs about screwing up wt girls and trying to make it right. i can really relate to that because ive screwed girls over really bad because i like the party lifestyle but in the end it wasnt the person i wanted to be and i felt horrible about screwing all those girls over. and i dont get why those canadian fans were protesting the superbowl. If you there is a good band from your country then why wouldnt you want to share them? Im a southern boy from georgia, and if music is good then ill listen to it, i can relate to a lot of nickelback songs, and thats what music is about. listening to the message and learning from it, so why wouldnt you want to share the music from your country if it has an awesum messge that the world can learn from? 

Mariah Armstrong
Mariah Armstrong

I don't understand why people hate them. My friends and I love them and their music is good.

The Dave
The Dave

How You Remind me and Someday are the same flippin' song. Heck, MOST of their songs have the same structure. It goes beyond replication within a genre or what constitutes their particular style, just to the point of being really tiresome.

Also, they support an ecoterrorist group called Sea Shepherd.

Also, they look like a bunch of fairies.

Jimm
Jimm

War must not suck because millions of people love and support the idea.Religion must not suck because millions of people love and support the idea.Rape must not suck because millions of people love and support the idea.Alcohol must not suck because millions of people love and support the idea.Drugs must not suck because millions of people love and support the idea.Dying must not suck because millions of people love and support the idea.Living must not suck because millions of people love and support the idea.

I'm not saying Nickelback is good or bad, I will say on a personal level I like some of their music when i'm in the mood for it, but i've never been a music exclusive and I just like what I like when I like it. That said, a lot of their stuff does tend to be the same tune/story/etc.. over and over.

But the masses that live off each other's opinion and enforce each other's opinion by having that community around it will always exist and make something seem better than it is. Rather than the content being good, it's having friends with similar tastes that is good.On that note, I like most music but rape/hip hop, it's the only genre I generalize about since it's exactly what everyone here is complaining about, except instead of being one band/group/singer, it's an entire genre. I'll take some doof doof techno over it any day of the week.

Steve Cudd
Steve Cudd

Really? I think maybe people don't like them because EVERYTHING they write is freakin' GOLD! Say what you will, the hooks they write are listenable, danceable, and they SELL RECORDS!

Larisa Briggs
Larisa Briggs

This kind of behavior is a disgrace and the people of Detroit should be ashamed. Ones opinion of there music should not spawn such blatantly RUDE behavior. I cannot stand Michael Buble, but if he were performing at a show, I would have the tact to let t he poor dude play. They are human beings and such poor antics shows how far this society has fallen. I can only imagine how horrified I would feel if I (also being if I were a musician) received that warm welcome. Badly done Detroit. In conjunction to this statement I have made here today, I too expect to receive equally rude comments despite my right to an opinion.

Letitbe
Letitbe

You can always tell when people trash a group they know nothing about.  For all you people saying Nickleback is this ape like mullet headed band (which ironically none of the band has)....Nickleback lyrics: 

They tell us everything's all rightAnd we just go alongHow can we fall asleep at nightWhen something's clearly wrongWhen we could feed a starving worldWith what we throw awayBut all we serve are empty wordsThat always taste the same

...you may want to actually listen to the band.  As for some of their more sexually driven fun songs...got news for you....they are hot blooded rockers....and Porn Star Dancing by some other band is loved by all Americans....so I really don't get the hate.

Runrunnerrun
Runrunnerrun

There are amazing ;performers from all over the globe and there sure are many from Canada, which considering the population size, makes that even more incredible.  I like The Back but you don't have to like them to see Canadians have a heck of a lot of talent - you sure loved Sarah Maclachlan's Angel didn't you?  And you just about threw a party when Shania returned to the States.  People can cut up Nickeblack all they want but someone's buying their records.  What the hell do they care what we think.  Guarantee half the people jumping on the petition band wagon either hate Canadians and secretly hum Remind in their cars.  Good for them taking it all in stride and showing how to be funny about it - just typical Canadians.  Love us or hate us - we're a good bunch, welcoming, and it isn't Detroit that is going to get Nickleback or Canadians down.  Wish Detroit could be a little more open minded.  What I find most ironic is that they want to imply Nickleback is trash but Kid Rock is always accused of the same thing.  I happen to like The Kid, but you'd think that Detroit would have been a little more welcoming.

Ckmcpart
Ckmcpart

uh, nice analysis, but i think it's just his (Kroeger--with an E for effort) voice. The song "This is How you Remind Me" pushes me into crippling nausea everytime...like, really, no more reminders, guys.

Sam Kirwin
Sam Kirwin

Q: "Why do people hate Nickelback so much?"

A: For the same reason that 13 year old girls like Justin Bieber so much, because it's trendy.

Q: "Do they deserve it"?

A: No, they're just 'fun to hate'. They're no more 'deserving of it' than dozens of other alt rock bands on the radio.

I'm not a psychologist, but I really believe that the people hate them because they're subconsciously jealous of them, which is ironic because I DON'T consider them "great musicians" or moral role models, and I don't think most of the haters do either.

This is why the jealousy is ironic - I think it stems from the idea that a lot of nerdier guys have, that they're "such a better or more interesting person deep down, so why don't girls fawn over me instead of these superficial pop stars?" Well if you think their adoration is so superficial, then why are you so envious of it, that makes you a little superficial yourself? Plus why would you want girls to like you just for having "better music taste"? That's not really any different than a girl liking a guy who's "great at sports". It's the same psychology.

It really boils down to a "I deserve blablablah because I'm so special" mentality, which is probably why most of the haters tend to be liberal men. Again I'm not a huge fan of Nickeblack and I don't consider them exemplar musicians, but I'm don't dedicate my whole life to hating them just to make my d*ck feel bigger either, that's what said.

Donnaclifton46
Donnaclifton46

Who gives a sh*t who Dennis Guttman likes or dislikes. Who is Dennis Guttman anyway? Nickelback is a great band! If you don't like their music then don't listen to them, but I'm tired of people telling other people what to like or dislike and everyone goes along mindless.  People need to stop hating so much and start loving more!

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