Nickelback Take On Haters: 'We Don't Hear Many Complaints'

It's been a challenging fall for Nickelback.

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It's been a challenging fall for Nickelback.

As the Canadian quartet prepared for the Nov. 21 release of its seventh album, "Here And Now" (Roadrunner Records), the band was named the No. 1 musical turn-off in a poll conducted by Tastebuds.fm, and found itself the target of an online petition seeking to have it removed from a halftime performance at the Detroit Lions' annual Thanksgiving football game. Launched by a Michigan music fan, the online petition drew more than 40,000 signatures and international attention.

But the band remained unfazed, and played the Thanksgiving Day game anyway. Watch it below.

"We get that all the time. We've never really been a critics' darling or anything like that," says frontman Chad Kroeger, who formed Nickelback in 1995 in Hanna, Alberta, with his brother Mike on bass and guitarist Ryan Peake. Drummer Daniel Adair joined in 2005. "The people speak. We sell a lot of records and fill a lot of arenas, and we don't hear many complaints."

The statistics certainly bear Kroeger out. Nickelback has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, according to the label, and the band's last four releases have debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 - and at No. 1 in its homeland. Add 17 top 10 mainstream and alternative rock hits, 11 of which have also made the top 10 at adult top 40, and you have a durability and consistency rarely seen anymore.

"Here And Now" finds the band getting "back to basics", Kroeger says, following 2008's triple-platinum "Dark Horse". "This isn't our 'The Wall' or anything like that," he adds. "This is just four guys jumping back in the studio to write and record 11 new songs and make sure each one of them gets as much attention as they need."

Working with Roadrunner, the group launched "Here And Now" with two singles - the rowdy, hard-rocking "Bottoms Up", which is already a top five hit at mainstream rock, and the more melodic, socially conscious "When We Stand Together", which is top 15 on the Adult Top 40 chart. They've sold a combined 245,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"We thought, 'Why not do it all at one time - a song to please the rock fans and a pop song for that side - and get the train rolling, make two videos and two campaigns and build it up," says manager Bryan Coleman of Union Entertainment Group. "It's maybe the only band out there that can really do that, successfully, on a major scale."

"Most people assumed this is something they'd done all along, throughout the band's career," Roadrunner president Jonas Nachsin says. "They're surprised it hadn't been done before, but it's the result of over a decade-long career of having so many hits at these formats."

Nickelback is gearing up for a busy period around "Here And Now"'s release. The band performed on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on Nov. 22 and is set to make an appearance on the WWE's "Tribute To The Troops", which airs Dec. 13 on USA and Dec. 17 on NBC. The band will also appear during halftime at the 99th Grey Cup Canadian Football League championship in Vancouver, which will air on TSN and RDS in Canada.

Roadrunner senior VP of marketing and creative services Madelyn Scarpulla says that online, "Here And Now" will "have comprehensive visibility via multiple third-party partners and extensive online advertising." That includes a widget that'll let album buyers access exclusive online content, a custom Facebook app for "Bottoms Up" and a Gold Marketing Pack on Spotify. iTunes also began streaming the album on Nov. 15.

The two-prong radio release will carry over to online and traditional ad campaigns, including TV and radio spots, outdoor billboards and lifestyle and event marketing as seen in Thanksgiving parades in the United States and at movie theaters and malls on Black Friday.

Nickelback's tour, meanwhile, will wait until the spring. "We're trying to go a few singles deep, possibly three or four, before we go out," Kroeger says. "We want to make sure there's familiarity. We don't want to be that band that everybody comes to hear all their favorites, and when there's a new one they all run up to the concourse to get a beer."

Also looming on the horizon is Nickelback's future recording home. The group signed a 360 deal with Live Nation in 2008, and "Here and Now" is the final studio effort under its deal with Roadrunner. "Roadrunner has been an amazing partner for 12 years," Coleman says. "We have a great relationship and may continue that ... but we need to see how the landscape looks and test the free-agent market."

Nachsin says Roadrunner will release a Nickelback greatest hits album "at some point" and plans to make a hard push to keep the group in its stable. And part of that, he says, is making a solid push for "Here And Now".

"We're approaching this album campaign like we would any other," Nachsin says. "We're highly motivated to promote and market this new album to the best of our abilities ... and then we'll see what happens. The future is untold. We can only remain hopeful that it involves us in some capacity."

Video Below: Part 1 of Billboard Live Q&A With Nickelback

Thanks for the report to Billboard.com.

141 comments sorted by best / new / date

    JimBonJovi
    Here we go again...I don't mind their music but take a look at my other favourite bands and influences and you'll be hard pressed to find a problem with me as a Nickelback fan.
    shredibanez24
    I don't understand all the Nickelback hate either. To me their just another radio pop rock band. Would I personally listen to them? No. That being said, I don't hate them because of that.
    snaaake
    Jesus_Dean wrote: I don't understand all the hating on Nickelback. I would much rather hear them than 99% of the crap they play on modern radio.
    Nickelback is the crap they play on modern radio.
    guitarmaniac88
    AcdcTXfan wrote: Abacus11 wrote: jackleg wrote: number of sales is a direct reflection of popularity....what part of that dont you get? Popularity has nothing to do with quality. Look at what's popular... So then how do you measure quality? By opinion? I hate Jusitn Bieber, but I'll give him credit. He knows what millions of people want to hear. I don't think there's any one band that EVERYONE can agree is good. Maybe the original Guns N' Roses. But that's about all I can think of.
    No, Justin Beiber found something that tons of prepubescent schoolgirls wanted to hear, and I'm not a fan of the original Guns N' Roses. I do, however, think there isn't a band everyone will agree is good. I think there are some amazing bands, but I know some people (surely puppets of mainstream) hate it, almost surely because it's instrumental or something.
    rockr09
    I used to be on this "nickelback sucks" train, but I got tired of it. It's just music people. Other things are much more deserving of hate.
    AcdcTXfan
    Dr. Koolaide wrote: Justin Bieber doesn't know what people want to hear, his managers and handlers tell us that we want to listen to over-produced music that pretends to be edgy. This pretty much sums up why people hate Nickleback: promoters have pretty much rammed them down everyone's throats as what rock is when in fact they are just a generic band that happened to get big in the post-Nirvana wave of alternative groups.
    I would like to believe that, but he's playing in the biggest venues just like every other "elite group" so he's doing something right. Besides his fanbase consists of people that wouldn't be on this site.
    Dr. Koolaide
    AcdcTXfan wrote: Abacus11 wrote: jackleg wrote: number of sales is a direct reflection of popularity....what part of that dont you get? Popularity has nothing to do with quality. Look at what's popular... So then how do you measure quality? By opinion? I hate Jusitn Bieber, but I'll give him credit. He knows what millions of people want to hear.
    Justin Bieber doesn't know what people want to hear, his managers and handlers tell us that we want to listen to over-produced music that pretends to be edgy. This pretty much sums up why people hate Nickleback: promoters have pretty much rammed them down everyone's throats as what rock is when in fact they are just a generic band that happened to get big in the post-Nirvana wave of alternative groups.
    CrashLove
    Philip_pepper wrote: Nickelback are like Coldplay. You hate them
    I agreed with that much
    AcdcTXfan
    Abacus11 wrote: jackleg wrote: number of sales is a direct reflection of popularity....what part of that dont you get? Popularity has nothing to do with quality. Look at what's popular...
    So then how do you measure quality? By opinion? I hate Jusitn Bieber, but I'll give him credit. He knows what millions of people want to hear. I don't think there's any one band that EVERYONE can agree is good. Maybe the original Guns N' Roses. But that's about all I can think of.
    WhiteTempest
    To be honest all the haters are jealous because they are nobodoes and want attention. .They have a lot more success then anybody who dares hare on them ..
    splogaton
    I guess people dont like them coz they're music is way way way mainstream, extremely generic. I like Nickelback though
    LordRyur
    Aww. Why did MY comment get deleted when it's saying the exact same thing as most others are!? Is it because I touched on the fact the overwhelming wave of anti-intellectualism in the US could be to blame for such soul-less crap becoming popular? Did I hurt someone's feelings by pointing out the average Westerner (and, of course, when people say "The West", everyone knows they mean the US) has been dumbed-down by the mass media, to the point they COULD accept such horsecrap like Nickelback or Justin Bieber as listenable? C'mon. It shouldn't take a genius to realize that the same forces that have made people like the Kardashians or shows like Jersey Shore popular are also to blame for countless horrible bands and arists, who make dull/simple, uncreative music, becoming popular, too.
    wizbangtez
    I think Corey Taylor should have slammed Nickelback for being sloths (read the Corey Taylor article if you don't know what im talking about). I remeber hearing some early Nickelback years ago and thinking that yeah it's audible and to some degree catchy for pop rock. As the albums have progressed the songs have got more commercialized and revolved around the top 100 formula. The lyrics have always been shallow and unthoughtful, but the song clip posted above makes me want to club baby seals. Unfortunately that sells. Corey said in his radio show "Because these motherf-ckers would rather just 'cha-ching' than actually use their f-cking brains to give us anything good these f-cking days.' He added, "More and more people are only interested in money than f-cking doing anything that's good". If you check out some of the covers they have done (Metallica, ZZ Top, Elton John, ect YouTube it), they are talented musicians. Why wouldn't they want to make substantual music? MONEY! The teenie-boppers will keep buying and muso's will keep hating sellouts.
    plindqui
    Nickelback are the posterboys for the trend of corporate, soul-less and over-produced modern rock music. They're certainly not the only band that falls into this category, but they take the brunt of the hatred because they're the most popular band that fits that mold.
    ToolCreedence
    AcdcTXfan wrote: EpsilonJSTC wrote: Nickleback's music is boring, extremely derivitave, intellectually braindead, and overall awful That said, I have to commend them for sticking to their guns in what seems like such extreme adversity. Now can we please never hear anything about them ever again? They're boring? Then who is exciting?
    Tool, The Mars Volta, Primus, Radiohead, Ween, etc.
    RichieJovie
    I like them, and frankly I don't care what a bunch of anonymous trolls on the internet think. They , like me, do this music thing for a living, not sat at a computer hanging out in the pit. ... just saying like
    ToolCreedence
    My list of crappy, generic rock bands that sound like Nickelback: Staind, Puddle of Mudd, 3 Doors Down, Seether, Breaking Benjamin, Theory of a Deadman, Hinder, Finger Eleven, Creed, 3 Days Grace, Shinedown, etc.
    losing battle
    Hey just because they are professionals and they sell well doesn't mean they don't suck. Case and point go to any Micky d's and order a burger. Alot of people buy them, its the staffs job to make it so by definition they are professionals and guess what they still suck.
    OctoberWind
    Jesus_Dean wrote: I don't understand all the hating on Nickelback. I would much rather hear them than 99% of the crap they play on modern radio.
    Nickelback and bands that sound like Nickelback are 99% of what is played on modern radio. At least on my local rock station.
    khakiapple
    after all the criticism they've endured, it's actually really cool to see them shrugging it all off. they're businessmen on top of musicians and are working their PR very coolly and confidently. even if i'm not a huge fan, they've got the numbers to prove their worth. all power to them
    GenerationKILL
    Epic fail UG. The Grey Cup was on sunday, our BC LIONS! won it!!! ...and see? Nickelback IS NOT from Vancouver, so don't blame us!!! lol
    paranoid70
    I don't really care for Nickelback, but yes there is way worse stuff out there. Black Eyed Peas anyone? That being said, I am definitely not looking to learn any of their songs for my cover band.
    jordo246
    They had a hard fall? All that happened was some random site had a poll and they weren't wanted at a half time, wouldn't exactly say that's a hard time.
    Bananafish003
    Trent Armitage wrote: Jesus_Dean wrote: I don't understand all the hating on Nickelback. I would much rather hear them than 99% of the crap they play on modern radio. I like lady gaga
    Here, here! I much prefer a lot of modern pop to Nickelback. At least it's fun! Of course I'd prefer to be hearing someone like Radiohead on the radio, but I'd still rather most of today's radio than Nickelback. Just because Nickelback is a rock band, doesn't make them inherently better than modern pop. Or at least, that's my two cents on it.
    SmittyMan90
    I give them credit, they play instruments, they have a few good tunes, and a least they dont let critics bother them, but they should have gotten someone from Detroit to play that show.
    Xplorer58
    Im not much of a fan of Nickelback, but i think people love moaning about them a bit too much...
    SoA_Joseph
    None of their studio or live efforts are even worthy of being used in the same paragraph as "The Wall." Kroeger best recognize.
    Iommianity
    realiztik wrote: Lets point it out. Chad writes riffs/hooks a vast majority of people like to listen too. He can shred his way around a guitar probably better than 99.9% of you and he puts on a kick ass live show. "All the records sound the same" BUT AC/DC is on your favorites list... Haters...Hypocrites?
    Do you usually pretend you're talking to someone in particular when you rant about nothing?
    smittyanthrax
    crzysnowborder wrote: fede01_8 wrote: Geez, why do some people find hard to understand why they are hated? Simple, listen to their songs! Is all there. Is like saying "why do people hate Hitler?" well, look at the stuff he did Just want to clarify real quick...you're comparing Nickelback and their records to Hitler and the Holocaust. I just wanted to get that straight.
    @Fede01_8Thats probably the most stupid and downright idiotic comment i have ever read on these articles ever.Seriously.
    Crispy2010
    'Oh no I hate Nickelback... oh wait, I could just change the station and stop pissing and moaning about something so stupid because I think it will make me cool and other people will take notice of me...'
    SoA_Joseph
    realiztik wrote: Lets point it out. Chad writes riffs/hooks a vast majority of people like to listen too. He can shred his way around a guitar probably better than 99.9% of you and he puts on a kick ass live show. "All the records sound the same" BUT AC/DC is on your favorites list... Haters...Hypocrites?
    1. The majority of the population of everywhere is comprised of tasteless idiots who feed on mediocrity streamlined through pipes down their consumerist throats. 2. to* 3. You don't really know anything about "shredding" do you? 4. Who attends live shows? See my first point. It doesn't take much to impress the average mainstream simpleton. Get them drunk, turn up the volume, and you have yourself a party.
    All0utR0ck
    It seems to me like Nickelback is collecting the hatred that was given to bands like Panic at the Disco and Fall Out Boy...both of which to my knowledge no longer exist. That said, I prefer Nickelback to anything Fall Out Boy or Panic at the Disco EVER released. So glad that era of emo is done.
    SirDrunkalot
    Crispy2010 wrote: 'Oh no I hate Nickelback... oh wait, I could just change the station and stop pissing and moaning about something so stupid because I think it will make me cool and other people will take notice of me...'
    hahahaha!
    BigSpence
    Why do people care so much if an artist who they feel is terrible is popular? Listen to what you like, and I'll listen to what I like. I like Saving Me, Follow You Home, This is How You Remind Me, When We Stand Together. So, I'll listen to those, ok?
    ~JIMMY~
    it makes me sick to the guts that they produce a few pop singles for the radio just to make a few bucks, but the rest of the songs on the album are badass rock. Nickelback is the definition of 'sell=out'
    joshman
    At the begining of this interview he says "We get that all the time" and then later he says "we don't really hear many complaints". This doesn't make sense to me.
    rolfeijg
    I thought they had a couple of nice tracks, Animals, Side of a Bullet...
    GrungeHippie26
    Jesus_Dean wrote: I don't understand all the hating on Nickelback. I would much rather hear them than 99% of the crap they play on modern radio.
    Every single band on the "rock radio" sounds just like them....
    wurstsuppe666
    realiztik wrote: Lets point it out. Chad writes riffs/hooks a vast majority of people like to listen too. He can shred his way around a guitar probably better than 99.9% of you and he puts on a kick ass live show. "All the records sound the same" BUT AC/DC is on your favorites list... Haters...Hypocrites?
    THIS! And I am not a fan of them!