The Black Keys: 'Rock Is Dying Because Of Nickelback'

The Black Keys say rock is seeing a demise because people became "OK with the idea that the biggest rock band in the world is always going to be s--t." Is he wrong?

The Black Keys: 'Rock Is Dying Because Of Nickelback'
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The Black Keys claim that "Rock and roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world." Drummer Patrick Carney made the comments, noting a lull in guitar groups because of bands like Nickelback. "[Musicians] became OK with the idea that the biggest rock band in the world is always going to be shit - therefore you should never try to be the biggest rock band in the world," he said. "Rock and roll is the music I feel the most passionately about, and I don't like to see it f--king ruined and spoon-fed down our throats in this watered-down, post-grunge crap, horrendous s--t." His comments came only days after Kasabian noted a "drought" of rock bands in the charts. While rock has suffered from a mainstream assault of hip-hop, female-fronted pop and now dubstep, we at Ultimate Guitar know there are more people learning to play guitar than ever. So why are rock bands making less of an impact on the mainstream? One theory is that young people will tend to be attracted to the most noisy, brash genre of music possible. Once upon a time, bands like the Rolling Stones sounded utterly wild, and louder than anything before it. Nirvana was a 90s example of a similar impression being made on young people by rock, at a time when drab 80s electro pop dressed in black was otherwise becoming the norm. Today, rock venues do not always offer the same volume or impact that a dubstep club might. We wouldn't know, but it's not surprising that young people are attracted to music by the likes of Skrillex with shuddering basslines and ever-changing attention grabbing synth effects. Do we have something to learn from the cultural shift, or should we stick to our guns? Does rock music need a jolt to the heart? Defend your craft in the comments.

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    iommi600
    it's not that I don't agree with him, I hate Nickelback. but this thing about rock and roll being dead is just pure bullshit. there's a lot of bands around today, playing different styles of rock and roll music. people just gotta learn to search more, support more and complain less. and what I mean is, these bands I'm talking about, they don't need a #1 single hit and tons of fame like Nickelback, or Foo Fighters. I think they only need some exposure, so rock and roll fans can just know about them, support and appreciate them.
    AcdcTXfan
    -therefore you should never try to be the biggest band in the world
    Maybe Nickelback is just playing the music they love, and it just so happens that everyone likes their music? Chad seems like a guy that likes to party.
    sopazs
    i don't agree with what he says in the article, but I also dont agree wtih the comments saying that music is not rock unless someone is shredding or playing something extremely difficult. IMO some of the best rock is quite simple and it's more about how good the songs are rather than the musicianship alone.
    kLeft
    The least rock n roll thing you can possibly do is say that rock is dead. Just because Led Zeppelin isn't around anymore doesn't mean you can totally dismiss an entire genre and generalize it into a group bunch of Nickelback worshipping pansies.
    BigMikeBDD
    AtTheGates\m/ wrote: everyone could just listen to metal a metal concert is much more intense than a dubstep club and it is definitely the most noisy and brash genre with concerts with the most literal impact (moshing) and volume...
    Although I do agree, I think moshing is the one thing I hate about metal shows. Moshing is more lame than Nickelback.
    Cheeseman Jay
    It's hardly Nickleback's fault that a) they're popular, and that b) other rock bands aren't as popular. Jeez, you'd expect some maturity and civility from a grown man towards fellow musicians. Furthermore, who actually says rock is dying/dead anymore? I thought that that tired cliche was out of circulation.
    5hawnofthedead
    Who says popularity has anything to do with talent? There are hundreds of bands who are amazing and will never see the Billboard charts, MTV, or whatever it is kids these days watch. Sure, you want to get your music out to the masses, but when the masses are ignorant 12 year old girls, f*ck it. Just rock on, and if it's worth listening to, the people who can appreciate your music will do just that.
    '93
    the problem is that, while theres no lack of rockbands, there are no new rockbands pushing rock forward and developing it...certainly not in a popular manner. underground music is good but the radio just isnt becausenobody seems to want to be both famous and inventive
    GeetarHeero
    Listening to this dubstep s*** that kids are into makes me feel like Stan's dad on South Park when he puts on headphones and hears a recording of explosive diarrhea.
    nnb
    emidog wrote: I like how everybody is saying that Rock and Roll isn't dead but nobody is saying the names of good rock and roll bands that are relevant..
    U2 360 tour and RUSH had the top grossing US tour in 2011 (I think). Relevant enough?
    fastlanestoner
    to blame Nickelback solely for the extremely sad state that the industry is in is not only short-sighted, it's downright narrow-minded. ROCK SUCKS BECAUSE OF MANY REASONS, nickelback is just one of them. They're the most successful, so they're the scapegoat. These acts can hate all they want, but at the end of the day Nickelback is still packing arenas and making $$, something none of us are doing
    Eifler121
    It doesn't matter how good a band is if no one is listening to them. What he's saying is hat not enough people are willing to try to be different from the mainstream post-grunge and all the different "cores." He's totally correct in his comment. The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, the White Stripes, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are the only real rock bands I can think of that have made any kind of an impact on a massive scale in the past ten years.
    Superperfex
    It's ok guys, Rihanna, Lady GaGa, and Ke$ha all are metalheads now so it's ok. (sarcasm) I am fine with Nickelback being famous. I just choose not to listen to them. I may dislike their music, but I don't bash them. It's not the rock and roll way. Not unless you're Axl ****ing Rose.
    Zeppelin Addict
    "Rock and roll is the music I feel the most passionately about, and I don't like to see it f--king ruined and spoon-fed down our throats in this watered-down, post-grunge crap, horrendous s--t." And what are the Black Keys exactly? Feel free to disagree with me, but I could classify them with Nickleback in a heartbeat.. Dumbed down, straight forward rhythms, one simple riff per song, average vocals, pwr chrdzz throughout choruses, overemphasis on effects to make the music 'interesting'.. Yawn.
    biff022 wrote: Pot calling the kettle black.
    This.. Extremely ignorant comments by Patrick, trolol or not.. Rock isn't close to dying. The only people who say it is are wannabes who don't know where to look for talent. It's not in the spotlight like it used to be but that doesn't mean it isn't there. And it sure as hell doesn't need a spotlight to survive.
    Maiden95
    Although Nickelback is not the only reason its pretty true (generally) what Patrick is trying to say. Very ballsy
    emidog
    I like how everybody is saying that Rock and Roll isn't dead but nobody is saying the names of good rock and roll bands that are relevant. RHCP don't count because I'm hating on them till John comes back. It's not that I'm glad to say it but he's kind of right. Nickelback just sounds way too manufactured and processed. Granted the Black Keys are very commercial but I like them. The reason that it's dead is because there is nobody in rock and roll today. Sorry people get over it and listen to more music.
    phasesevenfold
    Nickelback has become unbearable to listen to ever since Photograph came out, and that's when they got huge.. coincidence? I think not.
    taytay8b
    Nickelback is probably the reason why rock is still alive on the modern charts. What a dummy.
    Kueller917
    I actually agree with what he says. I don't like the whole "rock is dead" attitude everyone seems to have but I think he's right in saying a decline in music quality is simply because people accept something sub-par as the standard. It's not entirely a new thing, but it's true.
    Rockinguitar
    That's not exactly what Carney meant, but I'm pretty apathetic to everything. Whatever.
    strat0blaster
    Funny - one talentless band calling another talentless band talentless. Neither of these bands are anywhere near a good example of a god rock band, and frankly, the Black Keys can't play their instruments any better, so they should just quiet down.
    AtTheGates\m/
    everyone could just listen to metal a metal concert is much more intense than a dubstep club and it is definitely the most noisy and brash genre with concerts with the most literal impact (moshing) and volume...
    cambo187
    All these guys do is bitch and complain. First, they cancel a bunch of shows last year from their tour because they are "exhausted" and don't even write the statement themselves on their website addressing it, they have their manager do it. Then, they say that they're not going to allow spotify or other services to stream their new album because the artists don't see enough money yet from streaming services. Then they hate on Nickelback for essentially being popular and making a crap ton of money? I have found their music in the past to be somewhat ok and slightly different from the everyday crap on the radio, but I know officially hate these guys. They should shut up and concentrate on making the rock and roll they claim is dying.
    ninfan200
    you know whats less original than nickelback? the people that hate on them
    kLeft
    emidog wrote: I like how everybody is saying that Rock and Roll isn't dead but nobody is saying the names of good rock and roll bands that are relevant.
    Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Down (When they decide to come off their hiatus) Orange Goblin.... Not exactly in the mainstream, but just a few examples that rock is still alive and kickin.
    $hithappen$16
    Why have this damn debate anyway??? The genre is never actually going to die. Yes its going to massively decrease in popularity, just like all genres eventually do. But who gives a sh*t? People think that classical music is dead but do you have any idea how many classical music festivals they have around the world? Or how many people attend? Or how many high school and college concert bands around the world learn how to play classical music pieces??? yet so many say its dead! The same goes for rock music. Most bands won't even crack the top 40 but as long as there are so many festivals out there and so many young guitarists trying to learn those songs and start their own band, rock music isn't going to die. Times change and eventually what was popular loses its edge or people take it and try to modernize it, much to some people's dismay, but the genre itself won't die. So basically I think people should shut up, stop complaining, listen to what they like and understand thet every genre of music is a passing trend that will (at some point) lose popularity but will never TRULY die... Ok rant is over. Thumbs down if you want, while you're doing that I'm gonna listen to the music I like and not give a sh*t about its popularity
    PenIslandPirate
    There is still great ****ing music out there, you just gotta find it. Yeah it sucks that good music isn't the mainstream, but if it was, it would get over-produced and diluted down into a bunch of bullshit, and so the cycle would continue. I've just stopped giving a shit about what's mainstream and what's not and I just listen to what I think is good.
    Kueller917
    The mainstream is always a watered down version of music. It's supposed to be accessible to everyone, hence why it's mainstream. Even in good bands notice their most popular song isn't always their best. Every once in a while a good band will break into the mainstream but it's not that common. There have always been bands like Nickelback and always will be. I'm actually kind of glad most commenters here realize there's good music if you look for it. I don't see that in many rock fans anymore.
    arrrghimapirate
    another bandwagon nickelback hater. i don't LIKE them but come on, Nickelback is ruining rock? why is it that they get rioted against for playing one football game that maybe 1/9 of the country watched but freaking MADONNA is playing the superbowl which everyone sees and not a soul says anything? its just bandwagon
    bf313
    Don't like either band, i think both are pretty boring and generic and why does a band have to have mainstream popularity to be considered good? There are plenty of good bands out there you just need to look for them. Rock will never die and if it were close to dying these guys certainly would not be the band to save the genre.
    Joban420/666
    Kueller917 wrote: arrrghimapirate wrote: another bandwagon nickelback hater. i don't LIKE them but come on, Nickelback is ruining rock? why is it that they get rioted against for playing one football game that maybe 1/9 of the country watched but freaking MADONNA is playing the superbowl which everyone sees and not a soul says anything? its just bandwagon Did you read the article? They're not directly blaming Nickelback.
    Um... Thats cause Madonna will still walk around stage half naked. U tell me who doesn't like seeing naked people?
    RGallagherFan
    Rock and Roll isn't dying...it's just that too many people are focused on pop music and what's playing on the radio. Real music fans go out and find new music that appeals to them, and they follow it. They don't choose to waste their time on the stuff the sheep listen to. Radio is vastly different from what it used to be. Now it's all commercials, greatest hits, 3 minute and under songs, and no actual DJ's. Before that, stations would play FULL ALBUMS, have REAL PEOPLE choosing the songs on the fly, and play new material. I choose to keep an eye on pop music (in case anything happens), but I do not follow it. The music put on the radio or TV will never be decided by musicians or major music enthusiasts. It is decided by the mass population of tweens/radio listeners. My advice to the people of UG: Try to find a new band that you like every day. If you can't, no big deal, but keep TRYING. Then, SPREAD WORD of the new bands you've found, and get OTHER PEOPLE interested in them as well. Buy an album, buy a T-shirt, see a concert, I don't give a shit. Just support them in at least one little way.
    cilli
    I like being the underdog... Cuz one of these days (or years) we will prevail! Long live ROCK'N'ROLL!
    Iliekgitaz
    I still see Courtney Loves pic from last years article here. I swear UG is trolling us.
    thejarbarihno
    CJMusics wrote: INstaNt-RocK wrote: You are kidding right? You obviously don't know shit about rock then. No offense although this is very offensive. Their previous album to the latest called "Brothers" won 3 grammy awards and if you try to argue and say you don't like mainstream because you are "too cool" before that they won nothing.
    i guess your mad because these guys are nothing but hipsters, no more than a "revival band". and Grammys? because a shit band like U2,etc. wins them, does that mean i should listen to them because thats what "real rock" is?
    CronoMagus
    INstaNt-RocK wrote: Never heard of the black keys but....I concur.
    Oh I'm sure you've heard that one song on the radio by now.
    Savage Animal
    Okay everyone in here who doesn't like the Black Keys, listen to Thickfreakness (the whole album) and then tell me that they aren't rock-and-roll. and personally, I like the Black Keys a lot because you can tell they've done their homework when it comes to the blues.. and their music is more important than their image
    adamzam
    Man, the Black Keys are just radio rock and roll the songs are just one progression and the drums play the same beat in every song. They're just jealous because they're not as famous as Nickelback, and really who cares. A few of my friends listen to BK and I personally find them boring. They aren't interested in the music they're making just the people looking them and how much money they just made.
    BigMikeBDD
    Ok, wait a second. Having never heard the Black Keys, I quickly did a search and listened to them. I came across a song....first off, I can't stand it..not sure it's even considered rock is it? Then second off, my first instinct was...this is from a commercial. And after I looked it up, I was right...the Howlin' for you song. After listening for a few seconds, I realize even though I am not a Nickelback fan, I'd much rather listen to that than this Black Keys garbage! It depends on what you listen to and what stations you listen to! I NEVER will tune in to the top 40's type stations or any station that plays Rihanna or Britney or Kanye. I tune in to stations that use talent and playing actual instruments to appeal to their audience. The problem with today's Pop culture, is people don't care about lip synching or fake voices. It doesn't matter as long as they can hum the tune and the singer looks hot. That's it. It's all a bunch of trash and if you attend a metal/rock show, you'll see that 40 thousand people can't be wrong.