ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons Defends Nickelback

Gibbons praises "great vocal stylings Chad Kroeger can bring to the party."

Ultimate Guitar

Billy Gibbons has been speaking with Classic Rock about some of his famous musical friends.

As the ZZ Top guitarist notes, he has a lot of time for the oft-derided Nickelback, particularly the vocal ability of frontman Chad Kroeger:

"Ha ha ha ... Rockstar was quite an unexpected success. We were touring the US, up the North West. It was the day before our own show, they were playing and we were curious, so we popped down to catch the band's performance. You have to note the great vocal stylings that Chad Kroeger can bring to the party. Man, he can sing for days.

"Anyway, after that inauspicious first meeting, when the time came for them to get back into the studio, I believe Chad had the idea to complete 'Rockstar' as a studio-based song. He had most of it but felt he needed something extra, so he called me up to see if we could make some sense of it. He dreamed up the vocal inflection that I sang, and I reckon it came out okay."

ZZ Top's last album, the Rick Rubin produced "La Futura," was released in 2012.

44 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Regardless of their sub-par generic based, extremely bland rock music, you can't deny the members of Nickelback are still talented.
    Doesn't sound like he was "defending" Nickelback, he was just talking about them normally. Now, if he said the same thing about someone less hated like Dave Grohl, the headline would be "ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons Praises Dave Grohl". But, because it's Nickelback, it's "Defends ".
    I like Nickelback. There I said it. I like Imagine Dragons too.
    I listen to some older Nickelback from time to time. Silver Side Up and The Long Road are two of my all time favorite albums.
    Some of Nickelback's songs are alright, especially the non-singles. The band's a guilty pleasure of mine.
    You wanna rock? Go see a Nickleback show, they crush. The crowd is full of fans that get right into it. They use pyro like crazy. Its just a show worth the bucks. I'm an old eighties guy and these guys play the music that makes you want to air guitar and bang your head. I love it when musicians give them props.
    Got to agree. I'm not a Nickleback fan but I got dragged into watching them and they were really good live.... I was shocked.
    Everyone who isn't a fan and gets pressured into seeing them always says this. They're incredible live! I don't think I've ever heard someone say they suck live.
    Couldn't agree more, they're very professional live. Possibly the best live act I've seen.
    Love ZZ Top but i don't really care about Nickelback. There is way worse bands out there anyway. Everyone has their opinions and taste so what..
    I always enjoyed Nickelback. Sure, their lyrics suck and whatnot, but they get waaaay too much hate for no freakin' reason. They are all pretty talented musicians, and they're honestly really tight live. Everyone needs to stop hating on them so much.
    Chad is a hell of a vocalist though. He just doesn't write the most inspiring of songs a lot of the time. The last album was pretty good as far as their recent material goes though.
    I've seen lots of concerts and nickel back is in the 2 as far as putting on a good show goes. They interact with the crowd like NO band I've seen live besides Bush. You gotta give those guys props for that
    "Haw haw haw... Well, I hear it's fine if you got the time and the ten to get yourself in. A hmm, hmm."
    A shitty band defending a shitier band.
    I'm all for calling Nickelback shitty but ZZ Top's ****ing awesome.
    The only thing ****ing awesome about ZZ Top, is their beards. Thay are amazing.
    Yup. Their Beards, Gibbonses and Hills Seriously though, ZZ Top are excellent musicians with that all-too-rare ability to take themselves without an ounce of seriousness. I don't particularly like Nickelback, I think ultimately they're just incredibly dull to listen to, but I think Gibbons is in as good a position as anyone to defend them.
    And this coming from someone whose name is built upon the initial of Bewteen the Buried and Me.
    First Dimebag, then Jerry Cantrell now Billy...? At least when Duff McKagan took his Au Pair to see them he paid for her taxi as he had to leave part way through the show.
    Well if those 3 legends praised the band (and performed with them) then obviously there must be something awesome about the band. And there kinda is. Listen to their non-singles, they are awesome.
    I have. They're not.
    I agree. My friend's a Nickelback fan. I tried to help him, he made me listen to all their stuff and I have found ONE song I liked in all of their albums (Flat on the Floor).
    He was my best friend, I tried to help him, but he traded everything for suffering and found himself alone.
    Opinions are objective: mine is merely that Nickelback are horrible and insipid. You're entitled to your opinion too.
    nickleback giving zz top some attention? sure they'll be best friends lol...