Saturday, 16 August 2014


Yesterday I was asked why I hate Nickelback so much. It must be said that what followed was purely my viewpoint and not a definitive article on the merit of the band.

The roots of this start around 1999-2000 when I worked in a Sydney office where the radio was always on, with the dial welded on Triple M - the station for all things rock. At the time Post-Grunge was a "thing". Bands mining this sound were a dime-a-dozen. 3 Doors Down, Stonesour, Staind, Matchbox 20, Live, and a bloody awful but thankfully short-lived band called Default were all given gracious amounts of airtime. Nickelback were also part of this esteemed group.

The problem with these bands is that, after a while, if you shut your eyes and listen you'd think they were all the same band. Such was the lack of personality they all shared. Add into the mix the constant repetition that commercial radio have turned into an art form and you have a recipe for disaster with me. If familiarity breeds contempt, what does ubiquity breed? Pure hatred?

All these years later, a new Nickelback record sounds like an old Nickelback record. As I think their sound was contrived to start with the fact that they haven't evolved their sound in 15 years leads me to think that they have designed and calculated their sound for maximum sales potential. You might think there is nothing wrong with that, and maybe there isn’t. Personally I just don’t think there is any integrity in it, and that is not what I look for in music.

I'm looking for bands and artists who create music as the purest expression of their souls and emotions. I want to hear musicians playing at the peak of their powers, as opposed to creating something that adds up to less of the sum of all the parts. The counter argument is that the players in Nickelback are very talented. I agree, but they don't demonstrate it on their albums. If they're that talented, they are capable of far more than the mediocrity they've shown us already.

Still, Nickelback are resilient enough to ignore the haters. They're rightfully not going to care what I think. And more power to 'em for that.

Again, this is one writers view and not a definitive statement. Like everything else on these pages, it is the start of a discussion. Counter arguments welcome as long as they are tastefully supplied.

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