I thought it only appropriate to start off this blog with one of the things that is less of a “passing hate” and more of a “hate that will outshine the sun”. I am proud to say that I am an old-school Nickelback hater, I’ll claim from day 1. The most mind-boggling part of the whole Nickelback problem is that they are a Canadian band that has embodied American white-trash better than any American could. My hatred for this band is complex so it’s best to attack it from separate angles:
1. Their Look
I know the old saying is that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. What the person who coined that phrase forgot to mention is that Nickelback is an exception. It’s not very often that a band looks EXACTLY how they sound…leave it to Nickelback to surprise me yet again. With girlie man-hair, soul-patches, goatees and necklaces all topped off with a dead “we don’t want you to know that we’re totally excited about getting our picture taken” look on their faces this photo might as well be next to the word “asshole” in the dictionary with a reference to see Nickelback.
2. Their Lyrics
I try not to listen to the lyrics of bands that I like because I know I will only find myself disappointed in how little sense they make. There are plenty of good bands throughout the ages that have extremely bad lyrics; Nickelback is on a whole new level.
“How did our eyes get so red?
And what the hell is on Joey’s head?”
From the song “Photograph”
If the obvious, innocent pot-smoking reference wasn’t brainless enough WHO THE FUCK IS JOEY?! There is no Joey in the band…maybe this is a character that Nickelback is going to introduce to us later.
“I’m gonna sing those songs
that offend the censors
Gonna pop my pills
from a pez dispenser”
from the song “Rockstar”
Once again advocating the use of drugs in one form or another Nickelback takes a beloved childhood candy dispenser and turns it into an evil, godless device for administering prescription narcotics.
3. Their Demographic
I have never nor do I ever plan on going to a Nickelback concert, but I’m sure I have a pretty good idea what it would be like:
I would arrive to see the majority of the venue’s patrons wearing the band’s shirts, maybe as a status symbol to tell others at the show who they came to see, or maybe as a way to remind themselves who they came to see should they forget.
After waiting in a line of about four-thousand 30-40 year olds I will be let in to the gate of the venue through a cloud of marijuana smoke. I will immediately become high. I will spend the next hour stumbling through a crowd of similarly dressed bros and broettes all reciting their favorite Nickelback lyrics (ref. above and anything with a sexual situation or swear word in it) while punching the air and drinking Keystone Light. Before I have time to find a place where I can avoid the majority of the crowd the house lights are turned down and a wild applause fills the arena as the opening band takes the stage. It’s Default, and they’re wasting my time, wasting my time. In between songs the air is filled with Nickelback song requests being shouted at the opener. The crowd is convinced that their beloved Nickelback is already on stage; Mice are better at distinguishing between sounds.
After about 5 minutes the opener rings out the last note of their big radio hit and leave the stage. After a modest 2 hour setup the house lights are once again dimmed and Nickelback takes to the stage. The applause is so loud that 15% of the audience is now deaf; they’re the lucky ones. After playing their opening song the lead singer grabs the microphone “How the fuck ya fuckin’ doing Buffalo?!” are his first and only words for the night. After 2 hours of hearing the same song played over and over again they close with their most recent radio hit (something about having sex or doing drugs). As the last chord finally fades away Nickelback leaves the stage to the sound of the crowd chanting for an encore. If they came back and replayed 2 songs from earlier I guarantee no one would be able to tell. This must be what hell is like.
How this band achieved the level of success they did truly blows my mind. I understand that most popular music today is mindless, but this is unreasonable. Clearly we are entering an era where the most talented and skilled musicians are pushed aside to make way for a new age of repetitive, low-class, white-trash rockers who are being encouraged to continue being awful by their undue success. I leave you with a video that impresses me still to this day.