Nickelback: Why You Shouldn’t Burn it to the Ground

I’m certainly not Nickelback’s biggest fan, but to this day, I have never understood why of all existing musical artists and bands, they have been considered to be one of the worst.

There’s the initial speculation that Nickelback is so hated because it’s the cultural norm. Sheeple will just accept the common belief that the band produces atrocious music without having ever listened to them. However I personally believe that there is a deeper reason to explain this mystery.

A person’s taste in music is quite rigid once it has been defined. If somebody says they don’t like a certain category of music, it’s extremely unlikely that this opinion will change. For example, metalheads will roast pop music over the pits of the underworld, and likewise, fans of Selena Gomez and Drake might see Slipknot as merciless ‘emo screaming’.

This being said, Nickelback might be disliked because of their inability to stick to one category of music, and give off a ‘poser’ vibe. Although Nickelback would commonly be considered a rock band, which is evident in songs such as How You Remind Me and Animals, they’ve also dipped into other musical styles. Most of the tunes off of their latest album, Feed the Machine, attempt to be heavy metal, while songs like Lullaby, This Afternoon and Photograph have a country vibe to them.

Kroeger’s music is often described as fake, notably because of his songs’ meaningless lyrics and commercialized sound.

Firstly, not every song needs to have as deep of a meaning as 1-800-273-8255, American Pie or Good Riddance. Obviously it will make the song more relatable for some listeners, sometimes all you need are catchy lyrics or a beat that is pleasing to the ears.

Nickelback sings about getting over past lovers, childhood memories and fitting in with the norm, among other topics. These have to be some of the most prevalent themes to sing about in music because they are issues that most people hold closely to their heart. So what makes Nickelback’s songs any less meaningful than the rest of mainstream music?

I personally believe that the Canadian band has a unique sound, which might explain why they are easier to target. For example, if you dislike Stormzy, you will dislike the majority of grime music,
but if you dislike Nickelback, it’s still very likely that you like other alternative-metal or rock artists. Therefore instead of pinpointing an entire category of music as bad, you simply target one artist. There are loads of bloggers and journalists who dislike the sound of today’s hip-hop, but this ‘hatred’ is divided up amongst the hundreds of artists who fall under this category, so they aren’t perceived as negatively when examined individually.

And if Nickelback is really that bad, who’s buying tickets to all of their concerts?

Image Source: Wikimedia


Kyle McRae
Production Manager

Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol. 47 Issue 6 on November 22, 2017