Nickelback Frontman Explains How Band Got So Much Hate, Recalls What Def Leppard Members Told Him About It

While talking to Metal Global, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger discussed the band’s unusual reputation. Although often referred to as one of the worst and most hated groups, Nickelback have enjoyed great commercial success. When asked where this massive hate came from, Chad replied (transcript via Blabbermouth):

“I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp of where things kind of went off the rails for us. I think that because we write so many different kinds of music, I think that if you were listening to a radio station any time between 2000 and 2010, ’11, ’12 even, we were kind of tough to get away from.”

Nickelback - Those Days (Official Music Video)

“‘Cause if you didn’t wanna hear it and you changed to a different radio station, you’d probably hear it on there, and then changed to a different radio station, you probably were gonna hear it in so many different places. And we were really tough to get away from.

“And that’s not my fault. [Laughs] We just write the songs. And so with that comes backlash. And then what happens is then comedians start making jokes, and then it starts making it on to TV, and then it makes it into movies and stuff like that.

“And then it just turns into this wave of, it’s fun to pick on and it’s an easy joke. And I get it. I understand. There are bands that when I hear them on the radio, I… And they’re very popular bands… I mean, we all have those. No one is exempt from that.

Nickelback - Standing In The Dark (Official Visualizer)

“There are certain bands where you just hear them and you just don’t like ’em. And other people may — half the world may love them, and I’ll just be, like, ‘No. I just cannot hear this band one more [time].’ And just like everyone else does, I just change the channel.

“But we became the whipping boy of the music industry for a while there. But whatever. It’s just part of the history of the band.”

Further discussing the issue, Chad also pointed out that Nickelback aren’t the only rock band to receive so much hate. Particularly, he recalled what Def Leppard members told him about it, saying:

It’s funny because we were at the American Music Awards, and we were presenting, and we presented to Def Leppard. And when we walked backstage afterwards, Joe Elliott and Phil Collen turned to me, and they were just, like, ‘Dude, thank you so much.'”

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“I’m, like, ‘For what?’ They were, like, ‘For taking the trophy. We get to pass the baton to you for being the most hated band in the world now.’ And I was just, like, ‘Oh, yeah. ‘Cause I want that.'”

What’s more, they even discussed the issue with AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson. Chad recalled:

“And it’s funny — we went for dinner with AC/DC in Chicago years and years and years ago. And this whole thing came up. And Brian Johnson said when they released ‘Back In Black’, they were the most hated band on the planet. So I feel like we’re in good company. [Laughs]”

Photo: Stuart Sevastos (Nickelback @ Perth Arena (17 11 2012) (8261243464))


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.