Nickelback Frontman Explains What Shocks Some of Their Concertgoers, Reveals Why He Refuses to Own a ’59 Les Paul

Nickelback vocalist and guitarist Chad Kroeger recently spoke to Guitar World to promote the band’s new album “Get Rollin’.” During the chat, Kroeger reflected on some of the instruments that he has in his collection. When the issue of old guitars was brought up, he said:

“I actually don’t have that many old guitars, believe it or not. The oldest is a 1967 Gretsch. Yeah, I don’t let people pick that one up [laughs]. In this studio there are guitars everywhere, probably about 40 in total. There’s a mandolin over there. A ganjo… is that what we’re calling them these days?

Nickelback - Those Days (Official Music Video)

“There’s a bit of everything. A bunch of acoustics in different tunings, one is in a Nashville tuning. There’s a ginormous Explorer behind me. I don’t even know what that bottom string is, probably way into the 60s. It’s like a telephone cable. In total I probably own about 100 guitars.”

When discussing such a topic in more detail, it’s only a matter of time until Gibson Les Paul Standard from 1959 — the famous “Holy Grail” — will be brought up. However, Chad isn’t really keen on the idea of owning one of these incredibly expensive guitars. He explained:

“Honestly, I would be afraid to own one. I’d be so terrified of somebody setting it down and we’d all walk away, but it wouldn’t be sat in the stand properly and would end up doing that thing we’ve all seen a million times where the guitar slowly falls over and everybody screams. It happens in slow-motion and then bang, the neck cracks!”

Nickelback - High Time (Official Lyric Video)

Elsewhere in the interview, Kroeger also discussed the band’s overall image over the years and the general misconceptions. It’s not a secret that Nickelback is often regarded as one of the most hated bands out there due to the general “radio songs.”

However, as the musician also explained, Nickelback have a large body of work which includes songs out of the “mainstream.” And when new listeners hear these pieces, they are literally shocked to find out how heavy things can get. Chad elaborates:

“People nowadays get one little taste of something and formulate this opinion before they’ve done any homework. I think too many people around the world have only heard our ‘radio songs’ and I love it when they get shocked at a show.

Check out these other articles:

“They always wind up saying the same thing: ‘I never know you guys were that heavy!’ That’s my favorite compliment. We’re a hard rock band who learned how to write in more melodic ways.”

Photos: Stuart Sevastos (Nickelback @ Perth Arena (17 11 2012) (8260174327)), Zurich_99 (Allman Brothers Band, Duane Allman’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2014-07-12 13.02.31 by Zurich 99))


  • 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.