Even after all these years, Nickelback is still the “usual suspect” in rock music. They still carry the burden of being that one band that sold out right from the very beginning and God forbid if you ever admit to liking one of their songs! Strangely enough, they still fill up arenas and other big venues while playing their own material.
One of the songs that helped bring this weird reputation was “Rockstar,” also (in)famous for its music video. Although a very successful one commercially wise, the band was critiqued for supposedly bragging about selling out. The issue is that the song was misunderstood and was actually a critique of those who fetishize fame and luxury.
But according to what the band’s frontman Chad Kroeger recently said in an interview with Sarah Christie of iHeart Radio Canada, there’s another major misconception about the song. It was actually one very “left of field” move for the band back in the 2000s. He explains (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):
“You know, on ‘All the Right Reasons’, I think that ‘Rockstar’ was a departure. You wouldn’t think now, that ‘Rockstar’ would be a departure for us, right? Because it’s just sort of like, ‘Oh, that’s just one of their tunes.’“
However, he also adds:
“But at the time, that was so left of center, like, we would never do anything even close to that.“
Ironically enough, it’s that one song that’s often used as ammo against Nickelback. Chad went on to explain:
“And, you know, we’ve stepped to the left and to the right, musically, with a lot of different ideas. And sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.“
“Sometimes they land, and sometimes they fall short with our fans. We love [the songs], we create them. We hope [fans] are gonna like them as much as we like them.”