What Did Pantera’s Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell Really Think of Nickelback? Chad Kroeger Reveals

Remembering his close friendship with the Abbott brothers, Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger looked back on what they thought of his band. While appearing on the 979GRD radio, Kroeger talked about the brothers and how they, as members of Pantera, one of the most impactful metal bands of all time, defended Nickelback from all the hate that they got back in the day. He explained (transcript via Blabbermouth):

“Vinnie Paul and Dimebag used to say all the time. When the metal community would come down on those guys and be, like, ‘What’s with this love for Nickelback? I don’t get it.’ And they would defend us, and it was really, really lovely.”

“They were, like, ‘Go watch ’em play. And then say they suck. Or then say something negative about them.'”

Nickelback - Pantera & Seek and Destroy ( Cowboys from Hell & Metallica Cover )

It’s not a secret that Nickelback were one of the bands that everyone loved to hate. Nonetheless, they not only managed to sell out venues but also build their reputation as one of the most proficient live bands in rock music.

After some years, the hate for them subdued and plenty of people either admitted that they were doing them wrong or that they simply liked them in the first place but were too ashamed to admit it.

Kroeger continued:

“Because my favorite thing is when someone comes to the show, and they go, ‘Honestly, I wouldn’t call myself a fan, but I would definitely go see that show again.’ I’m, like, ‘I’ll take that. I’ll take that all day long. That’s a hell of a compliment.'”

Nickelback - How You Remind Me (Intimate gig for Absolute Radio)

Going more into the matter, Kroeger looked back on the tragic events in 2004 and the murder of Dimebag Darrell. Since he was friends with the Abbott brothers, the Nickelback frontman had a really hard time dealing with it. He said:

“That one hurt. I had a tough time — really tough time — with that one for such a long time. You’d see him on [the cover of] a guitar magazine or something like that, and I’d be standing there in a grocery store.”

“And my girlfriend would go to pull me. She’s, like, ‘C’mon, let’s go.’ And she can’t move me. And then she looks over and there’s just tears streaming down my face. And I’m, like, ‘Ugh.’ And she’s, like, ‘Do you wanna go home?’ And I’m, like, ‘Yup. I wanna go home right now.'”

Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger Reacts To Pantera Tour Haters

Looking back at how he met them in the first place, Kroeger revealed that it was Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell who introduced him to the Pantera founders. He said:

 “We were on tour together, and [Jerry Cantrell] goes, ‘Hey, you’re gonna meet the brothers tonight.’ And we were pulling into Dallas. And I said, ‘The brothers?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, buddy. You’ll see.’ I didn’t know what the hell he meant at first. And the next thing I know I’ve got Dime and Vinnie on my bus. And I was just, like, ‘Dude, this is the coolest day of my life.'”

Speaking of Pantera, sometime last year, Kroeger reflected on the current version of Pantera, featuring Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante alongside Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown. With some fans questioning the decision to tour under this name, especially since Vinnie Paul himself wasn’t exactly fond of the idea, the current lineup proved to be somewhat controversial. When Chad was asked what he thinks of it, he said:

“Well, selfishly, I wanna see those songs performed live. When you listen to a Pantera record and you think to yourself – well, as we thought… since the band broke up – it’s, like, ‘Oh, I’m never gonna get to see these songs live again.’

“And it’s heartbreaking. So the fact that the boys are getting called in from here and there… Love Zakk; love Charlie – great, great guys. I think the fact that they’re gonna get on stage and do this… All Phil has to do is just get up there and crush it.”

PANTERA - Full HD Concert Welcome to Rockville, Daytona Beach, FL, USA MAY 20, 2023

“I would go see that. I would buy a ticket to go see that show. I want to see it. I want to scream those songs. And I think that calling it more of a tribute is probably closer to what it’s gonna be – which is great; that’s great. People that love that music that want to recreate it live every single night…

“And like I said, as long as Phil brings it, it’s gonna be great. Just to be able to sit back and watch those guys to do it up… And I think all the Pantera fans are gonna love it.”

Addressing all the naysayers, Kroeger said:

“Anybody who’s sitting back hating on the idea, I think when it comes to town, they’re gonna do the same thing that happens with those people that say they don’t like Nickelback. They always find themselves at the show. Strangely enough — shocker! It’s, like, ‘Ah, I hate those guys. They suck.’ ‘Are you going?’ ‘Of course.’ [Laughs]”

Photos: Stuart Sevastos (Nickelback @ Perth Arena (17 11 2012) (8260174327)), Rik Goldman (Dimebag Darrell with Pantera)

  • 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 Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

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