This week, we take on perhaps our greatest challenge yet—convincing you that you really shouldn’t hate Nickelback. There’s a difference between simply not liking a band for their music and moving on with your life, and straight up hating them. We’re here to say Nickelback doesn’t deserve the latter.
Sure, you probably do and totally should hate their music, but that doesn’t mean having a band like Nickelback around doesn’t serve a purpose. Allow us to explain…
Because They Are Who We Think They Are—Get Over It
One beef everybody has with Nickelback is that they recycle the same formula over and over again. They’re so famous for it that they’ve become some kind of benchmark analogy for other musicians who somehow denigrate the artistic integrity of music, like when people called Soulja Boy the Nickelback of hip-hop. The Nickelback of hip-hop. Ouch.
Before you get carried away wondering how and why these guys keep making the same sounds, you need to ask yourself—what do you really expect Nickelback to do? Remake the White Album? Take a sabbatical to India and do some meditating with the Maharishi? Pull a Neil Young and go rockabilly? Collaborate with Run-DMC and invent rap-metal? Tame the wild beast Lady Gaga?
It’s not in Nickelback to be revolutionary in sound or style. It’s not in a lot of popular bands to reinvent the wheel. Maybe stop wasting your energy waiting for a rainbow to shoot out of Chad Kroeger’s ass. They are exactly who we think they are. And honestly, why is that such a bad thing? Know who else keeps reusing the same formula over and over again? AC/DC. That’s not just our opinion—it’s something they freely admit.
Because Sure They’re Sellouts…Just Like Everybody Else—Get Over It
You get labeled a sellout in the music biz in one of three ways. The first is that you get popular to begin with. No, it doesn’t make any sense, but life’s screwy like that sometimes – some people would just rather see their favorite artists starve than make a living.
The second is that you agree to license your song or persona for other companies’ advertising purposes, like car commercials and all that jazz. This way actually merits being a sellout because at that point it’s only about making more money and not about music.
The third is that you somehow act against the principles your music stands for.
Nickelback’s sold 20 million albums worldwide, so they’re already screwed on the first front. They’ve only once ever put their names and faces on an advertisement campaign—a Citibank commercial. We’re talking about guys who epitomize commercial appeal—they’re white and Canadian. The offers they’ve probably had to promote everything from Laundromats to Dr. Pepper to MADD must number in the thousands by now. And yet still just that one ad.
Hey, speaking of Dr. Pepper, remember Dr. Dre? One of the godfathers of gangsta rap? Founding member of fuck-the-establishment N.W.A.? Oh good, then you probably saw him all over TV last year courtesy of a certain soft drink:
Anybody know Bruce Springsteen? Blue-collar front man of the E Street Band who never lost his Jersey roots? Most reliable rocker-spokesperson the working man turns to after he’s been fisted by the evil corporations? Yeah, want to guess which department store chain Bruuuuuuuuuuuce gave sole rights to sell his greatest hits anthology to in 2009? That’s right—Wal-Mart, the evilest of evil anti-union corporations.
We could go on and on with examples like that. Translation? The only people immune to selling out are the ones who’ve never had the chance to make more money than they ever dreamed of making.
Because Canada Might Kick Our Ass If Things Get Out of Hand
As you might know, Nickelback is from Canada. As we mentioned before, Nickelback is about as threatening as a Morgan Freeman voiceover. It’s not really their fault, though. Canada’s most famous exports are Canadian bacon and nice people. Though we share a border, we couldn’t be more different as countries. Canada offers universal health care, and we like to blow stuff up.
But this doesn’t mean they’re a bunch of Nancys who will take the defamation of some of their native sons lying down if we keep making such a big deal out of it. You might not have heard before, but we’ve actually gone to war with Canada on two separate occasions, and got our asses thoroughly kicked both times.
If Canada was a person, they’d be Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse. Get in their face and call them a cocksucker? They’ll be nice. Won’t walk away? They’ll walk you away, and still be nice. Claim that you used to fuck guys like them in prison? That’s when they might rip your throat out. Just a hunch, here, but we think Canada’s been suspiciously nice for too long.
Because “Shittiest Band” Isn’t a Category We Want to Lead the World In
Speaking of Canada, as long as Nickelback is in the business of making horrible albums, they have the rest of the world beat by a mile in the “Shittiest Band In the World” category. Don’t we want it to stay that way? Need we remind you that we had that title firmly on lock when Creed was the biggest band in the world? Would you prefer that? Do you want Scott Stapp Jesus posing on the cover of every music magazine again? We certainly don’t.
As long as Nickelback is around, Canada is home base for the very worst band in the universe, and all the Ke$has and Rascall Flatts in the world aren’t enough to change it. We’re all for keeping it that way. We give the world enough reasons to hate us. Exporting pseudo-Grunge to the masses doesn’t need to be another one.
Because They Make Choosing Friends Much Easier
If for no other reason, you should appreciate Nickelback for this…they make choosing who you associate with much easier than it used to be.
Say you get a friend request on Facebook or a private message on some Internet dating site, for example. Most likely you’re going to check out the profile of the person hoping to make friends with you before deciding to let them into your close knit circle of 3,427 social networking friends.
What would happen if under “interests” they had Nickelback listed? You would probably decide that you, being of sane mind and reasonable taste in popular music, have nothing in common with this person, right? See how easy that was?
Nickelback fandom is like a big line running right down the middle of the world that separates the thinking person from the person who, well, listens to fucking Nickelback. Their music may be horrid, but at least knowing who their fans are helps us keep everyone in their proper place, right?
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