Nickelback is a Canadian rock band formed in 1995 in Hanna, Alberta. The band is composed of lead guitarist and lead vocalist Chad Kroeger, rhythm guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger, and drummer Daniel Adair. The band went through a few drummer changes between 1995 and 2005, achieving its current form when Adair replaced drummer Ryan Vikedal.
Nickelback is one of the most commercially successful Canadian groups, having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and ranking as the eleventh best-selling music act, and the second best-selling foreign act in the U.S. of the 2000s, behind The Beatles. Billboard ranks them the top rock group of the decade, and their hit song "How You Remind Me" was listed as the top rock song of the decade and the fourth song of the decade. They were listed number seven on the Billboard top artist of the decade, with four albums listed on the Billboard top albums of the decade.
The band signed with Roadrunner Records in 1999 and re-released their once-independent album The State. The band achieved commercial success with the release of their 2000 album The State and then they achieved mainstream success with the release of their 2001 album Silver Side Up. Following the release of Silver Side Up the band released their biggest and most known hit today, "How You Remind Me" which peaked number 1 on the American and Canadian charts at the same time. Then, the band's 4th album The Long Road spawned 5 singles and continued the band's mainstream success with their hit single "Someday" which peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 at the Canadian Singles Chart. Afterwards, the band put out their biggest album to date, All The Right Reasons which produced 3 top 10 singles and 5 top 20 singles, on the Billboard Hot 100 example of songs like "Photograph", "Far Away", and "Rockstar". The band's Dark Horse album was a success which produced eight singles, one of which peaked on the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and two of which peaked on the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The band recently released their 2011 album, Here and Now which again topped the charts. The band has won numerous awards including 12 Juno Awards among 28 nominations.
The band is based in Vancouver, Canada. The band's original domestic signing was with EMI Canada. They subsequently obtained an American deal with global distribution via Roadrunner Records. For the release of their seventh album, the band parted from EMI Canada and signed a new Canadian domestic distribution deal with Universal Music Canada.
The band was formed in the early 1990s as a cover band called the "Village Idiots" by Chad Kroeger, Ryan Peake, Mike Kroeger, and Brandon Kroeger. The band performed covers of songs from Led Zeppelin and Metallica. Chad Kroeger then told his step-father to give him $4,000 so that the band can record their first demo, which was Hesher (EP). Its name originates from the nickel in change that band member Mike Kroeger gave customers at his job at Starbucks; he would frequently say, "Here's your nickel back." Nickelback's first release was a seven-track EP called Hesher in 1996. In the same year, they also recorded their first full-length album Curb. "Fly" was included on both Hesher and Curb and was the first single produced by Nickelback. In 1997, Brandon Kroeger left the band and the band searched for a new drummer. Later that year Mitch Guindon joined the band, but he decided to leave in 1998 because he started working in a car company. In Summer 1998, Ryan Vikedal joined the band.
Roadrunner A&R Ron Burman told HitQuarters that one of his West Coast scouts sent him the self-released album and, suitably impressed, he travelled to Vancouver to see them perform live. Although an unknown property in the industry at the time, the venue was packed out. In Burman's words: "I immediately got the chills! I thought their song "Leader of Men" was a smash hit." Off the stage he was impressed by their industry and initiative in managing their career: Despite this, it still took Burman three months for him to convince his label bosses' to approve the signing, a decision that would mark Roadrunner's first move into mainstream rock. Nickelback signed a record deal with EMI and Roadrunner Records in 1999.
The State, was released by Nickelback in 2000 by Roadrunner Records and EMI Canada. The State, was released in Europe in 2001. It spawned 4 singles: "Old Enough", "Worthy To Say", "Leader of Men" and "Breathe", the last two being Top 10 rock hits. The album was certified platinum status in 2008, after the success of their later albums. The album entered the Billboard 200 albums charts in position number 130 and peaked at number 3 in the Billboard Top Heatseekers albums chart and peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Top Independent albums chart.
Around 2001 Chad Kroeger started "studying every piece, everything sonically, everything lyrically, everything musically, chord structure. I would dissect every single song that I would hear on the radio or every song that had ever done well on a chart and I would say, 'Why did this do well?'" Nickelback's single How You Remind Me, Kroeger told Bliss, sold so well because it was about romantic relationships, a universal subject, and contained memorable hooks.
To record their third album Silver Side Up, Nickelback collaborated with producer Rick Parashar. The album was written before the release The State and was recorded at the same studio. The disc was released on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The album peaked number 2 on the Billboard 200 with over 177,000 copies sold in its first week and peaked number 1 at the Canadian albums chart making the band's first album to do so. The single "How You Remind Me" was a number one single on the Mainstream and Modern rock charts, as well as the pop chart. It also peaked at number two on Adult Top 40 and became the Billboard Hot 100 number one single of the year for 2001. The next single was "Too Bad", which also reached number one on the Mainstream Rock Chart. The final single from the album was "Never Again", which also one hit on Mainstream Rock.
In 2002, Chad Kroeger collaborated with Josey Scott on the Spider-Man theme song, "Hero". This recording also featured Tyler Connolly, Mike Kroeger, Matt Cameron, and Jeremy Taggart. In 2002, Nickelback released their first DVD Live at Home.
In 2003, Nickelback released The Long Road. The album was certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA in March 2005 and it had sold 3,591,000 copies as of April 2011. It has sold over 5 million copies worldwide and in 2003 only the album sold 2 million copies worldwide. It debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200.
It was ranked No. 157 on Billboard's 200 Albums of the Decade. It spawned five singles. The lead single was "Someday" . The band also released "Feelin' Way Too Damn Good" as a single, which peaked at number 3 on the Mainstream Rock Charts. "Figured You Out" was also released as a single and topped the Mainstream Rock Charts for 13 consecutive weeks.
In 2005, the band confirmed that their drummer Ryan Vikedal had left the band. In November 2005, the band asked that Vikedal and his production company Ladekiv Music, Inc. give all financial interest in future royalties for the songs featuring Vikedal as drummer and return any public performance royalties earned since January 2005. Chad Kroeger sued him from collecting royalties from the band's well known hits like "How You Remind Me". 3 Doors Down's drummer Daniel Adair joined the band. "We are totally thrilled to have Daniel in the band," Chad said. "The creativity that went on with him in the studio was really inspiring. He’s a totally amazing player." Nickelback's fifth studio album, All the Right Reasons (2005), peaked number 1 on the Billboard 200 with 323,350 copies in its first week in the United States, as well as producing five U.S. Hot 100 top 20 singles: "Photograph", "Savin' Me", "Far Away", "If Everyone Cared" and "Rockstar". Three of these became U.S. Hot 100 top 10 singles. Also, the album peaked number 1 at the Canadian albums chart. The album sold more than 12 million singles and over 9 million ringtones. The album also made the band the first band in Nielsen BDS history to have 5 singles on the CHR charts. In 2006, the band played at Sturgis, South Dakota to over 35,000 people at the Sturgis Bike Rally. The performance was filmed with 15 high-definition cameras. They released the DVD and Blu-ray for it on 2009 several years after the performance.
Also, the band spent much time of 2006 and 2007 touring across the globe. The band opened for Bon Jovi on the European leg of the tour. The album's tour was very successful and the band sold over 2 million tickets over the album's tour.
Chad Kroeger was arrested in the Surrey, British Columbia in June and charged with drunken driving. His attorney entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf at a court hearing in August. In November 2006, the band won an American Music Award for best pop/rock album, surprising the band itself. "We just kinda showed up because we were supposed to give one of these away tonight," Chad Kroeger said after receiving the award. Chad Kroeger added he had thought the Red Hot Chili Peppers would win the award.
It included appearances by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, who played a guitar solo on the song "Follow You Home" and sang backing vocals on "Rock Star"—and a posthumously sampled appearance by Chad Kroeger's friend Dimebag Darrell from Pantera, culled from guitar outtakes. The band also used more acoustic sound on some songs. "Savin' Me," for instance, included strings and piano as well as guitars. "We were a little scared of using piano," Chad Kroeger said in a biography on the band's website. "We just didn't think it was very rock and roll." But once they heard the result, he added, they liked it. All the Right Reasons had sold over 7 million copies in the US to June 19, 2010. Aside from all the success of All the Right Reasons, lead singer Kroeger began his own label named 604 Records in 2005 and holds the position of executive producer. The group was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2007.
After taking much of 2007 off, the band started recording a new album in earnest. In July 2008, the band signed with Live Nation for three touring and album cycles, with an option for a fourth.
On September 4, 2008, Roadrunner Records announced that the first single from the upcoming album would be "If Today Was Your Last Day", released on September 30, 2008. However, the song was replaced by "Gotta Be Somebody". The new album, produced by Mutt Lange and titled Dark Horse, was released on November 18, 2008. "Something in Your Mouth" was released as the second single to rock radio only on December 15, where it reached number one. "If Today Was Your Last Day" was later released as the third single. Four more singles were released, "I'd Come for You", "Burn It to the Ground" and "Never Gonna Be Alone" released in September and "Shakin' Hands" as the seventh single on November 16. Its eighth single, "This Afternoon", was released on March 23, 2010. Dark Horse was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on December 9, 2008, only three weeks after its North American release.
On November 26, 2008, the band announce the tour for the support of the album. Livenation produced the tour and the band kicked off on Nashville, Tennessee, with Seether, and Saving Abel as their opening acts. The band then announced that they're about to tour on the UK with Black Stone Cherry as their opening act. The band then announce the second leg of the tour on North America this time the opening acts were Hinder, Papa Roach, and once again Saving Abel. The band then went on tour on Australia and New Zealand this time around with Sick Puppies as their supporting act. For the second leg of Europe the band played with their opening act Daughtry. The 3rd leg of the North America tour kicked of with Breaking Benjamin, Sick Puppies and Shinedown opening up for the band. Lastly, the band ended their tour with the 4th leg of North America which included Buckcherry and Three Days Grace. The tour was very successful and the band sold over 1.6 million tickets of the band's tour with 146 shows.
The album also remained in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 for weeks after its release. The album was certified two times platinum in April 2009, and had by April 2010 sold over 3 million copies in the U.S. However, critical reception of the album has been mostly mixed to negative. In 2009, the band won three Juno Awards for Juno Fan Choice Award, group of the year, and album of the year; the band performed their single "Something In Your Mouth" at the ceremony. In 2010, Billboard year end charts listed Dark Horse as the top-selling rock and metal album of the year. The band was also listed at the top selling hard rock artist. On January 29, 2010 they released a Tap-Tap rhythm game for on the App Store, contrary to the band's prior comments against other music related video games such as Guitar Hero. On February 28, 2010, Nickelback gave a performance at the beginning of the concert portion of the 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremony, performing "Burn It to the Ground". On October 2010 Nickelback finished their Dark Horse Tour.
Chad Kroeger said in an interview with Billboard.com in September 2010 that songwriting for the next Nickelback album was planned to commence as early as February 2011 with "about four tunes" already in mind. Adair mentioned that the band wanted to go back to the musical style of All The Right Reasons, which he described as "more organic."
Nickelback announced their new album, Here and Now, on September 8, 2011, along with its two lead singles, "Bottoms Up" and "When We Stand Together". Kroeger said “We’re four people who love making music, the way we like to make it. We entered the studio this year with a vision, and it all came together. We’re extremely happy with the results, and can’t wait to share them with our fans.” The album was released on November 21, 2011, with the band calling it "Nickelblack Monday", a play on Nickelback and Black Monday. Two singles were released to radio stations on September 26, and September 27 for purchase on iTunes.
Here and Now peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 226,714 copies in its first week of release, with Christmas by Michael Bublé taking number one by a margin of only 419 copies.
As part of promotion for the album, Nickelback was booked to perform at the halftime shows for both an NFL Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field in Detroit on November 24, and the 99th Grey Cup in the band's hometown of Vancouver on November 27. However, the announcement that Nickelback would perform at halftime in Detroit was met with heavy opposition by fans—who believed that a Canadian band should not be playing a halftime show for an American football game relating to an American holiday, and that Detroit's musical heritage would be damaged by an association with the band. An online petition proposing that Nickelback be removed from the festivities at the game received over 55,000 signatures from fans. Nickelback responded to this on a video on Funny or Die as a joke. Despite the objections, the band performed "When We Stand Together" during the halftime show. USA Today reporter noted however that the Detroit Lions' 7-point deficit going into halftime had received a more negative response than the performance. On November 13, 2011 Nickelback performed on the WWE Tribute to The Troops. Also, Nickelback donated $50,000 to BC Children's Hospital. Also, as a promotion the band played to Jimmy Kimmel upon the album's release. The band is nominated for 4 Juno Awards in 2012, and scheduled to perform at the ceremony.
Nickelback announced their Here and Now Tour on January 11, 2012, they are going to tour with Seether, Bush and My Darkest Days. The band released a music video for their fourth single off of the album Lullaby.
According to an interview with Chad Kroeger, the band planned to release a greatest hits album in 2013 and a new album in 2014. The band officially announced the compilation album The Best of Nickelback Volume 1 through social media on October 3, 2013. Frontman Chad Kroeger had previously stated in an interview that the greatest hits album was to feature songs from previous albums along with new songs but the unveiled track listing ultimately contained only previously released material.
Nickelback has been described as various genres, including hard rock, post-grunge, alternative rock, alternative metal, heavy metal and pop rock. Their earlier sound has been classified as grunge.
Review aggregator Metacritic reports that four of their six most recent studio albums since becoming a mainstream act, The Long Road, All the Right Reasons, Dark Horse, and Here and Now, have scores of 62, 41, 49, and 51, respectively, out of 100.
AllMusic reviewer Liana Jones complimented Nickelback after their commercial breakthrough, Silver Side Up; "what gives the group an upper hand over its peers is intensity and raw passion... Nickelback ups the ante by offering realistic storytelling that listeners can relate to." Following their 2008 album, Dark Horse, ChartAttack credited the band's success to knowing their target audience: "Chad Kroeger is a genius because he knows exactly what people want and precisely how far he can go. He turned out an extremely racy album that's loaded with songs about gettin' drunk and doin' it all without breaking any taboos, and with enough love and moral authority to grease its passage into the mainstream. Rejoice, North America. This is your world." Billboard gave praise to the band: "The bulletproof Nickelback provides affordable fun that promises good returns in hard times." Also various fellow musicians like Chris Martin of Coldplay as well as R&B singers Timbaland and Keyshia Cole support the band.
The band has been criticized over their over-use of themes involving "strippers, sex, prostitutes, drugs, sex, drinking and sex", for being derivative in the music they create, too often sticking to formula and being repetitive instead of innovative. In November 2011, users of the music-oriented dating site Tastebuds.fm voted Nickelback as the number one musical turnoff, edging out Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. In May 2013, the readers of Rolling Stone magazine named Nickelback the second worst band of the 1990s, behind only Creed.
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