Before You Continue Hating Nickelback, Consider This…

Nickelback’s new album, No Fixed Address, comes out Monday and already the haters are lined up to, well, hate it. And to hate the band with new fury.

NIckelback album

Really, meme-sters?  That’s a bit harsh.And completely unnecessary.

Although I’m not a fan of the band, I’ve never really understood this need to hate them. Why are they the whipping boys of rock? Surely there are worse bands out there.  And sorry, haters, Nickelback has millions of fans around the globe, all of whom can’t wait for the new album and world tour. The implication from the haters is that these fans are (a) less sophisticated than “proper” music fans; and/or (b) dumb-ass crackers.

f you search for articles on this site, you’ll find a couple of stories that actually defend the band. (Go here and here, for example.) It turns out, haters, that Nickelback is an important part of the rock’n’roll ecosystem. Just like the oceans have ugly fish that are of no interest to humans, they contribute greatly to the overall health of the seas. We’d be poorer–nay, in trouble!–without them.

CTV News has just published eight more reasons why Nickelback haters should stop being such…haters.

Reason #8 — Eight studio albums and 50 million in album sales. Regardless of what you think of the music, you shouldn’t begrudge anyone for hard work and success. Nickelback is living the Canadian dream and should be applauded for that reason alone.

Reason #7 — Hearing Nickelback songs wherever you go and just can’t take it anymore? It’s not their fault! The CRTC enforces Canadian content regulations and compels Canadian radio stations to play a certain amount of Canadian-produced music. Bands like Nickelback who churn out accessible, non-threatening rock get a lot of airtime. But don’t blame Nickelback for the overkill.

Reason #6 — Nickelback should be everyone’s hometown heroes. The group was formed in Hanna, Alta., a rural town northeast of Calgary with a population of just a couple thousand people — proving that anyone from anywhere can make it big.

Reason #5 — Nickelback haters say “the group has no talent.” If that’s arguably true, we should all be encouraged, because it proves that anyone, even the talent-impaired can achieve career success.

Reason #4 – Nickelback takes on social causes and gives a lot of money away to charity. Taking a look at Nickelback’s song catalogue, you’ll find titles that tackle issues of wars overseas, drug abuse and teen abortion — and they put their money where their mouths are. In 2006 the group announced that 100 per cent of all digital sales of the song “If Everyone Cared” would be donated to Amnesty International and International Children’s Awareness Canada. Nickelback has also donated $500,000 to the Obakki Foundation, an African charity that helped build a child-care centre in Cameroon. And another $50,000 went to the B.C. Children’s hospital.

Reason #3 — Too many people declare their hatred for Nickelback because it’s the “cool” thing to do. Bashing Nickelback as the poster child for mindless mainstream music is arguably a cheap way of establishing musical snobbery at the expense of others. How many Nickelback fans openly mock other people’s musical tastes? Be on the side of tolerance, not the side of hate.

Reason #2 — Nickelback doesn’t take itself too seriously. In response to the NFL halftime show petition Nickelback agreed to participate in a “Funny or Die” video, tackling the “everyone hates Nickelback” campaign with humour. (Warning, the video has some graphic language and is not safe for work.)

Reason #1 — Nickelback is more a part of who we are than most people want to admit. Nickelback represents inoffensive Canada; a nation and a band tolerable to a wide range of people. Rock, but not too heavy, and just edgy enough to not to seem like an obvious corporate creation. Also, they’re decidedly un-American.

Nickelback is the Molson Canadian of music, a reflection of the conformity that is in all of us, whether we like it or not.

Read the entire article–and you should–here.

Meanwhile, in Australia… (Via Tom)

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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