Why do so many people say they hate Nickelback? I sourced the crowd and here’s what came back.

[This was my Sunday column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]

The concept of musical taste is one of the most subjective things you can discuss. There’s no telling or way of predicting which songs will get your brain to flood the body with dopamine, the body’s feel-good hormone.

Certain songs make you want to dance and give you shivers. Others induce no emotional or physical reaction at all. And others still fill you with antipathy, disgust, and maybe even rage.

This brings me to Nickelback, the Alberta band that has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and the most successful rock band in the world of the 2000s. How You Remind Me from 2001’s Silver Side Up album was the top rock song of the decade, the fourth-best selling song overall, and the most-played song on U.S. radio between 2000 and 2009.

Groundbreaking? Certainly not. They are a pure mainstream post-grunge rock band that knows how to deliver anthemic, party-on songs both on record and in concert to a global fanbase. Revenue generated by the band is used by their various record labels to develop new and emerging acts, making their success a vital part of the ecosystem of the star-making machinery behind the popular song.

Yet out of virtually every other musical act on the planet, Nickelback attracts the most hate and abuse. Admitting to liking Nickelback is akin to saying you hate puppies and kittens. The anti-Nickelback memes are endless. Invoking their name is universal shorthand when you need to describe something awful.

I mean, people really, really hate Nickelback.

Keep reading.

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.

One thought on “Why do so many people say they hate Nickelback? I sourced the crowd and here’s what came back.

  • October 12, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    The answer is that there isn’t just one answer..


Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.