Is Nickelback the Worst Band in the World? (Probably.)

by MATT STOKES | MAY 12, 2009

It’s THE NICKELBACK DIARIES! You can also read the other entries in this series: PART ONE & PART TWO

A few days ago my band played a show at the Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans. We arrived early for the show, and after having dropped off our equipment at the venue we had some time to kill. So I went with my friends Patrick and Wade down the street to the only restaurant/bar in the area, a place called πie (pie-ee). We took a seat at the bar and I bought Patrick’s beer for him, because he didn’t have his driver’s license on him. I started to talk about my plans to write an epic Blog Post About Nickelback. In researching for this Blog Post About Nickelback, I would have to fully immerse myself in the Nickelback experience. I would listen to every one of their albums, watch all their videos, view concert footage on YouTube, read interviews with the band members, and even visit their fan sites and message boards. This would all be in pursuit that sacred question which has been percolating since Chad Kroeger and Co. hit the scene back in 2001: Is Nickelback the worst band of all time?

Needless to say, Wade and Patrick thought this was a good idea. Everyone loves to make fun of Nickelback. It’s easy. Our daydreams full of visions of anti-Nickelback rhetoric, we sat at the bar and sang in our best (worst?) Kroeger voices such classic lyrics as, “What the hell is that on Joey’s head?” and “If everyone laughed and nobody cried/That would be the day that nobody died” and”I like your pants around your feet.” We laughed… oh how we laughed. So appealing was this notion, in fact, that the only other person sitting at the bar joined in on our conversation, marveling at how bad Nickelback is.

“But are they the worst band of all time?” I asked him.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Creed’s pretty bad.”

He’s right. Creed is bad. For most people, the Worst Band Ever Sweepstakes usually comes down to Creed vs. Nickelback as finalists.

“I’d rather listen to every Creed album than every Nickelback album, though… I think,” I said.

The interesting thing about Nickelback is that, as many detractors as they have, they also have one of the most maniacally supportive fanbases. This is what fascinates me about this band so much… because most Nickelback fans seem like the type who don’t consume too much music—they’re more the type who catch a song on the radio and turn the volume up, or maybe spring $1.19 on iTunes for “Photograph”—but not the type who consume much music or keep up with the music magazines or pay attention to the critics. But then, there are a lot of Nickelback fans out there who are devout. They LOVE Nickelback, and they are defensive about that love, because they are aware enough of how many people think Nickelback is just plain awful.

ANYWAY, we were having our fun at the bar singing bad Nickelback lyrics and talking about the infamous “How You Remind Me of Someday” YouTube video. It was then that the bartender at πie, who had been wiping dishes in the background, approached us, and said to Patrick:

Bartender: Can I see some ID?
Patrick: Huh?
Bartender: You heard me. I saw you take a sip of that beer. How old are you? Either show me some ID or I take the beer back.
Me: Dude, he was just having a sip of my beer.
Bartender: (dickishly) I don’t care. Show me some ID, or get on out of the π!
Me: Okay, fine, how much do I owe you for the beer?
Bartender: (prickishly) $3.25.

So I gave the bartender a five-dollar bill, and he handed me back my change: one dollar and… a whole lotta nickels.

We left the bar, snickering about the whole thing. I showed my chums the mess of nickels the barkeep had given me instead of three quarters.

Simultaneously, Patrick and Wade exclaimed, “He was a Nickelback fan!”

Nickelback fans are the worst.

So that settles it. I have to begin somewhere, so from here on in, I am a Nickelback Major at the University of Crap Rock. I will delve into the world that is Nickelback, and I will write about every second of it. What do I hope to find? I don’t know. How is this going to go? Don’t know that either. But I know one thing—it is gonna be AWESOME.

Stay tuned then, faithful reader(s), for…

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AUGUST 10, 2009

In which I set out to scale Mount Nickelback.

AUGUST 11, 2009

My journey into the abyss that is Nickelback’s catalog continues, and I try to answer life’s most important question: What is Nickelback’s worst song?

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