Arguably the most disliked band in America, NICKELBACK has earned a type of hatred so potent it’s hard to fathom what they did that was so terrible to the public consciousness. It’s gotten to the point that people who enjoy NICKELBACK are denying their fandom and hiding their CDs like criminal contraband.
Asked how he feels about the attention NICKELBACK has gotten because of this, Mike told Singapore’s Bandwagon: “Initially, it kind of hurt our feelings. I think it’s safe to say anyone in the world would feel that way if people were saying negative things about you. I think as time has gone on, it sort of became humorous sometimes. Sometimes people try so hard to be mean, that it falls flat and I think that’s the case most of the time.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s my band or not, if someone says something that is legitimately funny, I’ll laugh at it, especially if it’s me,” he continued. “Sometimes people can just be outright nasty and take things too far, and start verbally attacking our families and sending us death threats and all that kind of stuff, and that’s where you have to step back and think, ‘We’re obviously doing something right if someone hates us that much,’ and you let it go because you have better things to do. I don’t really see a benefit to reacting to these people and being nasty back at them. When it’s funny, it’s funny.”
Three years ago, a student named Salli Anttonen at the University of Eastern Finland conducted a study to find out why there is so much hate directed towards NICKELBACK. Anttonen analyzed Finnish reviews of the band from 2000 through 2014 for her paper, which was titled “Hypocritical Bullshit Performed Through Gritted Teeth: Authenticity Discourses In Nickelback’s Album Reviews In Finnish Media”.
Anttonen found that critiques of the band became harsher as they became more popular, noting: “It became a phenomenon where the journalists were using the same (reasons) to bash them, and almost making an art out of ridiculing them.”
Even though the study was based solely upon Finnish reviews of the band, the critics’ animosity toward the group has been a global phenomenon.
NICKELBACK frontman Chad Kroeger admitted a while back that the group has never been a critical favorite. “I think we actually used to pay a little bit of attention to that, and we just kind of accepted it’s, like, nope, we are never going to be one of those bands, we are never going to be the critic’s darlings, and we’re okay with that,” he said. “Even a lot of critics are kind of, like, ‘We’ve done our best to try and get the word out there that as many people as possible should hate this band because we hate this band.’ And they’ve just sort of gone, ‘You know what? We can’t do it. We cannot convince anybody else to hate this band as much as we do.'”
Anttonen concluded: “NICKELBACK is too much of everything to be enough of something. They follow genre expectations too well, which is seen as empty imitation, but also not well enough, which is read as commercial tactics and as a lack of a stable and sincere identity.”
NICKELBACK is continuing to tour in support of its ninth album, “Feed The Machine”, which was released in June 2017 via BMG.