There's no shortage of uninspired garbage music that infects airwaves and gets people you once respected to idiotically sing along as you wonder where the hell their sense of taste or self-respect went. While everyone has their own personal opinions of which artists are worthy of such criticism, there seems to be an almost unanimous scorn for Nickelback — but why does everyone hate the band so much?
It's not like Smash Mouth receives the same amount of contempt as Nickelback.
Sure, the Shrek soundtrack masters are ironically lampooned in a variety of different memes, 4chan posts, and hilarious social media comments, but it's not like people exactly hate them. Like Nickelback, Smash Mouth was similarly successful and had a few chart-topping radio friendly hits that were constantly played on repeat on multiple stations. And by "songs" I mean "All Star."
So why is it that Nickelback isn't extended the same kind of light-hearted roasting? There are many folks out there who will point to the band's "fake tough guy" rocker image. Others will bring up the fact that their music sounds painfully "generic" and "bland," but there are plenty of other musical acts that achieved high levels of success that can be accused of the exact same trajectory.
It's only natural to intensely dislike individuals who you deem have no talent or redeeming artistic qualities but are still reaping massive financial benefits and levels of fame (or infamy). It's why so many people have an issue with the Kardashians/Jenners who became a worldwide phenomenon after a sex tape of Kim's was leaked (reportedly by her own mother) to the press.
But is that the real reason why everyone does indeed hate Nickelback?
It seems that people began deriding Nickelback from their very first record deal with the Roadrunner label. Roadrunner had gained a reputation of representing extreme heavy metal bands. If you're a metal fan, or have interacted with the particular genre's fanbase, you can know that they're pretty passionate about the music that they listen to and have little patience for "softer" rock bands that are more pop than heavy metal.
And many metal fans blame Nickelback for effectively "ruining" Roadrunner and the label's otherwise stellar track record of signing and promoting the heaviest of heavy metal bands. The thing is, heavy metal hasn't really sold as much as it did during the '80s and early '90s. Pop music always moved more records, which could've been the reason behind the label deciding to have Nickelback join their ranks.
The band's hit single "You Remind Me" was a smash success, launching the band into the stratosphere that was played on rock and pop stations alike. It nabbed Nickelback's lead singer, Chad Kroeger, a song on the Spiderman movie soundtrack for crying out loud.
As always, people are going to become bored and angry at "overplayed" music, so that definitely played a part in getting people to hate Nickelback.
Maybe it had something to do with Chad's greasy looking, half-bleached long locks? Or maybe it has something to do with the band's name stemming from the change bassist Mike Kroeger would return to customers at the coffee shop he worked at.
But a Redditor also offered up a pretty sound reason as to why it became so "cool" to hate the band, and it may have to do with Colin Quinn's Comedy Central program, Tough Crowd.
When the network was advertising for the show, one snippet they continually repeated was a joke made by Brian Posehn, who, influenced by a prompt about a study of violent music lyrics being tied to violent behavior, he quipped, "No one talks about the studies that show that bad music makes people violent, but listening to Nickelback makes me want to kill Nickelback."
The Reddit post is an oddly fascinating read and user babycarrotman makes an excellent argument that this is the origin.
Either way, Nickelback quit playing music in Portugal after they were assaulted with rocks from a booing crowd who didn't want to see them play.
But I guess that doesn't really bother them too much — the band has managed to sell 50 million records worldwide and its lead singer, Chad Kroeger, has a net worth of $80 million.