‘It Really Sucked’: Nickelback Members Reflect On ‘Hate’ Towards Their Band

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Members of the rock band Nickelback are speaking up about how it felt being the target of so much hate and mockery from the public.

Several bandmates discussed their thoughts while promoting the new documentary, “Hate to Love: Nickelback,” which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 8.

“Nobody picks up a guitar to be the most hated band in the world,” keyboardist and backup vocalist Ryan Peake said in the movie, per Entertainment Weekly. “It doesn’t feel great.”

Peake’s children agreed, saying, “Everyone hated the band, so everyone hated us.”

Bassist Mike Kroeger, who is the brother of Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, said the negative attention “really sucked in the beginning” and affected Chad’s mental health.

“Hate to Love” is described as “an intimate portrait of the Canadian stadium rockers roller coaster career. From their rural roots in Alberta to becoming one of the most successful, yet divisive acts in music history.”

The film will document the band’s rise to fame in the early 2000s and all the dramatic moments along the way.

Adair remembered Chad “blowing up” in his dressing room due to negative attention and alleged instances of people yelling “f*** you” out of car windows when the band’s frontman passed by. 

Nickelback is one of the most commercially successful Canadian rock bands ever with more than 50 million albums sold. A lot of the backlash from the public is centered on the band having a repetitive, formulaic approach to music that’s seen as being cliche. A 2013 readers’ poll in Rolling Stone magazine named Nickelback the second-worst band of the 1990s, coming in behind Creed.

The band members addressed that idea in the film, with Mike saying of their lyrics, “Sometimes people want to hear vacuous, dumb sh**.”

“I play Nickelback songs for Nickelback fans,” Chad added. “I don’t have to try to win anybody over.”

During a 2014 interview, Chad talked about how all the hate made him grow a “thick skin.”

“Somebody sent me something recently (headlined) ‘Eight Reasons It’s Time To Stop Hating on Nickelback,’” the band’s lead singer told Canada’s National Post at the time. 

“But I don’t think that all the haters and the critics know how many favors that they’ve done for us. Because otherwise we would just be this ‘just whatever’ band. And now we’re this controversial band. Everyone’s like ‘I hate them’ or ‘I love them’ — whatever it is, people are talking about us.”

“Everybody knows that if you make a video and you put the word ‘Nickelback’ in it, it’s going to get a minimum of a million views. Every single time,” Chad continued. “So it must be interesting in some way, you know. Love ’em or hate ’em. Without that, we would just be Green Day.”

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