Nickelback has been one of the most polarizing bands in rock music for almost two decades now. On one hand, they have been the butt of jokes from millions across social media who like to poke fun, but on the other, they have the record sales and the charting success to tell everyone who speaks their name to shove it. The group is one of the bestselling rock acts of the past few decades, and they’ve scored an impressive ten top 40 hits on the Hot 100, something few contemporary rockers can manage.
The band has been quiet for a few years now, but this summer, and then the rest of 2017, promises to be quite loud, at least if they have anything to do with it. Nickelback is gearing up to release Feed The Machine, their ninth full-length (though ask them and they’re not sure what number it is). In addition to a new record, the band is also headed out on the road on their tour of the same name, and as a thank you to cash-strapped fans, they recently offered tickets to the upcoming jaunt for just $20, proving that while they might be chart-toppers, they still remember what it’s like to be poor and in love with the music.
CEEK VR: There’s a countdown to the new album in...a month?
Chad Kroeger: Yeah, should be around then.
Ryan Peake: June 16.
CEEK VR: What number album is this exactly? I think like eight or nine?
Chad Kroeger: I do not even know!
CEEK VR: What keeps you guys going all these years in creating new music?
Chad Kroeger: Not wanting to do other stuff!
CEEK VR: Get real jobs?
Ryan Peake: He said with a laugh...but not really. Yeah I mean, this is a dream gig. If you get to do this, at the scale that we are at right now, you never want to stop. You want to keep going doing this. I mean at any scale, if you can keep going and put food on the table and keep the lights on, it’s a great job. Strumming a guitar and singing into a microphone every night for people is not that tough, and it is a lot of fun.
Daniel Adair: Do not tell everyone.
Chad Kroeger: Keep it all between us. That is why karaoke bars are so popular.
CEEK VR: Do you feel any pressure to match up to what you guys have done before? Not so much sonically, but commercially?
Chad Kroeger: No. I mean people do not buy albums anymore.
CEEK VR: Fair.
Daniel Adair: That ship has sailed.
CEEK VR: You got in on that though!
Chad Kroeger: I mean it kind of relates to the last answer. As long as people are still showing up to see you play, we are going to keep playing. And it’s not really about trying to match the success of, I would say, All The Right Reasons. That was big one for us. That will never happen again.
Daniel Adair: It is just a different world now too, right? It is a different scene completely.
Chad Kroeger: But as long as people are still going to all the streaming sites and listening to our music and showing up to see us play, we are going to show up and we are going to sing along.
CEEK VR: So are you all on board with streaming?
Chad Kroeger: I can tell you this, I would not want to be a band, trying to break it these days. That would be really tough, because you just get lost in the masses. You see article after article after article about these bands that try to do these indie tours, and they come back and they show you their budget and they show you what they come back with. It is impossible, it is really really hard. I feel for them. Like I said, I would not want to break as a band in 2017.
CEEK VR: So if touring is where it is at, why offer cheaper tickets?
Chad Kroeger: Well, who does not want a $20 ticket? I want a $20 ticket! And not only that, I am so sick and tired of looking online and seeing the original price for a ticket and seeing it go to$300, $400, $500 dollars. It is ridiculous. It is just piracy. That really frustrates me because the fans should be able to go and enjoy the artist that they want to see for a reasonable amount of money. It is expensive enough. You’ve got to go park. You are going to want to get something to eat or buy a drink or maybe buy a t-shirt. It should not cost you $500 bucks to go see a band.
Daniel Adair: I hope, I think they do, but I am not sure if it is really clear, that the fans understand. Bands are just as pissed off as the fans are. It screws the whole system that we try to go out and play for people. You do not want to make it unaffordable so nobody can come to your show. That just completely defeats the point. So that is frustrating all around on that one.
CEEK VR: But this is a good first step?
Daniel Adair: Yeah, kind of, I guess. Gotta try something!
Chad Kroeger: I thought Eric Church did something fantastic. He knew these large sections of tickets were being scalped, so he refunded all of that money and then released those tickets, the day of the show, so they could go out to the fans. I thought that was brilliant. I mean that is great. It shows we do care. We want the fans to show up. We do not want people coming that can only afford $400 dollar tickets. I love this $20 idea, it is perfect. When I was a kid and I wanted to see a show and I could not because the tickets were $120 or $140, I could not afford to go see my favorite bands and that was heartbreaking. Like I said, I am completely on board with this.
CEEK VR: Anything you guys want to throw out about what the rest of the year has in store?
Daniel Adair: Oh, we are going on tour forever. We are going to do the whole world. Starting on June 23rd.
Chad Kroeger: Essentially, we are going to keep going. We have been doing it most of our lives.