While Chad Kroeger often appears unbothered by the hate that Nickelback receive from the rock community for, well, just being Nickelback, over the years, we’d imagine that his band being the butt of a constant, never-dying joke must have felt tiresome at times.
But in a new interview, the frontman says that late Pantera brethren Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul used to come to his aid, defending Nickelback from haters in the scene, which he describes as a “really, really lovely” thing for the brothers to do.
Speaking with Tommy Carroll of the 97.9 WGRD radio station, Kroeger reflects on his friendship with the pair, and recalls (as transcribed by Blabbermouth: “Vinnie Paul and Dimebag used to say all the time. When the metal community would come down on those guys and be, like, ‘What’s with this love for Nickelback? I don’t get it.’ And they would defend us, and it was really, really lovely.
“They were, like, ‘Go watch ’em play. And then say they suck. Or then say something negative about them.’ Because my favourite thing is when someone comes to the show, and they go, ‘Honestly, I wouldn’t call myself a fan, but I would definitely go see that show again.’ I’m, like, ‘I’ll take that. I’ll take that all day long. That’s a hell of a compliment.'”
Of how he reacted to the murder of guitarist Dimebag in 2004, Kroeger says: “That one hurt. I had a tough time — really tough time — with that one for such a long time. You’d see him on [the cover of] a guitar magazine or something like that, and I’d be standing there in a grocery store.
“And my girlfriend would go to pull me. She’s, like, ‘C’mon, let’s go.’ And she can’t move me. And then she looks over and there’s just tears streaming down my face. And I’m, like, ‘Ugh.’ And she’s, like, ‘Do you wanna go home?’ And I’m, like, ‘Yup. I wanna go home right now.'”
Listen to the interview below:
During a zoom appearance on Arizona’s KFMA-FM radio station, the frontman was asked why he thinks so many people enjoy hating on his band. In response, he told host Robin Nash (as transcribed by Blabbermouth): “That kind of used to be a thing. I shouldn’t say ‘that kind of used to be’ — that was definitely a thing for a long time.
“And I think there’s been a softening — there really has, thankfully. I’m not sure if it’s because we receive a ton of love on TikTok or whatever the hell it is, but for whatever reason the teeth have kind of been removed. It’s really nice to not be Public Enemy Number One.”