Nickelback blame the rise of the iPhone for 'mob mentality' that has plagued their successful career

Virgin Radio

20 Mar 2024, 12:28

Nickelback, the Canadian rock band synonymous with both commercial success and relentless criticism, opened up about their tumultuous journey in an interview with Virgin Radio's Ryan Tubridy.

Ahead of their forthcoming documentary, Hate to Love: Nickelback, band members Mike Kroeger and Ryan Peake delved into the complexities of their fame and the pervasive culture of online trolling that has shadowed their success.

The bassist and guitarist are half of the Canadian rock band alongside frontman Chad Kroeger and drummer Daniel Adair. 

Nickelback have been on the charts since 2002’s breakout hit How You Remind Me and will go behind-the-scenes of their success - and internet notoriety - in their upcoming documentary, Hate to Love. 

The feature-length doc, out in cinemas from 27th March, explores the famous rock group’s story from their rural roots to their divisive fame and encounters with online trolling. 

Peake humorously addressed the elephant in the room, quipping about 'fat-shaming' a hypothetical '800 pound gorilla', before delving into the impact of internet criticism.

He highlighted, to Ryan Tubridy, the disconnect between the exaggerated negativity online and the band's real-world success, emphasising the need to develop thick skin amidst the barrage of jokes and memes.

"The phrases I keep hearing is the internet isn't real. You know, because the things that become big on social media, especially social media, sometimes it's a really motivated, loud minority. I mean, not always, but a lot of times there's a lot of, you know, hoopla about something that really isn't. And that was the disconnect." Peake surmised.

"If people just stopped coming to shows I'd be like, 'Wow, this is very real.' But it's never happened. We always had lots of, you know, lots of fans and people bought albums and listen to music. I just I don't really get it"

When questioned about the root of the criticism, Peake pondered various possibilities, from song lyrics to band aesthetics, acknowledging fair criticism but questioning the disproportionate targeting of Nickelback.

Band Kroeger then quipped: "Well, it's Roman in nature. Like everybody wants to see the see the man bleed in the arena, you know, as long as it's not them."

The conversation turned to the anonymity afforded by keyboards, with Peake reflecting on the influence of social media.

One particular invention would seem to also be to blame, taking the world by storm at the same time as the band hit their commercial height, as Peake then revealed: "We saw some serious success with our album All The Right reasons in 2005-2007. 2007, the iPhone comes out.

"We thought about that, and we're like, is that the reason?! While I don't know, necessarily, but that's when I began to start, you know, [noticing] everybody hearing what everybody wants to say on the internet. And everybody's opinion mattered, you know, and it just was, that's the mob mentality."

Despite the online backlash, Nickelback found unexpected support from unlikely quarters, including One Direction's Niall Horan, who recently expressed admiration for the band.

As the band prepares for the release of Hate to Love: Nickelback, fans can anticipate never-before-seen performances and exclusive insights into their journey.

Directed by Leigh Brooks and produced by Virgin Radio's Ben Jones, the documentary promises to shed light on Nickelback's enduring legacy amidst the tumult of internet culture.

With humour and resilience, the band confronts the highs and lows of fame, leaving audiences with a deeper understanding of their story.

Hate to Love: Nickelback is in select cinemas across the UK and worldwide on 27th and 30th March 2024.

Listen to Ryan Tubridy’s mid-morning show every weekday 10am-1pm on Virgin Radio UK.