"'Cause we all just want to be big rock stars."
Sometimes the best rock bands are those born out of humble beginnings: afternoons in the garage, perhaps small performances at the nearby park. That was certainly true for Nickelback, one of the biggest names in the contemporary rock and roll scene.
Nickelback was formed by Ryan Peake and the Kroeger brothers Mike and Chad Kroeger, and their cousin Brandon in the small Canadian town of Hanna, Alberta. With Chad on vocals, the group quickly got to work right after they came together in 1996. Before the year was over, the band had already finished recording the Hesher EP and their debut full-length album Curb.
Forging a Band
Nickelback's Top 10
- Rock StarDownload
- Far AwayDownload
- Never Gonna Be Alone Download
- Someday Download
- Gotta be Somebody Download
- Burn it to the Ground Download
- Hero Download
- Fight for all the Right Reasons Download
- This Afternoon Download
- If Today was your Last Day Download
The fledgling band, however, had not gotten very far two years down the road. They still had no manager or agent; it was lead vocalist Chad who went around pitching to radio stations and new drummer Ryan Vikedal who tried getting the band gigs at various venues in the area. They were able to sign with Roadrunner Records and EMI in time for the release of their second album The State in 2000.
Fortunately for them, Canada began enforcing new content laws at about the same time, and the radio stations were all over local, homegrown tunes. The State sold very well in Canada, and Nickelback began touring to promote their sophomore album. The new band got into a couple of hundred shows, most often as front acts for other post-90's grunge rock acts.
Chad didn't just perform while the band was on tour. He also wrote numerous new pieces while on the road, and much of the new tunes were honed and refined in front of the live audiences that they found along the way. Once they got back from touring, a good number of the tunes from the road made their way into Silver Side Up, Nickelback's third album from 2001.
Refining the Act
Silver Side Up brought Nickelback into the mainstream music scene, especially with the track How You Remind Me, the band's first chart-topping hit. Too Bad and Never Again, two more singles from Silver, also made it to the top of the charts. The next year, the band was commissioned to write Hero, the theme for the 2002 Spider-Man movie.
After their 2003 album The Long Road, Nickelback's fifth album All the Right Reasons gave the band even more hits. If Everyone Cared, Savin' Me, Far Away, Photograph and Rockstar all made it to the Top 20 of the U.S. Hot 100 Singles list for that year. It also cemented Nickelback's position as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.
Dark Horse, the band's sixth album, was released in 2008 with Gotta Be Somebody as its first single. Although the new album has met some success, it has received largely mixed to negative reviews because of its more computerized and less grungy sound.
Did you know that...
- ...Dark Horse was recorded entirely in a barn in Vancouver? That probably explains the title.
- ...Chad Kroeger, the band's lead singer, produces another band? Default, a Vancouver-based act, was a project of Kroeger's at the height of the popularity of Silver Side Up.
- ...Daniel Adair, who replaced Vikedal when he left in 2005, came from another rock band? Adair comes from 3 Doors Down.
- ...the band's name was inspired by Chad's job as a Starbucks barista? As he gave customers their change at the register, he would often say "Here's your nickel back."