I Want to Eat Out of Chad Kroeger's Head Like It Was a Tub of Yogurt
I take this old, old post with me wherever I go, like a security-blanket or lucky knickknack…I keep on posting it, because it will continue to be relevant as long as Nickelback decides to keep making albums. I remember vaguely staring at a story in the Toronto Star about something called "Beer O'clock" at a Nickelback concert, and being even more vaguely irritated. As I sat and re-read the story, I tried to figure out why I was seething over something as ridiculous as Chad Kroeger throwing beer into the crowd, which might as well have been water-balloons for all the alcoholic effect it had. Most of the time, I don't concern myself with Nickelback; at one point, I had even convinced myself that they didn't exist, that they were a figment of some middle-of-the-road record executive's imagination, that I had somehow just tapped into the wrong dreamscape one night while asleep. But no, here they were, a story in the Toronto Star. Maybe that's what bothered me, an incongruous story in my otherwise readable newspaper. Maybe it was the drummer in the cowboy hat. Or maybe, just maybe, it was because Nickelback is the very definition of What's Wrong With Popular Music Today.
Here's a perfect little story that radio-listening Canadians can probably remember: In those blissful, pre-Nickelback days, before that "How You Remind Me" song destroyed a generation's affinity for the radio, there was word that Nickelback was on the up-and-up, that they were starting to get noticed, that Sammy Hagar wanted them to play at his private New Year's Party...Sammy Hagar. The DJ's were treating this like John Lennon had come back from the dead and wanted to see Canadian-born Nickelback, and it occurred to me that this was the perfect pairing of the dinosaur-rocker's Post-Crap and Nickelback's hollow Pre-Crap, and I felt the harmony.
Luckily for me, so that I could keep up with their "meteoric" rise to fame, I'm Canadian. That meant that if Kroeger so much as drove through town, littering the roadway with his Albertan-charm, I was going to have to hear about it. And it wasn't, or isn't, their ubiquitous-ness that bothers me, but the guilt-by-association that comes with being Canadian, "just like Nickelback". It's like coming from a family of idiots; it's not your fault that you were born into an idiotic family, but you end up being defined by your idiot relatives. Much like being Canadian when Nickelback releases a new record.
Sometimes, when I'm feeling blue, I like to imagine what it would be like if Scott Stapp was Canadian...the overwrought, shitty singing, the awful music, the empty, "dramatic" gestures. What perks me back up is the vision I have, of the hopefully not too distant future, where Scott Stapp dies, and there's finally a picture of him with his fucking shirt on. Alas, I know that there would be wind machines at the funeral, but at least he wouldn't be singing.
I believe in Karma, and so I see some happy times ahead: Chad Kroeger will grow old and bitter, reminiscing about his Rock-Star glory days while making Phil Collins-music for various Disney films; the members formerly comprising Nickelback will kick back on their million-acre farms, whittling little pieces of tree-bark into the Juno Awards they wished they were still receiving, and a typhoon will miraculously destroy their land, their houses, their lives…they’ll be reduced to begging Kroeger, at this point wandering LA hoping to be noticed, his sunglasses ever perched on his colossal nose, even indoors, for money to help build back their respective ranches, and Good Ol’ Chad’ll send them Cheques...but they’ll bounce, and all the washed-up Nickelbackers will hear is the strains of mean-spirited laughter echoing off in the distance. more