Nickelback is simultaneously one of the most popular bands in the world, and one of the most hated. The group's polarizing reputation extends to their singer and frontman Chad Kroeger, and stories of his life and adventures on the road will either make you cringe in agony or swoon in adoration.
Regardless of what haters (including the band Slipknot and in all statistical likelihood, you) have to say, Kroeger has managed to win the respect of many artists, and has sold millions of records all around the world. And he's lived a pretty insane life along the way.
Nickelback has been the butt of jokes since they emerged on the scene, a fact that hasn't been missed by Kroeger. In a 2012 interview with Men's Health, Kroeger said that some of the people who attend Nickelback's concerts won't openly admit they like the band. The singer wondered if his group was "the biggest guilty pleasure in the world," which prompted the interviewer to liken Nickelback to McDonald's, since both are widely scorned yet incredibly popular. Kroeger approved of the comparison, saying, "Yeah, man, I'll take that title. The McDonald's of rock. I like it."
When an interviewer from Men's Health asked Kroeger if he had any crazy "life on the road" stories, the rockstar recalled a time when the members of Nickelback were on tour in Germany, and bored out of their minds. The band was very close to their crew, and the performers enjoyed trying to convince workers to do some pretty outlandish things:
In a back room in the venue where we were playing, there was an old fan with a metal blade. And we paid the drum tech... 600 deutschmarks...[to] stick his johnson in the fan... I can still hear the 'bleh-bleh-blehhhhhhh' of the blade slowly sputtering to a stop, and this blood-curdling scream. It was fantastic.
The song "Rockstar" features lyrics like, "I need a credit card that's got no limit and a big black jet with a bedroom in it." When it debuted and painted the picture of a hard-living, hard-rocking band, listeners threw all kinds of shade in Nickelback's direction because, well, it was Nickelback. Nickelback didn't have the reputation associated with typical, hard-partying rock bands, and audiences thought it was ridiculous that Nickelback was pretending otherwise.
It turns out that was kind of the point. Kroeger said the lyrics are meant to be satirical, and that many people seem to miss the point. "Nobody hears a Nickelback song and thinks, 'That's some wicked irony.'" He also said that some people think "How You Remind Me" is a sweet love song, but in reality it's "absolutely backhanded."
In 2006, The Boston Phoenix put out a list of the 100 Unsexiest Men in the World. While comedian Gilbert Gottfried claimed the top spot, Kroeger managed to rank as the sixth most unsexy man in the world. The Nickelback singer charted one spot ahead of R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills, and two spots ahead of Osama bin Laden.