Skip to main content

Why Do People Hate Nickelback?

Nickelback's Here and Now album cover

Nickelback's Here and Now album cover

Nickelback is a band that people just love to hate. It's so bad for these guys that, last year, Detroit Lions fans started an online petition to keep Nickelback from performing during halftime at a rare, nationally televised Lions game. Granted, their reasoning was that a Canadian band had no business performing at an American football game during an American holiday. Their 55,000 signatures were not enough to keep Nickelback off of the entertainment schedule and the show did go on.

Though it may seem as if this band is universally hated, someone out there is buying their records. Their most recent album, 2011's Here and Now, sold 225,000 copies in its first week on store shelves. They've made seven albums and six of them are certified platinum in the US and Canada. They've had seven singles that hit the number one spot in the US. They've sold over 21 million albums in the US alone. The band has two American Music Awards, six Billboard Music Awards and twelve Juno Awards.

Even with all of the sales and the accolades, users at voted the band their least favorite musical act, followed closely by Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

It's blatantly obvious that Nickelback is successful.

So why all the hate?

Haters Are Gonna Hate

I don't know if that question can be answered easily. I've asked that it myself and been given the answer 'Because they suck' more than once. I've even given that answer. That isn't a good enopugn answer, though, so I will try to explain the main reasons why I think Nickelback is so despised.

  • Overexposure - Much like Lady Gaga right now, Nickelback have been shoved down our throats morning noon and night for years. Too much of a good thing isn't necessarily so good.
  • Generic/formulaic music - It's been said that songwriter and lead singer Chad Kroeger writes songs that follow a specific formula. Granted, it is a method that works for Nickelback as successful as they are, but doesn't allow for much diversity.
  • Lack of diverse content - Most Nickelback songs are about sex, drugs, getting drunk or throwing a party. Occasionally, a song like Photograph will throw in a little content diversity, but many people think that these songs are too few and far between.
  • Too generic - Though Nickelback does have its own sound, it is mostly due to Chad Kroeger's voice. If the band had a different singer, their music would be unrecognizable.
  • They're just freaking boring - Nothing to get excited about here. Same old stuff written for the same old (or young audience). Which leads us to the next bullet...
  • Too corporate - Many people feel that Nickelback has no passion for the music, that their true love is dollar signs. Everybody wants to make money, it's the way of the world. But a lot of people are turned off by musicians that they feel are not doing it for the love of the art. Rock and Roll should never be made in a board room.
  • Over-produced - Though Nickelback falls into the rock category, many rock and roll fans believe that they really belong in the pop/rock genre. Rock and Roll is supposed to be dirty, gritty and dangerous and none of those adjectives apply to this band.
  • Too popular/Too Successful - There always has to be a whipping boy, and haters love to hate on the most successful of the bunch. This is especially true of die-hard rock fans, who often tend to be elitist and do everything they can to buck trends. Nickelback is, after all, the epitome of mainstream, and something that some rock fans just can't abide by.

It should be noted that virtually every other musical genre is experiencing the same kind of derision that rock fans are serving up for Nickelback. Rap/hip-hop, country, metal - all of them are seeing a large number of acts that are making what many consider to be sub-standard music designed to simply generate money.

Regardless of these reasons, though, Nickelback is successful. There will likely be many more albums and singles from this band. And they will all likely top the charts, too.


Nickelback fan always on April 02, 2015:

This is one of the best groups ever. Stop all the hating jealousy,,,,,,, love ya n listen to ya everyday. Please don't ever stop making your music

Anya Brodech from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607 on September 12, 2013:

I agree, Nickleback is the band that everybody loves to hate. I actually really like their songs, but there isn't much diversity in them and their sound/image hasn't changed much over the years. I think they need to put more effort into being genuine and authentic and really let their own individuality shine through. When someone sings from the heart (not to sound cheese) about something that matters to them that they are really passionate about, it makes a difference and you can hear it in the way it sounds!


aparkhurst7 from Wilkes Barre, PA West Hartford, CT on April 10, 2013:

I used to love Nickelback. I've even seen them in concert. When I was younger, like 10, 11 I loved those songs. I still like Photograph, Save Me etc. I think a lot of the hate comes from the overexposure of Rockstar, which was one of the most overplayed songs ever. Once that album came out (I don't know the name, the one with the car on the cover, I think) they went downhill. They used to sing about real topics but something happened, I'm not really sure. There are plenty more bands out there that are exactly like Nickelback and don't get all the hate. Whenever I see someone with a Nickelback shirt on I think either you're really brave or you're really dumb.

Nykki from Germantown, WI on January 28, 2013:

I loved Nickelback when they first came out. In fact, I still love their song "Leader of Men". The problem is they went all pop rock and I just don't like that kind of music. It was pretty funny. I work for an alternative rock radio station and Nickelback actually called our studio and asked why we don't play them. We all had a good chuckle at their expense. Great hub! It's a very imformative look at why Nickelback is hated.

Maaz Hanafi on January 16, 2013:

Scroll to Continue

It depends on how strange the strange is, nowadays strange is pop. Once upon a time pop used to be beetles and rolling stones now pop is kesha and lady gaga.

Metal and alternative rock seems to be the only solution. One of my current favourites happens to be Seether. I like their grunge, but mostly I'm 90's and pre-90's

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on January 16, 2013:

Maaz Hanafi:

I'd be happy with "strange" music over the generic stuff that's popular now. I'm glad you referenced GNR, they're my favorite band in the history of history! IMO, the only originality in music today is located right smack in the middle of metal.

Maaz Hanafi on January 16, 2013:

I agree, just the number of likes and views "musicians" like Bieber and Lady Gaga get on Youtube alone compared to G n R, Michael Jackson etc. shows what people consider good nowadays.

To quote a good friend of mine "People don't like good anymore, they like strange"

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on January 16, 2013:

Maaz Hanafi:

Well, in my opinion, they were Billboard's band of the decade because they sold more records than anybody else. It's also my opinion that they sell as many records as they do in part because people just don't know what good music is anymore. How else could anyone explain Lil Wayne?

Maaz Hanafi on January 16, 2013:

well nickelback was called the band of the decade by billboard magazine.

my question is: if everyone hates them so much why do their albums sell?

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on January 09, 2013:

I just listened to The Good Left Undone. I don't know - it kind of reminded me of Green Day?

Andy McGuire from Los Angeles, CA on January 09, 2013:

Fair enough. RA is modern punk, which is more anthemic and cleaner sounding. Like I said, I encourage deep thinkers to give them a try or, if nothing else, read some lyrics.

Listening picks- The Good Left Undone, Give It All, Make It Stop (September's Children)

Lyrical reading: The Approaching Curve (like a novel in song form, brilliant), Drones, This Is Letting Go (best breakup song ever, very realistic/optimistic)

Let me know what you think, I'm curious.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on January 08, 2013:


Punk? Not so much. I'm okay with aggressive, though. The highlight of my day was getting a copy of the Warbeast/Phil Anselmo split, War of the Gargantuas. :D

Andy McGuire from Los Angeles, CA on January 08, 2013:


Even if you don't like the aggressive (yet melodic and polished) punk sound, read their lyrics. Powerful stuff.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on January 08, 2013:

Andy McGuire:

I could tolerate them when they fist came out, but I'm hard pressed to differentiate one Nickelback song from another now. To me, they all sound the same. I don't know why I dislike Kroeger so much, but I seriously don't want to listen to anything he's singing on.

I did not know that Alter Bridge was Creed without Stapp, no wonder I like them. I've never heard Rise Against, however. If you say they're awesome, I'll give them a try.

Thank you for your comment, and I have followed you. Keep on keeping on! :)

Andy McGuire from Los Angeles, CA on January 08, 2013:

I am on board the Nickelback hate-train because they sound so damn generic, for starters. So many bands these days sound exactly the same, even their lead singers' voices all seem to have the same tonality. It's irritating.

The other reason is that Chad Kroeger is a giant douchebat who dwells in the caves of Divapolis, living off the lifeblood of corporate whores. He's the new Scott Stapp. Hey, Creed got really good after they dropped Stapp and became Alter Bridge so maybe Nickelback should drop Kroeger.

Not that it would matter because as long as Rise Against exist, all other bands shall pale in comparison.

(like this little rant, please check out/follow my little Hubpage of delightful lunacy)

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on July 26, 2012:


To each his own is right! I don't know why some people are violently opposed to this band. It's not like they're eating babies or burning the US flag or something!

Thank you for the comment!

Starmom41 on July 26, 2012:

When I first saw this hub, I didn't know who Nickelback was. Yesterday, my daughter had their latest album playing- like me, she has a VERY wide range of music "likes." I don't really care for this band, but to each their own :)

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on July 25, 2012:


I don't totally hate Nickelback, but I dig the harder stuff like Lamb of God. Don't ask me why I don't care for Nickelback, but I love 3DD. Maybe it's something about 3DD's association with NASCAR. Besides the fact that I like loud, screamy music, I am a redneck at heart. :)

Thanks for the comment!

Anthony Goodley from Sheridan, WY on July 25, 2012:

A long time ago, probably 10 or more years ago, I got to see Nickelback and 3 Doors Down on one of the small beer tent stages at Summerfest music festival in Milwaukee, WI. before either band hit it big. I've loved both bands ever since.

I own a couple on Nickelback's CDs including their latest one 'Here And Now'.

I have a few pictures that I own the copyright to of Nickelback performing live at the Summerfest amphitheater, the main stage. If you would like to use them for this hub shoot me a site email.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on July 23, 2012:


I listen to a lot harder stuff, like Slayer, Pantera and Lamb of God. I think Nickelback is just too soft for me... lol! I did download some of their songs so I could play them for my roommate. At least that's what I said!

Thanks for the comment!

Jeffrey Yelton from Maryland on July 23, 2012:

I thought of them as a bunch of Creed wannabees until "Figured You Out" came out. After that, I've liked Nickelback, especially the song "Rock Star", which gets my fist in the air every time I hear it.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on July 20, 2012:

Ha, Pris...

Maybe you didn't know that half of Nickelback's songs are about getting drunk and laid! I see your Lil Wayne point, though. I've always thought he could be a great rapper if he just had a message other that those you mentioned!

Thank you for the comment!

Pris on July 20, 2012:

See, what I don't get is, so many people hate nickelback, and shitty rappers like "Lil Wayne" who raps about "P****y Money Weed" get so much...hype. At Lear nickelback makes actual music. I'm not even a fan of them I just think its messed up.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on July 14, 2012:


People are talking about it all over the place. We even have Nickelback discussions here at home!

Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on July 14, 2012:

I heard this being a discussion on local Radio FM station, it must be a moving topic.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on July 07, 2012:

Thank you, StoryInTheSky! I appreciate it!

StoryInTheSky from Buffalo, NY--Los Angeles, CA on July 07, 2012:

This article is great. I couldn't agree with you more!

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 23, 2012:


I liked them when they first came out, but I guess the repetition in their music really turned me off. I've never really bought one of their albums, but will listen to a few of their songs (Rock Star, Photograph). Most of what I've heard from them in the last few years, though, I'd consider complete crap.

Thank you for the comment, I really appreciate it. :)

cryptid from USA on June 11, 2012:

Up until All the Right Reasons I kind of liked them. They reminded me of the bands in the '80s. Not the way they look of course . . . or even sound for that matter . . . but because their music was about cars and girls and fighting and stuff. They just seemed like a good rock n roll band. The album that came after All the Right Reasons (I don't remember its name) was a mess. It seemed like they were going for the Beyonce crowd with that one or something, all dancey or whatever, like you'd hear it in a nightclub. I wish I could cite some example, but I listened to it once and wrote Nickelback off forever.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 11, 2012:

Eric Calderwood,

I don't really remember much criticism about Journey. A lot of the bands in that era made music like that, but they also made GOOD music and influenced a lot of new musicians. You're right in that they should keep doing what they're doing, since it is working for them!

Thanks for the comment!

Keith Abt from The Garden State on June 11, 2012:

I won't begrudge Nickelback their success but they do nothin' for me. They're fine for what they are, i.e. overproduced, slick, radio friendly hard rock. They're kinda like a 21st century update of Def Leppard.

Eric Calderwood from USA on June 10, 2012:

As far as I know, I've never listened to a Nickelback song yet. Not because I try not to, but because I like music from the 60's through the 80's the best. But I have seen a lot of posts online about people hating Nickelback. One interesting thing, your point about the Generic/Formulaic music was the same thing that people used to say about Foreigner (a band I really like that was very popular). If you've got something good going, why not stick with it?

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 10, 2012:


You are right with My Darkest Days. I actually bought their album because they had a cover of a Duran Duran song on it, too. They were apparently discovered by Kroeger.

I think people really hate on Nickelback because they just have to be hating on something!

Thank you for the comment! :)

liveandlaugh from Canada on June 10, 2012:

I never really thought about why people hated Nickelback so much. I do remember Chad complained when Rolling Stones magazine gave them a good review, they obviously like being the most hated. And also My darkest days, another overly commercialized Canadian band on the same label as Nickelback, made porn star dancing. I know this because it was always on the radio.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 10, 2012:


I think some people treat Nickelback like they're lepers! I guess I need to not be so hard on them!

Thank you! :D

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 10, 2012:

I wasn't aware that people hated this group; I actually like them so I guess I'm travelling with a good crowd.

Good job Georgie!

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 10, 2012:


Yeah. I don't remember the band's name, I only listened to the song because Zakk Wylde and Ludacris are featured on it.

Jamie Sykes from Lewisville, North Carolina on June 10, 2012:

Porn Star Dancing video??? o.O

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 10, 2012:


He did. I saw him in the Porn Star Dancing video and almost didn't recognize him.

Jamie Sykes from Lewisville, North Carolina on June 10, 2012:

Well, it did before he cut is hair. Didn't he cut his hair? See, this is how much I pay attention to Nickelback.

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 10, 2012:


I may never eat Ramen noodles again.


Jamie Sykes from Lewisville, North Carolina on June 10, 2012:

And their lead singers hair looks like ramen noodles. I don't know where on the world wide web I saw that but when I did, I about split a gut laughing so hard! (And it's hard when you only have one gut!)

Related Articles