From album covers to collabs, we’re playing Six Degrees of Nickelback
Now that the Nickleback Boots and Hearts headlining justification is out of the way and with them named the next Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees at the Juno Awards in Edmonton next March, I thought it would be fun to do a kind of six degrees of separation thing with each of their ten full-length studio albums, beginning with 1996’s Curb and ending with the brand new Get Rollin’.
We’ll start with the pre-Nickelback fact that singer-guitarist Chad Kroeger, his brother, bassist Mike Kroeger, and guitarist Ryan Peake were in a cover band called Village Idiot, which reportedly played a ton of Metallica songs. In 2008, Nickelback played “Sad But True” live at Germany’s Rock Am Ring festival. Kroeger also hung out with his favourite rock god, James Hetfield, in Paris after watching the band perform to 70,000 people.
Curb (1996): The band’s debut was laid down at Turtle Recording Studios. Opened in 1987, first as a mobile studio, the Vancouver studio is still around, now in its third location, and has seen an insane list of names record there, among them Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Sarah McLachlan, Michael Bolton, Bryan Adams, Michael Bublé and Ice-T.
The State (1998): Produced by Dale Penner, who also recorded one of Canada’s best-ever indie albums, 1997’s Stuff by Holly McNarland. Check out “Numb,” “Coward” and “Elmo.”
The Silver Side (2001): Co-producer Rick Parashar was behind the board for so many historic albums, namely the self-titled Temple of the Dog, Pearl Jam’s Ten, Alice In Chain’s Sap and Blind Melon’s self-titled debut with the Bee Girl.
The Long Road (2003): Back to the country thing, Travis Tritt covered Nickelback’s acoustic “Should’ve Listened” on his 2007 album, The Storm, and it’s pretty faithful, except for the country-gruff vocal.
All The Right Reasons (2005): The first album to feature Canadian drummer Daniel Adair, who joined Nickelback after a brief but busy stint in American rock band 3 Doors Down, which included laying down drums on the album Seventeens Days and touring fourteen countries.
Dark Horse (2008): Co-produced by the band and producer/songwriter Mutt Lange, whose versatile but hands-on approach has worked with AC/DC, Foreigner, Def Leppard, Bryan Adams, as well as his now ex-wife Shania Twain, who incidentally headlined Boots and Hearts last summer and would probably be embraced headlining a rock festival.
Hear and Now (2011): The cover of this album features the famous Gastown steam clock. Nickelback is not the first Canadian band to feature a local landmark on their album cover. Hello, Drake (CN Tower on 2016’s Views). Hello, Stars (Habitat 67 on 2012’s The North).
No Fixed Address (2014): On their eighth album, Nickelback throws out this left-field collab, inviting American rapper Flo Rida to spit rhymes on the groovy “Got Me Runnin’ Round.”
Feed The Machine (2017): Includes “Every Time We’re Together,” which Kroeger co-wrote with country singer Joe Nichols, with whom — as noted in the previous blog — he hopped on stage in 2018 to sing “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off.”
Get Rollin’ (2022): We will remind you of Coleman Hell’s catchy “2 Heads,” since he is one of the co-writers on “Just One More,” but also props to Ian Thornley, once signed to Kroeger’s 604 Records, who lays down a guitar solo on “Skinny Little Missy.” His band Big Wreck is expected to release a new album in 2023.