“There Is So Much of Everything in Us Musically”

Nickelback has released his latest work, Get Rollin‘, in November 2022. For their tenth album, they decided to take things in a direction that can only be described as eclectic. While their time-honored metal identity is still very much intact, they weave their way up and down the album’s 11 tracks, expanding their musicality further than ever before.

Videos by American songwriters

Videos by American songwriters

For frontman Chad Kroeger, the penchant for genre-bending is both unconscious and found throughout her career.

“I think there’s so much of everything in all of us musically that it’s never a conscious effort,” Kroeger tells American Songwriter. “We rarely sit back like mad scientists and try to make things up.

[RELATED: Nickelback Announces 2023 Get Rollin’ Tour]

“I’m a country music fan and I like to experiment,” he continues. “‘Rockstar’ is pretty much a country song. “Photograph” is pretty much a country song. We want to try different things and move in different directions.”

Standouts on the album are the riotous “San Quentin”, the acoustic ballad “Steel Still Rusts” and the certified rocker “Just One More”. While the hodgepodge of sound was born from the band’s own listening habits, the expanded scope of this record also comes from Kroeger’s learning to relinquish control of the studio.

“I used to know what a song was supposed to sound like, I knew what direction it was going to go in, and I just needed that to be recorded,” says Kroeger. “I was a bit more reticent and less open to suggestions, and I felt like things were getting a little stale.

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“I gave up that control and just trusted my band members. The more interesting things got, the more I was willing to accept other ideas,” he continues. “It became a lot more collaborative and I enjoyed it more.”

Some of the materials found Get Rollincomes from the group’s “vault” – an archive of material from years past that was given a second chance during the recording process. For Kroeger, looking back proved to be a surprisingly lucrative experience.

“The safe is great because you can store something for a rainy day and it’s really cool when you stumble upon something because you can’t remember the way you thought when you made it,” he says. “The other piece of advice I got early on was, ‘Be careful when the faucets are on.’ You will look back and be very grateful for this creative period in your life. Sooner or later this faucet will be shut off.”

Referring to the material that saw the light of day early in Nickelback’s career, the frontman says there’s an element of “embarrassment” listening to the band’s work to date.

“I think when it comes to listening to songs from back then, the perfectionist side of me listens to our older material and thinks, ‘this part could have been so much cooler if only we had the time,'” adds he added .

“So there’s some frustration and a little bit of embarrassment,” Kroeger continues. “I will know what the lines are that I am saying, but they are so heavily loaded with metaphor because I was afraid to actually say what I really feel. I didn’t want to be judged at that point.”

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He adds, “There are so many things that I look back on now and I’m like, ‘God, my poor mom and my poor dad.’ If I wrote a song about domestic violence – like I did on “Never Again” – everyone would think that my father hit my mother. That’s not the case. They sit there and formulate an opinion about what they think my father is. Sometimes it gets a bit difficult, but all for the sake of the art.”

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Adds drummer Daniel Adair of his bandmate’s creative process, “It seems terrifying to expose yourself like that. To get inside, rip out a part of yourself and show it to the whole world. But then you start doing your best work. When things are guttural, the listener can feel all of those emotions and start making connections.”

To celebrate the record, the group sets off again. Their latest hike sees Brantley Gilbert joining the group – a decision that feels right in line with the country’s nod Get Rollin‘.

“We thought, ‘Let’s start doing something a little bit different,'” Kroeger said. “As soon as Gilbert showed up we thought he might be a good fit. He is not So country that it is too different. He’s country rock – he’s got an edge. I’m really excited to see how many of our fans will sing along to his stuff and how many of his fans will sing along to our stuff.”

The tour is scheduled to begin June 12 in Quebec City and conclude August 30 in Belmont Park, New York. The full list of tour dates can be found HERE.

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Watch our full interview with Kroeger and Adair below.

Photo by Maya Sarin / R&CPMK


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