Nickelback. Just reading the word is enough to send some sane and reasoning individuals grasping for the nearest knitting needle to gouge out their own eardrums. They’re a band whose every throaty grimace is so unbearably offensive to all normally right-thinking human beings that it’s a miracle Donald Trump has yet to make them official White House policy. Or so some would have you believe.
You can’t help but feel a little sorry for ‘Cheesy’ Chad Kroeger and his witless Nickelbackers, considering the way they’ve become a globally accepted byword for music so painful and insufferable that even producers of I’m A Celebrity… probably consider it too cruel to make them the jungle camp house band. Here’s how Nickelback have been treated as a weapon of mass irritation…
They were threatened as a punishment for Canadian drink-drivers
In November 2016, Kensington Police Service on Prince Edward Island in Canada threatened on Facebook to play their “perfectly good unopened copy” of Nickelback’s third album ‘Silver Side Up’ to any drink drivers they caught. “When we catch you, and we will catch you,” the post read, “on top of a hefty fine, a criminal charge and a year’s driving suspension we will also provide you with a bonus gift of playing the offices [sic] copy of ‘Nickelback’ in the cruiser on the way to jail.” The force later apologised for the slur but, we hear, the roads of Prince Edward Island have never been safer.
They were the punchline to a joke made by a robot
When unveiling Facebook’s new AI, Jarvis, in a promotional video, Mark Zuckerberg asked it to find and play him “some good Nickelback songs”. The AI replied “I’m sorry Mark, I’m afraid I can’t do that – there are no good Nickelback songs.” Yes, Chad’s even getting burned by inanimate objects.
They were wanted for ‘crimes against music’ by Australian police
During their 2015 tour of Australia, Queensland Police Department released a wanted poster featuring sketches of Nickelback beneath the legend ‘WANTED FOR CRIMES AGAINST MUSIC’ and the following appeal for witnesses: “Police are on the lookout for these men who are believed to be impersonating musicians around Boondall this evening. Avoid the area. It may be hazardous to your hearing and street cred.”
They’ll officially kill your sex life
In 2011, a poll of the users of music-orientated dating site tastebuds.com voted Nickelback the number one musical turn-off, beating Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. I mean, you try having a mutually enjoyable erotic experience along to ‘Something In Your Mouth’. Honestly, Russell Brand would struggle getting it up to that one.
They’ve been banned by the US Army
Just this week a US army officer banned his colleagues from playing Nickelback records at their command post, along with other “terrible rock groups” like Creed, Korn and Smashmouth. These are guys that go through months of torturous training but even they can’t endure music that’s the aural equivalent of the first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan.
They might be classified as a war crime by the UN
When a declassified list of songs used by the CIA in torture emerged online some years ago, it included the likes of Eminem, Metallica, David Gray and even Barney The Dinosaur but, to most commenter’s surprise, nothing at all by Nickelback. One Reddit user posited the most likely explanation: “The use of Nickelback in war (or anywhere, actually) is classified as a war crime by the UN.”
There was a crowdfunding scheme to ban them from the UK
Forget Trump and Milo, the most urgent campaign to stop offensive types coming to Britain was set up in 2014 with the intention of bombarding Nickelback’s management with emails insisting they don’t come to London to play a gig. “Following the recent crowdfunding of a Foo Fighters gig in Richmond, Virginia,” wrote the organiser, “in a similar vein, we are attempting to ensure that Canadian ‘rockers’ Nickelback do not come to London, England to play a gig. With your help, we can ensure that the band do not schedule any gigs here, do not attempt to come here – nor even phone here. Just imagine, thousands – perhaps tens of thousands of music lovers – all not witnessing an exclusive concert by Nickelback in London. It will be glorious.” The fund raised $339, meaning that around 30 emails were sent. Tragically, Nickelback played at both the O2 Arena and SSE Wembley Arena in October 2016. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families of those who saw them.