Kroeger’s the ideal replacement for our dearly departed Kurt, argues Tom Connick, NME’s resident (alright, only) Nirvana and Nickelback mega-fan
In their own time, geniuses are rarely heralded. Their ideas are often seen as too ‘out there’ – shaking up the status quo is mostly greeted with derision. But time reveals a different side to their wild ideas; one of innovation and inspiration; one that, ultimately, pushes culture forward. Case in point: the mysterious musical mastermind behind this headline-grabbing petition – ‘Nirvana Reunion With Chad Kroeger From Nickelback On Vocals’.
It’s a supposed joke that’s been greeted with scorn and sneered at by many, and ironically laughed along with by those who are somewhat more in on the ‘joke’. But what if it wasn’t all for japes? What if Kroeger really was the new Kurt? Dare to dream, dear reader.
Nirvana, it doesn’t need to be said, are sorely missed. Foo Fighters? Fine. But we need the original masters of melodic misanthropy back. And to do that, we need a new frontman – one with the same power, energy, and no-fucks-given attitude that made Kurt such a poster-boy.
That attitude is something Chad has in spades. He’s spent nearly his whole Nickelback career batting back at the bastards, the perennial whipping boy who’s still standing tall. On-stage, he knowingly takes digs at his own reputation. He doesn’t give a fuck what you think – and neither did Kurt. They’re peas in a pod, in that regard.
- Read more: It’s time to give Nickelback a second chance
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, now. Chad’s grizzled vocal is perfect fodder for the gnarlier numbers in Nirvana’s back catalogue – if you’ve ever heard Kroeger rip his way through ‘Burn It To The Ground’ then you know he’s perfectly primed for ‘Territorial Pissings’ et al. It’ll add a bit of much-needed edge to Kroeger’s squeaky clean, arena-filling image, too. Let him thrash his way around ‘I Hate Myself And Want To Die’ and then try telling him he’s not a real rocker. Dare you.
But Chad also does the tender numbers well, too. ‘If Today Was Your Last Day’ and his solo, Spiderman-soundtracking effort ‘Hero’ are skyscraping ballads, with an emotional core that could easily be transposed to the likes of ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ and ‘Polly’. A cursory listen to Nickelback’s post-grunge alt-rock catalogue is enough to tell you that he’s obsessed with the icons – even if, shadily, a 2012 interview saw him confused as to why Kurt couldn’t get to grips with his own fame.
Face it – no one thought Adam Lambert was up to the job with Queen. The one-time X Factor hopeful was seen as everything Queen supposedly stood against by the holier-than-thou musical bores of the world – you know, those ones who pit reality TV against ‘real music’ as if we’ve only got space for one. But as time went on and Lambert came into his sparkly, flamboyant own, he took to the role with aplomb, and even the gammons were forced to admit that, actually, he’s a dab hand at the classics. It’s not about imitating Freddie Mercury, for Adam; it’s about making the role his own, and taking both his own story and that of Queen into an exciting new era.
It’s time to let Kroeger do the same. Will full hearts and open minds, exuding the kind of positivity we so desperately need in these dark times, this could be the greatest redemption story in musical history. Let Nickelback lie, and Nirvana rise again. Give Chad a chance.