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DJ Supply

Nickelback Nickelback
'In For The Long Haul'

This melodic hard rock band was formed in 1996 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, by brothers Chad Kroeger (b. 15 November 1974; vocals/guitar) and Mike Kroeger (b. 25 June 1972; bass), their cousin Brandon (drums), and Ryan Peake (b. 1 March 1973; guitar/vocals). In the same year they released the 'Hesher EP' and their long-playing debut Curb, both of which picked up a lot of airtime on Canadian radio stations.

Relentless touring helped promote their music throughout North America, with the band going through several drummers before settling on Ryan Vikedal (b. 9 May 1975), an old friend of Peake's. The State was originally released on the band's own label, but their burgeoning popularity was rewarded by a major recording contract with EMI Canada and heavy metal label Roadrunner Records in the USA.

The State proved to be Nickelback's major breakthrough in both countries, with two tracks from the album, "Breathe" and "Leader Of Men", rising into the Top 10 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. The powerful "How You Remind Me" from 2001's Silver Side Up became a staple on American rock radio, helping propel the album to number 2 on the US album chart shortly after its release. The track eventually climbed to the top of the Hot 100 in December and similar success followed in the UK. Chad Kroeger enjoyed a transatlantic hit the following year with "Hero", a collaboration with Saliva vocalist Josey Scott taken from the soundtrack of 'Spiderman'.

On 'Someday' there's a sense that you're always putting things off, is that true? (Chad): "Not the case! I think everyone in our situation feels the same way."
(Mike): "It's more like being a workaholic which makes you put things off on a personal level with your friends and family."

Is it hard to find a balance between the rock star life and normal life? (Chad): "There is no balance. You literally just have to say 'Look, it's going to be chaotic for a while but we won't always be popular. Let's enjoy it while it's happening.' I'm sure that there will come a time when we'll really want to tour and there won't be a tour. So when the female is saying 'What about me? When do we get some time without the cameras and the interviews and the touring?' 'Someday' is kind of addressing that."

So do your girlfriends appreciate that gesture?! (Chad): "No," he laughs. "We could even use their names in it and they still wouldn't care. They'd say 'We'd trade the song in a heartbeat for a week in Mexico!' They don't care," he laughs some more.

So what's the biggest thing you've put off, for how long and why? (Mike): "Mine is my honeymoon. After getting married I didn't have my honeymoon for two years. Everything was good until after we got home afterwards."
(Chad): "I guess mine was cutting my hair. It took me at least ten years before I cut my hair. But now I have," he says as he strokes his long hair jokingly. "But you know, before you say anything, there was no emotional attachment or anything like that, I just didn't care."
(Ryan P): "I know what mine would be. Promising my girlfriend a dog. I took about eight months to finally get her one, and it was the day before we were supposed to go on tour. So it was really convenient. 'Here's your dog, see you soon!'"
(Ryan V): "I've just had a boy and that was it. I think it was all us us, me, me, me. And I really wanted to have a boy before I was 30. I didn't, but it was close. But now we're happy."

Pardon the pun, but what kind of a journey did The Long Road take you on? (Chad): "Well, some people in the band already think that we've had a long journey. We've been going for seven years and it's been a lot of work and I definitely think we have paid our dues. We've done the van, in the snow, touring back and forth across Canada for four years before we even got signed. So I think some of us view it as though we're in the middle now, but this is going to be a long journey. Hopefully, there's some road for us to travel yet."
(Ryan P): "I think that Silver Side Up enabled us to get our foot in the door, and do all that stuff like tour the world. Now we've done that and opened all those doors, it's time to check out ourselves and how far we can take things. That's the new test for the band."

What did you mean when you said that fans of real rock would be surprised with the new album? (Chad): "Did I say that? Where did you get that from?"

The 'official' Nickelback website! (Chad): "Oh. I don't think anyone should judge the album by the first single, because we have definitely recorded some of our most aggressive material on the new album."
(Mike): "Well," he starts backtracking, "unless you really love the first single. In which case you should totally make a judgement based on that."
(Chad): "No. I'm still gonna stand by what I say. Don't judge the album on the first single. The album is significantly different than the single. Two of the new songs are absolute metal and there's no way around that. We've never recorded anything as heavy as the songs that are on here, and it was fun stretching ourselves with that."

There's been 'American Idol', England's 'Pop Idol', and P Diddy's 'Making The Band II', so how far off is 'Rock Idol'?! (Chad): "I don't know. Don't really care. If I don't care about who won 'American Idol', I don't care who's surviving on whatever island, and I don't care about who's eating the most bugs without throwing up!"
(Mike): "It's not even about accomplishing anything anymore as it is about getting to watch people get rejected. That what those shows are about."
(Ryan V): "It's not really what rock music is about either. Rock music is having a couple of kids grabbing instruments and actually playing instead of sending some guy out with a .dat tape."
(Chad): "Hopefully there will never be an 'American Rock Idol'."

So, finally, what '80s records do you own that you're not proud of? (Ryan P): "Maybe Warrant. But if it counts. I brought the tape home and listened to it and then never went back."
(Ryan V): "I got Open Up And Say Ahh by Poison. And I gave it to a French girl and never saw it again!"
(Mike): "There was this band from a long time ago called Kingdom Come who were just basically regurgitating old Led Zeppelin songs. I'm kind of embarrassing about those."
(Chad): "I'd rather not say," he wryly smiles.

Interviewed by Frank Watson for Exclusive Magazine

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