The politics of Nickelback

Why their Juno wins repulse so many

Nickelback, a group that excites large passions on both sides of the critical divide, took three of the top awards last night, including group and album of the year. How can they be so hated AND so beloved? According to the Calgary Herald’s Heath McCoy, “Nickelback represents a class war that exists in rock. In that eternal struggle of art rock elitism versus populist simplicity and escape, Nickelback are proudly low brow. And, in today’s heavily polarized, politicized world, that pushes people’s buttons.” Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger sums it up in his own inimitable style thusly: “We do appeal to the blue-collar working class,” Kroeger once told the Herald. “The beer-drinking, pump-your-fist-in-the-air type whose favourite part of a rock show is the explosions . . . We are those people, and we want to write the kind of songs you can do that to.”

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