Music Lists

2000's Rock Bands That Sounded Like Nickelback (but Better)

Whatever happened to all those rock bands that kinda sounded like Nickelback but weren't Nickelback?

Daughtry - It's Not Over

Image via Vevo

Remember when rock and roll ruled the airwaves?

I'm not talking about The Rolling Stones or Motley Crue. I'm talking about that clean-cut modern rock from the beginning of the 2000s, when every rock band that popped up appeared to be just carbon copies of Nickelback. Rock had been heading in a more commercial direction for a long time, but 2005's All the Right Reasons was a special kind of basic and propelled the genre into a bottomless pit it never really crawled out from.

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Why Is No One Talking About Nickelback's Lyrics?

It seems Chad Kroeger and President Trump have a lot in common.

Nickelback, now experiencing an all time career low, got an unexpected boost in popularity this week thanks to Trump inaccurately using the band's "Photograph" meme, which samples the sextet's 2005 hit of the same name.

The band's label, Warner Music Group, stepped in and hit the president with a quick copyright infringement claim, but the band themselves didn't seem to realize the underlying joke behind it all: that they are similar to Trump in that they gained international fame despite being detested by almost everybody. "People in the meme-generating depths of the Web did not make Nickelback memes because they liked Nickelback. They made Nickelback memes because they did not like Nickelback, and because Nickelback was everywhere anyway," wrote The Washington Post. "Nickelback didn't exactly become famous for being famous. It became famous for being famous despite being horrible. That makes Trump the Nickelback president."

Politics aside, Trump's antics inspired Popdust to take a deep dive back into Nickelback's long and distasteful discography. It turns out, the band and our president have more in common than initially reported, such as a misogynistic view of women. Let's take a look back at some of the band's most distasteful lyrics, and revisit the question that plagues us all: Why was Nickelback ever a thing?

Figured You Out

"I like your pants around your feet
And I like the dirt that's on your knees
And I like the way you still say please
While you're looking up at me"

Right out the gate we have "Figured You Out," off of 2003's The Long Road. The song describes multiple sexual encounters with a woman that "wasn't that hard to figure out." "Sometimes you get into a little fling and you think you know the person," said Chad Kroeger of the song's meaning, "and the next thing you know, you're dating a cokehead who's interwoven into some underground drug world with Hell's Angels and movie stars and models." Regardless of that awkward statement, the single's cover art, which depicts visibly nervous cheerleaders sitting in a row in a locker room, paints an incredibly predatory picture. Chade Kroeger was 29 at the time.

Corey Taylor & Jason Christopher In-Studio with Jonesy

Back in 2017, Nickelback's irrelevant frontman Chad Kroeger decided to try to inject some life into the bloated corpse that is his career.

"How good can your music be if you've gotta beat each other up on stage, throw up in your mask every night?" Kroeger said of Slipknot, Nickelback's equally irrelevant "rival." Frontman Corey Taylor was quick to respond to the childish allegations and accurately described Kroeger as having "a face like a foot," adding that Nickelback is to rock "what KFC is to chicken."

Yesterday, Taylor stopped by Steve Jones radio show to clarify his statement. "Nickelback is the scapegoat of rock and roll," Taylor said. "However, they are passing the baton to Imagine Dragons right now, and I love it."


"They're awful, so that's cool. And they're from Vegas, so I'm gonna go home to protest...people are slowly coming back to appreciate Nickelback and then just turning their irksome ire towards Imagine Dragons."

Again, while every band aforementioned has struggled for relevance since the early 2000s, we can't deny the truth behind Taylor's statements. Nickelback is equivalent to a chewy, stale breaded chicken thigh, and "Thunder" is probably the worst song to emerge in recent memory. I mean, it took a quartet to churn out a song that could have been made by a teenage boy on his iPad mini. Just use this awkward Jimmy Fallon performance as an example of how seriously these guys take themselves.

For your information, they say "thunder" over 70 times.

While the members of Imagine Dragons haven't responded to Taylor's criticisms, we really hope they do, but they're Mormons so they probably won't. Check out the full interview above, or you could go drink some water instead; the latter will probably have a better payoff.

Mackenzie Cummings-Grady is a creative writer who resides in the Brooklyn area, Mackenzie's work has previously appeared in The Boston Globe, Billboard, and Metropolis Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @mjcummingsgrady.

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