Nickelback on Their Latest Album: “There Is So Much of Everything in Us Musically”

Nickelback released its latest effort, Get Rollin‘, back in November of 2022. For their tenth album, they decided to take things in a direction that can only be described as eclectic. While their time-honed metal identity is still very much intact, they meander in and out of their lane across the album’s 11 tracks, expanding their musicality further than ever before.

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For frontman Chad Kroeger, the penchant for genre-bending is both a subconscious one and found throughout the duration of their career.

“I think that there is so much of everything in all of us musically, that it’s never a conscious effort,” Kroeger tells American Songwriter. “We rarely sit back like mad scientists and try to cook something up.

[RELATED: Nickelback Announces 2023 Get Rollin’ Tour]

“I’m a fan of country music and I love to dabble,” he continues. “‘Rockstar’ is pretty much a country song. ‘Photograph’ is pretty much a country song. We want to try different things and we want to move in different directions.”

Standouts on the record include the riotous “San Quentin,” the acoustic ballad “Steel Still Rusts” and the certified rocker “Just One More.” While the smorgasbord of sound was born out of the band’s own listening habits, the widened scope of this record also comes from Kroeger learning to relinquish control in the studio.

“I used to know how a song was supposed to sound, I used to know the direction I wanted it to go, and I just need this to be recorded,” Kroeger says. “I was a little more guarded and less open to suggestions, and I felt that things started getting a little stale.

“I relinquished that control and just trusted in my band members, the more interesting things got, the more I was willing to accept different ideas,” he continues. “It became far more collaborative and I enjoyed it more.”

Some of the material found on Get Rollin‘ came from the group’s “vault” – an archive of material from years gone by that was given a second chance during the recording process. For Kroeger, looking back proved to be a surprisingly lucrative experience.

“The vault is great because you’ll tuck something away for a rainy day and it’s really cool when you come across something because you can’t remember your mindset when you did it,” he says. “The other bit of advice I got early on is ‘when the faucets are on, pay attention.’ You will look back and be very thankful for that creative stage of your life. Sooner or later that tap will shut off.”

In terms of the material that did see the light of day early on in Nickelback’s career, the frontman says there is an element of “embarrassment” there when he listens to the band’s past work.

“I think when it comes to listening to songs from back in the day, the perfectionist side of me listens to our older material and thinks ‘this part could have been so much cooler if we just could have had the time,'” he adds.

“So there’s some frustration and a little bit of embarrassment,” Kroeger continues. “I’ll know what the lines are that I’m saying, but they’re so heavily laden in metaphor because I was afraid to actually say what I was really feeling. I didn’t want to be judged at that point in time.”

He adds, “There are so many things that I look back on now and think, ‘God, my poor mother, and my poor father.’ If I wrote a song about domestic violence – like I did on “Never Again” – everyone thinks that my dad beat my mother. It’s not the case. They’re sitting there formulating an opinion about what they think my father is. Sometimes it gets a little heavy, but all for the sake of art.”

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Drummer Daniel Adair adds of his bandmate’s creative process, “It seems terrifying to actually expose yourself like that. To reach inside, rip a part of yourself up and show it to the entire world. But that’s when you start doing your best work. When things are guttural, that’s when the listener can feel all of that emotion and start making connections.”

In celebration of the record, the group is heading back out on the road. Their latest trek sees Brantley Gilbert joining the group – a decision that feels right in line with the country nods on Get Rollin‘.

“We thought, ‘Let’s start doing something a little bit different,'” Kroeger said. “As soon as Gilbert came up, we thought he could be a good fit. He’s not so country that it’s too different. He’s country rock – he has an edge. I’m really interested to see how many of our fans are going to sing along to his stuff and how many of his fans are going to sing along to our stuff.”

The tour is slated to kick off on June 12 in Quebec City and wrap up on August 30 in Belmont Park, New York. Find their full list of tour dates, HERE.

Check out our full conversation with Kroeger and Adair below.

Photo by Maya Sarin / R&CPMK

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