Chad Kroeger says that there has been a "softening" of hate towards Nickelback, who up until recently, have been the butt of numerous jokes and memes in the rock community.
During a zoom appearance on Arizona's KFMA-FM radio station, the frontman was asked why he thinks so many people enjoy hating on his band. In response, he tells host Robin Nash (as transcribed by Blabbermouth): "That kind of used to be a thing. I shouldn't say 'that kind of used to be' — that was definitely a thing for a long time.
"And I think there's been a softening — there really has, thankfully. I'm not sure if it's because we receive a ton of love on TikTok or whatever the hell it is, but for whatever reason the teeth have kind of been removed. It's really nice to not be Public Enemy Number One."
Last year, Nickelback's disco-rock track She Keeps Me Up went viral on TikTok, due to thousands of fans making 'thirst-traps' (provocative videos) to the song.
"Thanks for all the love for She Keeps Me Up", the band declared at the time. "That one was pretty unexpected!".
Noting how he believes the hate towards Nickelback may well have been due to their music being overplayed, Kroeger suggests: "I think that with the range of songs that we write — from rock to all the softer, melodic stuff, all the way down to… Well, I know that Far Away got played on country stations even and I know that Rockstar — the heavily redacted version — got played on CMT.
"So when you're going that far and the scope is that wide, it makes it tough to get away from the band if you're not into the band. And if you're trying to switch the radio station three times, and it's just, like, 'Ah, there they are. There's their rock song on the rock station. There's their pop song on the pop station. And oh my God, I can't even go to the country station and get away from these guys. That type of oversaturation could piss people off. But at the end of the day, we're just a band that makes music."
On how he takes the high road when hearing the music of bands he dislikes - instead of dishing out contempt like Nickelback haters - he concludes: "I can't stand a couple of bands, but I don't go online and turn into a keyboard warrior and just start hating on them. I just change the channel or I put on something that I wanna listen to."
In spite of the hate aimed at the Canadian hard rockers, Kroeger has continually shown that he is comfortable taking it all in his stride. Earlier this year, he credited the "haters" and "keyboard heroes" as being one of the main reasons they've been able to stay relevant and "in the press loop" for so many years.
Watch the interview below: