Look at this graph! Science may have found the answer behind everyone's hatred for Nickelback

(Image credit: Martin Philbey/Redferns)

Over their successful career, Canadian rockers Nickelback have become the subject of popular (and not entirely friendly) Internet memes, the butt of countless jokes and the poster band for unexplainable and unfair hatred. In fact, in 2009, Word Magazine readers voted them as the worst band of all time. 

Now, thanks to Stat Significant, a website for data-centric essays about movies, music, TV, and more, we may have more of an understanding as to why - and how - this phenomenon even started. 

According to the site, who dubbed Nickelback "the internet's punching bag", one reason behind the negativity could be simply that their music is overplayed. When compared to their peers, a helpful graph highlights how the band rank above average in commercial performance, but well below average when it comes to acclaim, showing that despite their success, there are people who are being exposed to their music who don't enjoy them. 

Furthermore, the site makes the point that Nickelback may well have been overplayed on radio stations and on music channels - this writer remembers when their tongue-in-cheek-anthem Rockstar graced music programming in 2007, and then, well...never really left. Five years later, it was voted by Buzzfeed as one of the worst tracks ever written, ranking in at number two.

Another hypothesis suggests that Nickelback's music may be hated due to its repetitive nature, with data to highlight their songs' lack of variability. 

Elsewhere, the site points to sociopolitical factors and, possibly serving as the most likely hypothesis of the lot, the fact that the band have simply been the victims of a never-ending trend that was conceived from unfavourable media, such as the time they were the punchline on Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn, a program aired on Comedy Central in late 2002. As the site explains, the moment became memorable due to the fact it appeared in an advertisement for the show which was then screened to millions of people.

Certainly, music fans are not required to like Nickelback. In fact, no one is required to like any band. But Nickelback's commercial success proves that there's great love behind the mountain. Perhaps the hate is simply a trend that has gone on too long.

In fact, while Chad Kroeger and co. have heroically taken it all on the chin over the years, often declaring how they're actually in on the joke rather then on the sour end of it, earlier this year, they released the documentary Love To Hate, a "final word" on the band's relentless haters and a declaration to the world how the hate has indeed worn thin.

When asked by a reporter by People Magazine why he didn't want to discuss the hate in the documentary, Kroeger took the journalist's microphone and said: "If somebody stuck that thing in your face every single day and said, ‘The whole world hates you like this, the whole world hates you. What do you have to say about that?' 

"Every single day. Every day. Would there be reluctance on your behalf to talk about it? Would you get pissed off? Would you be over it after a while? I'm over it."

Hating Nickelback? That's so 2002. 

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.