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Listen closely to Nickelback's Dimebag Darrell tribute, Side Of A Bullet, and you'll hear a previously unreleased solo from the late Pantera guitarist

Dimebag Darrell and Chad Kroeger from Nickelback
(Image credit: James Cumpsty/Redferns, Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

There's not many bands out there who will come out and declare their kinship for Nickelback, aka the rock superstars that everyone loves to hate. But, back in the day, the Abbot brothers were pretty close friends with the Canadian hard rock band, so much so that they even collaborated on a track with Chad Kroeger's men.

As reported by our friends at Guitar World, it turns out that a guitar solo by the late Dimebag Darrell was incorporated into Nickelback's ferocious, hard-hitting Side Of A Bullet, written as a salute to the influential guitarist, who was shot and killed on-stage in 2004 by an obsessed fan. The track features on the Canadian group's best-selling fifth studio album For All The Right Reasons, and was written from the lyrical perspective of a Pantera fan seeking revenge for Dimebag's death.

Apparently, back in the day, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger played the track to Dimebag's brother, Vinnie Paul, and even asked the Pantera drummer to redo the drum parts. Vinnie Paul declined said offer, and instead suggested that they use some of Dimebag's unused material to embellish the track.

After receiving permission from the late guitarist's girlfriend Rita Haney, Abbott sent Nickelback several solo outtakes from Pantera's classic albums Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven.

“A lot of people didn’t like the fact that they were friends with us," acknowledged bassist Mike Kroeger in a past interview, or fans of our music. But the metal world can be a little intense to its own, y’know?

“The guy was a legend, as well as his brother – that whole band was,” he added.

"So it was just really cool that they didn’t care about that, and they just wanted to be friends with us because they liked what we did.”

The members of Nickelback and Pantera first met in 2002, when they were introduced by Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell

“We’d known the Pantera guys since a really early time in our career" explains Mike. "They were fans of ours from the beginning, and we would always see them out on the road or whenever we would go through Dallas; they would come out and ply us with alcohol.”

According to Chad Kroeger, Vinnie Paul once revealed - after too many whiskeys - that he would listen to Nickelback "every day".

“[It] really surprised me,” Kroeger admitted to MTV in 2005. “But I guess they come from that whole Southern-rock background, and we're a hard-rock band with Southern-rock influences, so they liked it a lot.”

On top of his beyond-the-grave contribution to Side Of A Bullet, Dimebag also played with Nickelback on their cover of Elton John's Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting, which was to be added to the Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle soundtrack, featuring Kid Rock.

Listen to Side Of A Bullet below:

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. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.