Nickelback guitarist Ryan Peake says metalheads are "really protective" over the genre: "if you dip your toe in there without fully being metal, you're just gonna get tore up"

Nickelback on CBC Radio One
(Image credit: CBC Radio One)

Nickelback's Ryan Peake has discussed his experience of interacting with metalheads, especially as a metal fan who initially grew up listening to pop music.

While in conversation with frontman Chad Kroeger and host Tom Power on Canada's CBC Radio One, the guitarist spoke of the band's metal influence, and how the teaser for their single San Quentin, lifted from their recently-released album Get Rollin', got fans thinking that Nickelback were heading towards a more "metalcore" sound.

During the interview, Peake reveals how he thinks metalheads are "protective" over the genre, and how there's a strong element of gatekeeping when it comes to what music can be considered 'metal'.

"Speaking as a metal listener, I grew up listening to metal, I grew up initially with pop, but then, when I started playing guitar, it was metal — Anthrax and Testament" he explains (as transcribed by Blabbermouth).

"I loved metal growing up…But what I just find interesting — and this is more of an observation — is if you say [about a Nickelback song], 'Okay, this sounds a bit metal,' I can just hear all the metalheads just [getting all worked up about it]: 'Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?'"

He continues, "Because I come from that initially, and I understand there's some kind of protective nature in the metal audience. And it's weird, because if you play a rock song — like a really heavy rock song — to an audience that likes the more melodic stuff, they're kind of taken aback, maybe not expecting it, but they'll still — live especially — they'll get it and they'll be accepting, or they'll just go, 'Oh. Maybe not for me.' Metalheads? They'll be just, like, 'They're not metal,' and they'll just drag you through the mud for even suggesting that. 

"It's really interesting" Peake adds. "They're really protective of their genre. And if you dip your toe in there without fully being metal, you're just gonna get tore up."

Late last month, the guitarist revealed to Rock Sverige how he'd like Nickelback to cover Slayer, Testament or Meshuggah, after being questioned about bassist Mike Kroeger's earlier semi-serious declaration of wanting to record a Slayer covers album.

“I don't know if it would be something we all could agree on because we are all have our different likes and dislikes when it comes to music,” he said. “Mike's is really heavy and I like Slayer so I get that. I think we could probably agree on doing a heavy covers album or something like that.”

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.