In less than two weeks, they kick off their 98 date “NO FIXED ADDRESS” tour across America, Australia and Europe, stopping by Adelaide on the 18th of May. Bassist Mike Kroeger took time away from chilling in Hawaii to have a chat about the tour, our wine, One Direction, the album, little brother and front man Chad, and of course… The haters…
Hey Mike, how are you today?
I'm very well, but id rather be in Adelaide.
Haha, that’s what they all say!
Yeah well, it's pretty cool, we've had some pretty nice times in Adelaide so we really like it!
It’s a pretty easy going small town in comparison to some of the other cities you would have gone to. Where abouts are you now?
Yeah for sure. I'm in Hawaii right now so I shouldn’t say I'd rather be in Adelaide. I'd rather be in Hawaii to be honest. But, to tell you the truth, I would love to be in Adelaide. I'd love to be in the Barossa valley if we're going to be specific. Haha
Ok, so you love us for our wine, not our weather...?
I love you for both. There is like one winery on the island I live on and the wine is terrible.
You could probably order online?
I think I’ll just hold off until I come over to your neck of the woods and do McLaren Vale, then over to Margaret River and send a shipment home. We do that occasionally. We've been through Penfolds and a lot of the other establishments over there and we usually go on a wine shopping spree in Australia.
On the edge of the city we have the National Wine Centre, you can go there and sample wines from all over Australia, not just Adelaide.
Coooool!! That wasn’t there when we were last there.
You cant miss it, it looks like Noah's Arc.
Ohhhh, great, I'll be checking that out for sure!
No Fixed Address has been out in Australia for a couple of months now and it actually peaked at number 2 on the weekly charts, what kind of feedback have you personally been getting from the album?
It's been looking pretty good you know. It's hard to tell now coz at one time sales were really the barometer of how your record is doing, but now, globally people just aren’t paying for music at all. Theyre just not, so sales are not really an effective measuring stick for how youre selling anymore so you kind of have to rely more on what people are saying or the sort of sentiment out there and so far the sentiment has been really good.
That’s what I like to hear. Not that I was expecting you to say bad. Haha
Yeah, I cant say it's shit. That wouldn’t be a verty good interview. Haha
I know that with No Fixed Address you guys have really stayed with that classic Nickelback sound that is prominent on the other 7 albums. Does every member of the band take part in the creation of the songs, or does it tend to get dominated by one person in particular?
Well, a lot, if not all the songs are originally done by Chad and some of them are in different stages of completion, so if there's any creativity left to do, hahaha, you know... He's getting better and faster at this all the time but if there is anything that comes in that isn’t completed, which happens I would say the majority of the time, we get involved and we collaborate. Then we get to co-write and be part of the creative process and quality control process. There are other times when things come in “written” where someone other than Chad might go "Wow, that’s good but maybe we can do this" and you go through levels of improvement also. We all work on that level, but Chad is primary songwriter definitely, and a real creative force for sure.
I have to know personally, is he really OCD ridden? Hahaha
I wouldn’t necessarily say obsessive compulsive, but well... Maybe... Shit, I don’t know, but he's really distilled and refined his song writing style and it continues to distill and refine more and more. It changes scenery sometimes, but it always comes back to his skill set. He knows what he does best and we try to keep it in his warehouse so to speak. You know, he can sell. We tried some new styles on this record and some new ways and it was a little more challenging for him to explore other sorts of sounds and ways of getting the music out.
One Directions new album stopped No Fixed Address from debuting at number one on the Canadian charts and it broke your streak. How badly did that piss you off?
Not at all! After having a few rocks thrown at you, you start to realise that it's really easy to hate something because it's popular, but frankly, sadly, One Direction for some people... I mean for me it's great because they're kids who are making music, but they are the biggest thing in the world right now and we knew when we chose that day that their album was coming out the same day, and we new that #1 wasn't available because of it, hahaha. It didn’t really piss us off or upset us. I don’t think any of us had a rational thought that we were going to give them a run for their money. Theres just no way. The 1D movement is a very big and powerful strong thing and good on them! I don’t listen to their music but I love seeing people win and that’s one thing broadly that I think people just don’t like. It seems like people don’t like a winner these days and they're always trying to chop people down to size again when they win too much, but the 1D guys are killing it, the 5 Seconds Of Summer guys are killing it, so I think that’s awesome. I love to see people win.
I can understand that way of looking at it. I won't go to the wall defending that kind of music, but I will say it isn’t the same thing. It's difficult to compare the kind of music you like and that manufactured music. I personally don’t consider them to be the same thing. You know what I mean? It's like comparing English football and American football. They're both called football but theres nothing similar about them. So, take it easy on the boys hahahaha
Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t rag on them! I give them credit for what they do, but I would rather spend money to see a real band.
I respect that opinion entirely. I get it, I know what youre saying.
It's because you want to know they're feeling what they are playing. You don’t get that with manufactured music.
I can understand what you mean. You as listener is the most important part. You gotta feel it. The stuff I listen to, the people I listen to will never be wealthy from playing music, ever!! It's because of the level of conviction of the music that the people that im a fan of play. The level of conviction makes it inaccessible to the masses because it seems like……. There's 2 kinds of people I think. There's music fans, and theres everybody else. Music fans in my opinion are less than 10% of the music “market”. They're the ones seeking new music and digging around for undiscovered tracks of bands, finding artists that nobody has ever heard of before, then everybody else is 'pop'. I don’t think there's anything wrong with it, just most people don’t have enough room in their life to make music a big part of it. For a lot of people music is something you have in the background, not something you feel with your heart. It’s a kind of realisation I've had over the last couple of years. I started to realise that I have a lot of friends that aren’t in bands (normal people), they're not in the music industry, they're just people, they go to their jobs every day, they go to the gym, they're normal and you know, I was talking to a lot of those people about what kinds of music they like and they were basically telling me they like everything the top 40 plays because they feel like that’s whats 'now' and 'in' and frankly, they don’t have the time in their life to vent that shit, like 'hmm, do I like this?' - 'do I like that?' They're just taking what's being offered to them in a very readily and accessible way and accepting it, and liking it. Say what you want about the top 40 but its pleasing to be here.
Nickelback have been around for 20 years, you're smashing it wherever you go. What are some of the goals that Nickelback are yet to achieve as a band?
Whoa, that’s a difficult question to answer! We've never really been goal oriented. We haven’t set milestones for ourselves to “achieve”. Its been more like, we got together and decided to write and record some songs, so we went to the studio and recorded songs, that’s good! 'It would be cool if we could play some shows around town' - so yes we got to play some shows around town! Then it was 'Wow, it would be cool to play music for a living... Hmm that’s interesting!' Then we went on tour! Wow touring’s cool, then it's 'Wow, wouldn’t it be cool to get noticed internationally' and so on. There are these different levels of things and not to say there aren’t things left to accomplish, but we've never really been about identifying them until we kind of did them. We never really thought theres a sale plateau we have to hit or something. There have been a few cool shows that we played but just getting to be able to play music for a living and travel around the world and do it for people who appreciate it is incredible. Im not trying to sidestep the question, it's just that we are gonna keep doing what we are doing and keep enjoying it and whatever sort of signposts come and go, well, so be it. That’s just icing on the cake I suppose.
What do you have to say to those people who think it's trendy to hate Nickelback?
I think it's trendy to hate anybody that’s winning. I don’t even know if we're winning, but when you look at all the people who are the 'popular to hate on' people, they're people who are actually kind of dominant in their field. I think you could easily connect the dots on that. I guess that’s the answer, that’s just what happens when you win. People hate that. People hate winners hahaha
I love your attitude!!
Ahh fuck it man, I don’t care. I've been doing this long enough, I've been on the planet long enough, I don’t really sweat the small shit anymore.
Thankyou for speaking to lma. We look forward to seeing you in may.
Well, you might see some purple smiles on the stage that night hahaha
Nickelback will play at Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Monday 18th of May. Tickets are on sale NOW through HERE