No matter the comments about Nickelback by many fans, it is absolutely undeniable that they are one of the biggest Rock groups in history, and that they have made a huge name for themselves in the music industry. After blasting into the music scene in 1996 with ‘Curb’, and then further cementing themselves with their follow up album ‘The State’, Nickelback have been pushing themselves to the extremes of Alternative Rock and Heavy Metal to such an extent that they’re one of the highest selling band’s in recent history.
Now, 9 studio albums in and still selling out arena’s and stadiums all around the globe, the band has shown no signs of slowing down with the recent release of the ultimately boundary pushing record in the mainstream music media, ‘Feed the Machine’, Nickelback are gearing up to come back down to Australia with newcomers Bad Wolves in May, and we had the opportunity to chat with Mike Kroeger to discuss all things Nickelback, Australia, and the band’s dying excitement to return to our shores.
To begin, we had to delve into the band’s history to truly comprehend the gravity of their upcoming tour in Australia, playing venues such as Rod Laver Arena and Brisbane Entertainment Centre. “My brother , cousin and I were playing music together in 1995, along with Ryan Peake, and we decided to record a short 7 song EP titled ‘Hesher’ in 1995,” Mike began. “In the beginning of doing this sort of thing, you’re very much alone with little encouragement; you can’t tell if you’re winning the war or not, and it does get really hard.”
When it came to the band’s sophomore album ‘The State’, it’s only then that thing’s really started to catch fire for the Canadian quartet. “We did our first album ‘The Curb’ with Roadrunner, and it did okay, I don’t think the label made money, but the label invested even more into our second record in hopes that we’d get huge, but even in those days, it was a really risky and dumb idea,” Mike joked. “Roadrunner Records invested a fortune into our ‘The State’, and while it was such a risk, they were rewarded, with the label and us both being pleasantly surprised, and that was really when we started to catch fire.”
Nickelback are no strangers to our Australian shores however, having performed numerous tours in our country in the past, as well as truly experiencing our many various cultures and way of life. “The people in Australia have been really great to us every single time we come there. I feel that we sometimes let the country down, as we don’t come down there very often,” Mike proclaimed. “I kind of have my own skewed version of the country, only truly going down there for tours, but every time we come down we always aim to bring the best show we could possibly give.”
Considering the band’s ventures to the land down under are fairly rare, yet consistent, there’s a lot about Australia that Mike and the rest of Nickelback truly miss. “The alcoholic festivities have always been such a good time down there, everyone goes absolutely nuts.” Whilst Mike may be joking, it’s undeniable that we have a very unique take on drinking. “Unfortunately, when we’re back down I won’t have much motivation; I’ve pretty much taken the life of the monk in the last week, I’ve recently become vegan as well so my main quests this time around will be to find some interesting restaurants.”
Last time Nickelback were down in Australia was 2014, and they brought down Rock enthusiast’s Monster Truck all the way from Canada, and this time around, they’re bringing down the ultimate newcomers, Bad Wolves; one of the most drastic changes in support groups for most bands, but a welcome change. “When Bad Wolves got brought up for our support slot, we weren’t really aware of the band at the time. They’re a band with such a heavy background, and essentially a supergroup in the underground metal scene. They were in the trenches, and like I said earlier, it’s difficult to tell how much progress you’ve made, and then they had that unfortunate situation with Delores and it makes for one of the most heartbreaking stories in recent history.”
Mike was definitely not wrong with that statement, being rocked with such a heartbreaking and devastating loss in the music industry was something that shocked fans and artists alike. “What’s great about Bad Wolves is that they were thrown into the deep end and their success was well beyond their control, but they managed to deal with their success in such a professional and interesting manner that brought them into our spotlight especially; they were able to draw more eyes in the music industry than most artists have been in recent years.”
Whilst Mike has only just adapted to the Vegan lifestyle, he’s already more than excited to visit all the Vegan hotspots that Australia has to offer. “I remember the last time I came to Aus around four years ago, I tried going out Vegan and it turned out really well; there’s so many options all around the country that you get lost, and it’s really wonderful to see!”
Mike didn’t really have the same good luck in Japan as he did in Australia when it came to his lifestyle meal options. “I must have been doing something really wrong in Japan, because I’ve never been in such a predicament with food, and by the end of the tour I was absolutely starving. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough!”
The venture down to Australia in May with Bad Wolves, is set to be such an incredible festive week, not just for the fans, but for the band as well. “We’re so incredibly excited to have the opportunity to come back, the Australian people and the crowds have never let us down! We’ve been a little bit of a problem child, because we don’t come there often enough, but hopefully we can all catch up, sink some beers and have a party of a week!”
Find tickets to the upcoming Nickelback ‘Feed the Machine’ 2019 Australian tour with Special Guests Bad Wolves HERE!