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  • Musicians can be spiteful, temperamental people.

    Came across this column in my local paper:

    Hicks: Rock snobs need to just shut up

    By Tony Hicks
    Contra Costa Times
    Posted: 01/04/2012 0100 AM PST

    Musicians can be spiteful, temperamental people. I know; I used to be one.

    Well, I was a drummer. To some people, that technically counts as being a musician. Not to guitarists or singers, but some people.

    Anyway, musicians are worse than 10-year-old girls when it comes to being mean to each other, like when someone once saw the ugly girl picking her nose in first grade and decides to tell everyone about it -- all through high school. But in this case, the ugly nose-picker is Nickelback.

    See? That was pretty mean, and I don't even play anymore.

    Not everyone's cool

    I feel mighty strange for defending the perpetually average Nickelback. But here goes: Patrick Carney, the drummer for the hipster-favorite band Black Keys, just came out and savaged poor Nickelback for no good reason in a Rolling Stone interview. He said rock 'n' roll is dying because Nickelback is the biggest band in the world, therefore the biggest band will always be known as a terrible band, which means no good bands (you know, like his) will try to become the biggest band in the world.

    Yes, rock is dying -- it has been practically since the day it was born. And the people saying so have always been the ones with a bone to pick with what's popular. And in the case of musicians, who can be an angry, jealous lot, the bigger point is often missed:

    You need Nickelback.

    I understand Carney's passion for good music
    -- like his band makes -- as well as his frustration with the music business, which for decades has emphasized profit over quality. But he can't just be noticing that now, can he?

    Good vs. big

    Rarely since the days when the Beatles were making nonsensical cartoons has there been much consensus on the relationship between what's good and what's commercially successful.

    That said, Nickelback's music is generally safe and full of hooks, just enough guitar, song structure and hair to qualify as "rock." People know what they're getting. So what? But because they sell a lot of records, most other musicians tend to hate them.

    So I get it. But people were piling on Nickelback a decade ago and it's terribly old. Besides, I think Carney is forgetting something very important about those who fancy themselves judges of good taste: Many, many people love the Black Keys because it doesn't sound like the biggest band in the world.

    The Nickelbacks of the world make it possible for the Black Keys to exist. Disco was necessary to the emergence of the Sex Pistols. Bon Jovi drove kids to Sonic Youth. If not for Warrant, we may never have heard of Nirvana.

    Ironically, without Nirvana, we may never have heard of Nickelback, which is considered to be little more than a bad Seattle knockoff. (In 2002, I reviewed Nickelback and compared them to a grunge Spinal Tap and wrote their sound should've died five years earlier. Not only was I a musician, but I also was a music critic -- a double whammy of pretension.)

    Musicians love to feel superior to other musicians. If a friend's band was better than mine, I wasn't happy for them. I wanted their success. We would all complain about how the other guys got the right breaks, or sold out, or whatever conveniently allowed us to forget that maybe we weren't good enough. I'm still whining. I practically carry around a list of excuses as to why I never made it.

    Carney doesn't need my excuses. He has thousands of fans -- and they all know that the Black Keys sound a lot better after listening to a couple of songs from the world's "biggest" bands.
    Original Music here on BandCamp

  • #2
    Good article. 'tanks.


    • #3
      This just in: It has been determined that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

      I'm teasing. It's a good article and it's true. We see it everywhere including here, where everyone bags on those Top 40 pop songs as being the worst crap ever written, without acknowledging how extremely difficult it is to write a song trendy and catchy enough for the top 40. And Nickelback is everyone's favorite punching bag. I find their music to be terrible, but I'm not their target audience, and that's totally fine.
      Richard MacLemale
      My Website at www.richardmac.com


      • #4
        Not bad, but I don't think it's always a bad thing when a band slags off another band's music. There desperately needs to be more competition in modern music and people can't deny that they love getting the popcorn out and watching a good barney.
        Do you need live drum tracks? http://www.drumtracksdirect.co.uk/


        • #5
          So some guy writes an article saying how wrong it is to rip on Nickelback, while also ripping on Nickelback. Clever.

          Nickelback has long been a source of fascination for me. Not because of their music, but just how they do what they do, and their place in popular music. The fact that millions buy their records while so many people claim to hate them (at a time when hardly anyone is still buying records at all) is an amazing feat in itself. But also, just for how shrewd they are as businessmen…and what an unconventional stance they take for a rock ‘n roll band…they have no pretensions to try and make “art”…and that approach has paid off nicely for them. It’s an interesting case study in how far a band or artist can get by sticking to a formula and catering to one’s audience. When they got their first big radio hit, they went into the studio and made another three just like it. Yes, most of their songs are interchangeable, but that’s actually plus for corporate radio playlists…Nickelback figured out the system early on…they knew as long as it had the familiar sound of a well-known band, radio would play it. Funny that Motown used to do the exact same thing, and they are considered representative of a “golden-age” in popular music. Yet Nickelback does it and they’re considered hacks.

          They do seem to get a lot more hate than other bands doing the same thing (you don’t see so many people hating on Daughtry for instance), and I think it mostly has to do with their lyrics. They could be the nicest guys in the world in real life, but their songs are mostly about drinking, fighting, bragging about sex, and disparaging women...in short, they sound like angry, obnoxious jerks, to the point where it makes it very hard to root for them. But still, I think popular music would be a little less interesting if they didn’t exist.


          • #6
            I think you could rewrite the article madlibs style.

            [person involved in endeavor] can be spiteful, temperamental people.

            Scuba diving, motorcycle racing, dog training, ballet, golf, fiction writing, child rearing, cooking


            • #7
              "Musicians can be spiteful, temperamental people. "

              Yeah. They can insist that anyone that owns a brand of guitar THEY don't approve of doesn't have a "serious instrument" and preach on and on and on about it.


              • #8
                Here's my view: Nickelback make hit records. Black Keys want to make hit records but can't. So they call what they do art instead. I think what Nickelback does is more honest.

                I like the Keys though. They have two good songs. Both of which, as it happens, were near-hits. But the Keys are a monster band. Those two guys can make some noise. Had they come out in the 70s they woulda been huge. But there's a decdent market for bands that come out today that woulda been huge in the 70s. It's cornered by like, two bands at a time. When White STripes quit, the Black Keys gotta chance to win some eyeballs. That's how small and insignificant that audience is. One or two bands at a time, thank you. But if you can win that audience - god bless you, man.

                Nickelback is happy with, you know, everybody else with a passing interest in rock. But really. **************** rock. Rock is dead. Both bands are poseurs going through the motions of a style of music that atrophied a decade ago.
                Correction - "max is wrong, abrasive and, likely, a felon"

                finally found it ... the dumbest person on the internet. matximus.


                • #9
                  Well one major flaw with that article...

                  But because they sell a lot of records, most other musicians tend to hate them.

                  I don't know of a single musician, from local bar weekend warrior, to some close friends in platinum-selling acts, who hates or otherwise dislikes Nickleback because they sell a lot of records.

                  Nickleback gets a lot of hate from those people and myself because they are a boringly generic (and/or generically boring), self-derivative, bland, vanilla, uncreative act. They epitomize 'middle of the road'.

                  I realize there are many people who do not feel that way about them, and that's fine: I wouldn't aim to change their minds/tastes.

                  But the author of that article got it completely wrong about why people don't like them.
                  For cripe's sake, somebody buy that kid a freaking DICTIONARY already!


                  • #10
                    BWHAHAHAHAHA Oh yes they can!!! Not to mention childish, flakey, delsuional, immature, selfish, egotisitical, conniving, cowardly, completly unable to engage in any kind of confrontation WHATSOEVER (i.e. talk **************** behind someone's back but nebver to their face) and completely feminine. I hate to come off like Captain Bringdown and the Buzzkills but the whole reason I gave up the whole band thing and playing with other musos at all was because with the exception of ONE, EVERY SINGLE MUSO I EVER MET fit the above descriptions I gave to a tee, obviously some were way worse than others, but they all had all of the above traits, and every single one of them were hands down some of if not THE worst excuses for men (or even human ****************ing beings, at that) that you could even imagine.

                    And the Black Keys talking **************** about Nickelback is the ULTIMATE example of the old adage "the pot calling the kettle black" LOL
                    Originally Posted by co&cafan808

                    chevybusa ****************in delivers the lulz!!!

                    Using and abusing Reason 4.0 (with tons of ReFills) and Logic 9 (with tons of soft synths, VSTi's and plug-ins)
                    a Yamaha S80 (with 2 FC7's, an FC5, an FC3, and a BC3a) and a Behringer BCR2000
                    a 4GB 2.53GHz Intel Core Duo Mac Mini
                    AKG K77 headphones or M-Audio BX5a Deluxe monitors.

                    Originally Posted by OldGuitarPlayer

                    Ahhh...John Cage. The ultimate troll.

                    Originally Posted by Anderton

                    Just remember...machines don't kill music, people do.


                    • #11
                      you've never met me....so I will exclude myself from the larger group, thanks
                      "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

                      Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'
                      "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley


                      • #12
                        Musicians can be spiteful, temperamental people. I know; I used to be one.

                        lol, I wouldn't judge the veracity of that statement on one lesser known band's drummer's opinion of a commercially bland pop band.
                        My personal experience with other musicians & ex-bandmates is a far more accurate measuring stick.


                        • #13
                          For the record, the first time I heard "How You Remind Me," I thought it was brilliant, honestly. I've just heard it way too many times since then.
                          Richard MacLemale
                          My Website at www.richardmac.com


                          • #14
                            My reaction was exactly the opposite. I cringed every time it was on the radio back in 2001 (and it was on a LOT). I don't know what it was, but some songs just 'bug' me. That was one of them.

                            I had no clue Nickelback would still be making albums 11 years later...
                            (This is my Non-Signature.)


                            • #15
                              Well there's the thing with Nickelback, the songs are so well-crafted/recorded for radio and a mass audience, that you kick yourself every time you give in and think "damn, I actually liked this for a second".
                              Do you need live drum tracks? http://www.drumtracksdirect.co.uk/