JUST as James Blunt has turned the troll tide on Twitter, so have those polarising Canadian rockers Nickelback scored respect for their social media shade.
If their 50 million albums and eight million ticket sales weren’t enough of an in-your-face reply to the haters, Nickelback have been serving up some excellent sledges to those who use their name in vain on Twitter in recent years.
As Nickelback’s February tour of Australia goes on sale this week, the band’s cofounder Mike Kroger said the band’s “zany sense of humour” prompted them to take on the detractors.
“I think because of all the love songs, our ballads, people thought we took ourselves seriously,” Kroger said.
“We’ll post the odd Nickelback joke that’s funny.”
Kroger’s favourite exchange to blow up the internet was last year’s stoush with Arnold Schwarzenegger when the actor and former politician invoked the rockers to sledge President Donald Trump’s approval rating.
“When Congress is less popular than herpes & Nickelback, how do 97% of them get re-elected? Gerrymandering,” Schwarzenegger posted.
The band hit back with a sick burn — after declaring themselves big fans of the Terminator — by invoking his role as Mr Freeze in the critically slammed Batman and Robin film.
“Approval rate this: Batman & Robin. Please leave us out of your future wisdom drops. Danke Shön Herr Governator,” they posted.
Arnie responded playfully with “That’s … ice cold” and the duelling celebrities hugged it out online.
That’s… ice cold. I hope we can agree that we need a freeze on gerrymandering, guys. Thanks for the reply.— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger)
Kroger said the vehement opposition to their continued existence helped to stoke the fan fires between albums. A 14-year-old video of them covering Metallica’s Sad But True at a festival went viral again last month with even the haters expressing begrudging respect for Nickelback’s impressive version.
Their ninth studio record, ironically titled Feed The Machine, debuted in the top 3 of the ARIA charts here last year.
“Not only do the haters galvanise the love of our fans but they keep us relevant at times when we are off the radar and not doing anything at all,” Kroger said.
Kroger and his bandmates, brother and frontman Chad, guitarist Ryan Peake and drummer Daniel Adair, prefer to spread the love on social media, more often responding with thanks to their fans than hate to their detractors.
They are also classy when it comes to supporting fellow Canadian superstar Avril Lavigne, three years after she split from Chad, recently retweeting her posts about her comeback single Head Above Water.
Both artists are now on the same label, BMG and Lavigne publicly defended the band when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg used them for a punchline last year.
“She is Chad’s ex-wife and they were together on a whole other level beyond the music business. They wrote together and he co-produced some of her stuff but there’s a level of attachment there that means you help each other,” Kroger said.
News of their Australian tour did prove upsetting to an entire block of their fans here with Nickelback only booking east coast arenas for their return.
Kroger said the band had braced themselves for the outrage from their Perth and Adelaide fans and offered their most sincere apologies that dates couldn’t be scheduled for shows in those cities.
“We did not want to exclude Perth and Adelaide … There’s nothing we can say to take the edge off (their disappointment) besides offering to provide airline vouchers?” Kroger said. He was joking so don’t hit them up for airfares to the east coast, Perth and Adelaide.
With Kroger quitting drinking last year and now in the throes of weaning himself off a caffeine addiction which kicked off decades ago when he worked at Starbucks, the musician said it was probably wise he was avoiding two of his favourite cities.
“It will keep me away from the Barossa Valley and Margaret River when I’m trying to be sober,” he said.
Tickets go on sale from 9am on October 11 or their concerts at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on February 13, Qudos Bank Arena on February 15 and Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on February 16.