I recently heard a Nickelback song on the radio which reminded me of them doing some concert and the whole thing going viral. People were planning to boycott their concert.

What was/is the reason so many people dislike(d) the band? I cannot imagine it being just because of their music. I mean, in my opinion it isn't great, but I've heard worse …

Did it perhaps have something to do with one or more of the band members being unsympathetic? I'm very curious what the whole thing was all about.

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    The majority of the time there is a noticable arc of a band like Nickelback; people love them, they become popular, comedians/Late Night show hosts take potshots at them, they become hated for their popularity. Nickelback write some insanely catchy hooks. The only negative press I've ever seen on them was when their agent booked them into some Swedish Black Metal festival or something, and they literally got pelted with rocks by the audience. In an interview, their singer said he didn't blame the audience because he knew the band didn't belong at that festival.
    – Johnny Bones
    May 21, 2015 at 13:37
  • Back when I listened to rock on the radio in the late 90s, I remember thinking that their music sounded very formulaic. May 21, 2015 at 15:41
  • Why does everyone hate Arby's? Because it's fun.
    – DA.
    May 21, 2015 at 16:06

4 Answers 4


It has probably more to do with them being so sympathetic. Their music could also be considered quite bland, and as stated, formulaic. Their songs are quite heavily in rotation, you will hear them at different occasions when you did not choose to. Being spoon fed stuff that is mildly annoying will amplify the negativity. Then, as usual, add the internet and people's emotions run even higher.

They are very big, and in many ears they are not doing anything mindblowing. They are so hated due to being so popular, similar to J. Bieber or any of the other artists people love to hate.

  • And also the singer's face has something that makes you angry with him. I can't explain what but it does.
    – papakias
    Jun 7, 2016 at 12:50

Personally, I think of them as being popular despite sloppy, lazy songcraft (poor rhymes, uninspired lyrics, etc.) due largely to their bland, commercial aesthetic.

It's not either their popularity or their sloppiness alone that is galling, it's the combination. Like WalMart or McDonalds, they attract hatred because of a cultural presence that is completely out of proportion to the quality of their product.


Nickelback were signed to Roadrunner Records early on in their career. This label is more often associated with heavy metal and hard rock and, generally speaking, Nickelback foster a tougher image than their music actually delivers.


One of the reasons often cited for hatred of Nickelback is that their music is formulaic and over-produced. I don't mind them at all, as you say, there is a LOT worse out there.

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