There are few bands that are more polarising than Nickelback. Immensely successful, the band has produced nine albums, sold over 50 million records yet are one of the most loathed bands on the planet. “Yeah loathed is probably a good word”, says bassist Mike Kroeger when we spoke to him recently. “I don’t really understand why, but everyone is entitled to their opinion, we just laugh it off and don’t take it too seriously.”
But with the hatred comes the love of adoring fans the world over, particularly in Australia and the feeling seems to be a mutual one. “The guys and I love Australia – they’re such a fun culture. I love Australian fans… they have so much energy and are some of the best in the world,” says Mike. “I could see myself living in Australia.”
Despite being in one of the biggest bands in the world (regardless of what your opinion of them may be), Kroeger, the younger brother of lead singer Chad Kroeger, prefers family and vegan life over celebrity. “I leave the rock star life to Chad”, laughs Mike. “I like to spend time with my family and stay healthy. I’ve just become a vegan and am really enjoying getting eight hours of sleep in a night – so it’ll be a different tour [for me] from the others.”
Nickelback return to Australian shores for the first time in three year, in support of their ninth album ‘Feed the Machine’ supported by breakthrough US band, Bad Wolves. It’s bittersweet for fans as the band will perform only three dates, with Mike citing the ‘scarcity’ of the shows being important to ensure that the band are able to give fans something ‘special’.
“I think all of us would love to do a metal album…”
“It’s difficult because it depends on what our schedule is and what stadiums we can get”, says Mike. “The bigger that we have become as a band, the larger stadium we need and they’re not always available. So we decided to make the tour small, focussing on our real fans and putting on a great performance for them.”
‘Feed the Machine’ has all the hallmarks of a Nickelback album – catchy lyrics, thumping guitar riffs and Chad’s gravelly vocals, all combine to create a kick ass album. And while the direction is similar to the bands previous albums, there’s a definite heavier vibe to many of the songs – something that Kroger would like to explore more of.
“I think all of us would love to do a metal album – something that pays tribute to the likes of Metallica and Megadeath. That’s something I would love to do,” comments Mike.
Inevitably, the question when a band tours its album is how much of the old material will get some play time. When asked about if they ever considered retiring their biggest hit How You Remind Me Mike says: “we have talked about it before and thought about it for like a nano-second but then we dismiss the idea. We’re very proud of that sound and for all it has given us, but we know that it’s something the fans want to hear. They’re the ones buying the tickets, paying their money and as long as they want to hear it – we’ll play it,” finishes Mike.
Nickelback will be embarking on a three-date tour starting on the Wed 13th Feb. See Full tour dates below.
Feed The Machine Tour – Australia 2019
– All Ages Shows –
BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 13
QUDOS BANK ARENA, SYDNEY
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 15
ROD LAVER ARENA, MELBOURNE
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 16
For complete tour, ticket and VIP Experience information, visit: livenation.com.au.