Who the #@%! Are...Nickelback?

By Tom Sinclair
Updated October 26, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
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BAND NAME Nickelback

LATEST ALBUM Silver Side Up

WHY YOU’VE NOTICED THEM Their catchy smash single ”How You Remind Me”

HOW THEY’D DESCRIBE THEIR SOUND IF THEY WERE MUSIC CRITICS ”Rock & roll,” says singer-guitarist Chad Kroeger. (The others are guitarist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger, and drummer Ryan ”Nik” Vikedal.) ”Some people call it alternative rock, some call it this, that, or the other, but to us it’s just straight-up rock & roll.”

HOW WE DESCRIBE THEIR SOUND Meat-and-potatoes hard rock that splits the difference between Led Zeppelin and Hootie & the Blowfish.

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC Fifteen-year-olds who find Stone Temple Pilots too arty.

FASHION SENSE Old Navy

TRIUMPHANT TALE OF HOW THEY BEAT THE ODDS The Vancouver-based quartet formed five years ago with dreams of conquering America (”the big cookie,” Kroeger calls it). Things began to jell when they signed with Roadrunner Records, which released their U.S. debut album, The State, in 2000. The follow-up, Silver Side Up, landed in Billboard’s top 10 (where it still resides).

IF THEY WERE A BREAKFAST CEREAL THEY WOULD BE…Canadian Crunchies

STOCK QUOTE ON THE PITFALLS OF FAME ”We’re dealing with the fame thing pretty well,” says Kroeger. ”The whole Kurt Cobain syndrome where you get so big and so rich and so famous so fast you can’t deal with it — I don’t think that’s gonna happen to any of us. We’re pretty stable.”

LEAD SINGER’S INSTANT CHARISMA RATING (Out of a possible 5) 2

FUNKY FACT Thanks partly to DJs’ slipshod enunciation, some people thought the band’s name was Nickel Bag. ”That started to disappear after we went top 10,” says Kroeger. ”Once we carved out our own identity, it was, ‘Oh — Nickelback. Gotcha.”’

ALBUMS THAT NEVER LEAVE THEIR CD PLAYER Big Wreck’s The Pleasure and the Greed, Alison Krauss & Union Station’s New Favorite, and anything by Bob Marley & the Wailers.

WHAT’S NEXT A headlining tour with other up-and-comers Saliva and Default kicks off in November.

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