I strongly dislike the band Nickelback.*

I have been vocal about my distaste for the Canadian pop rock band for years, to the point it’s become a sort of defining characteristic for me. Some people know me as a passionate Nickelback hater in the same way they know me as a devoted Brand New adorer.

When something bad happens to Nickleback, or when a new meme disparaging the band hits the pop culture forefront, people let me know about it. When something positive happens to the band—like front man Chad Kroeger getting to marry the beautiful and vaguely talented Avril Lavigne—people alert me to that, too, I suppose in hopes that I will say something mean about the good fortune that has befallen a band member.

I often get an iteration of this question from people: “What do you have against Nickelback?”

The following is my definitive answer, in 12 parts:

  1. First and foremost, I do not enjoy their music at all. The band seems devoid of any musical talent—at least enough talent to become famous. Their songs are not difficult to play, and their lyrics are so basic it’s absurd. Google the lyrics for “Photograph” right now if you don’t believe me. Better yet, just click the link. I just saved you three seconds, son.
  2. Speaking of “Photograph,” it was the Knoch High School Class of 2006’s song, despite the fact that Ben Folds’ version of “Bitches Ain’t Shit” won as the result of a finely-organized vote bomb. Whenever I heard that song, I think about where I come from (which is never all that pleasant) and that sometimes VOTING DOESN’T MATTER AT ALL.
  3. No matter what he is singing about, Kroeger always sounds like he’s growling at you. It’s how I imagine myself to sound when I’m talking on the phone with someone while I’m trying to push out a not-so-soft deuce. It’s an unwelcome assault to the ears.
  4. I’m jealous of Nickelback like I am jealous of a lot of people who make money out the ass and are very famous without really being good at anything. Ditto Kim Kardashian.
  5. Kroeger gets to have sex with Lavigne on the regular. Again: my distaste is founded at least partially in jealousy.
  6. I cannot for the life of me figure out why they have had so many hits over the years. I’ve willingly listened to their music on occasion to try and figure it out, but the only conclusion I come to is that they have a very tangible record of awfulness.
  7. They fight back against their haters with really terrible Twitter comebacks. And they are rife with typos including a “your/you’re” mix up. It’s like they let George Lopez be their social media editor for a day, if George Lopez was also an inept speller.
  8. My little brother likes them, and I know instinctively to like the opposite of what he likes whenever it comes to music. (His favorite band is Simple Plan.)
  9. Their songs tend to sound the same. All of them.
  10. In 2002, I was absurdly excited for Spider-Man to come out. This excitement was somehow dampened by Kroeger, who sang the theme song “Hero” with Saliva’s Jody Scott. That song was everywhere that summer.
  11. They have a song called “Something In Your Mouth” that leads me to believe that they are misogynistic. Give it a listen or, to save yourself the annoying sounds, read the lyrics.
  12. It is cool to dislike Nickelback, and I desperately want to be cool. Not like “I drive a big truck and wear leather and have a goatee” cool, but like genuinely cool. If you align yourself against all things Nickelback, people will view you as someone who is not only not deaf, but is at least vaguely cultured and tasteful. Someday disliking Nickelback may jump the shark, and it will become cool to write things about how we should leave the poor guys alone. But I won’t read those stories.

*I don’t hate them. I hate the Westboro Baptist Church, terrorists, Nazis, and lima beans.

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