How Nickelback Gave Me An Ulcer

NickelbackBack in early October, a bunch of us here at MTV News were sitting around a table in some conference room, discussing rock’s upcoming releases. We decided that, because they’re beloved by countless millions, we’d do something special around the release of Nickelback’s new one, Dark Horse, which hit stores today.

What, oh what, could we do with Nickelback that hadn’t been done already? We wanted to stay away from doing a standard interview about the album, what inspired it and what it was like to work on it. So we decided we wanted to do something a little more unique, and a lot more amusing, with our favorite Canadian rockers, who are signed to Roadrunner Records.

At first, we wanted to do something manly, like shoot off AK-47s with the band in some remote wooded location. Perhaps we could unload entire clips into great big pumpkins. That would be a cool visual and would get us out of the office, at the very least. And we figured Chad Kroeger and the gang would be down. They seem like the shooting types. But that idea fell through. I can’t remember if it came from us or the band’s management, but it was nixed and we had to think of something else.

We then decided it would be cool to go test-drive high-end cars with Kroeger — you know, Lamborghinis, Porsches and Ferraris. The band was coming to New York, and we thought we’d just show up to a showroom, toss down Chad’s AMEX card and go take a few cars for a spin along the West Side Highway. That idea seemed solid, until it was brought to our attention that Chad can’t drive — legally, anyway. Seems it has something to do with a recent DUI incident up north, but we won’t go into that here.

We were 0-for-2, and it dawned on us that maybe this wouldn’t be the easiest thing to pull together. We liked incorporating pumpkins into the shoot (not like there are pumpkins all over the place any other time of the year), so we pitched Nickelback this idea: We’ll tape the interview in one of the MTV building’s kitchens, and the guys in the band can carve pumpkins with us, just in time for Halloween. Nickelback weren’t too keen on that idea.

Eventually, getting increasingly annoyed by the whole situation, we decided we’d fly up to Canada and do the interview in Kroeger’s humongous pad (if you’ve ever seen his episode of “Cribs,” you know the dude’s got a spread-and-a-half). Only, during the interview, I would interrupt Kroeger intermittently to ask if I could borrow something of his, be it a painting on the wall or the roll of toilet paper in his bathroom. We’d just walk through the house, and every once in a while, I’d point to something and say, “Chad, can I borrow this?” That was my idea, and needless to say, we didn’t end up doing that either — not because of the idea itself, but because, a few days before the flight, Chad decided to take a vacation.

So, ultimately, after all these ideas were passed over or fell through, we ended up doing the interview in a bar in West Hollywood. No fancy cars, no pumpkins — just Nickelback, a camera and a bunch of alcohol. Sometimes, that’s all you really need.