Nickelback, often labeled both a global sensation and one of the most lambasted rock bands, finally confronts years of unending jests and jeers in a compelling new documentary titled "Hate to Love: Nickelback." Debuted at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, the film offers a candid look into the band's tumultuous journey and the personal impact of relentless public criticism.
Ryan Peake, a core member, reminisces, "Starting out, no one dreams of becoming the world's most criticized band." The depth of the negativity wasn't lost on their loved ones either. In a touching segment, Peake's children speak about the backlash, with Dax, his son, commenting, "If the world despised the band, they despised us too."
Nickelback's Raw Emotional Reveal
The documentary sheds light on the stark reality the Canadian rockers faced, from innumerable online memes poking fun at everything – from their tracks to Chad Kroeger's hairstyle – to the visible distress the ridicule caused the band members.
Mike Kroeger, Chad's brother, admits that Chad possesses a "sensitive side," and the initial scorn was particularly hard-hitting. Recalling a particularly disturbing incident, drummer Daniel Adair shares an episode of Chad's visible distress backstage during a tour.
He also mentions personal encounters where people unashamedly expressed their disdain, shouting obscenities from passing cars. Present at the premiere, the Nickelback members - Ryan Peake, Daniel Adair, Chad Kroeger, and Mike Kroeger - appeared unified.
Reflecting on the criticism, Mike suggested that perhaps their lighter, simpler lyrics drew some of the flak. However, he defends their tracks, asserting that "sometimes, listeners just want uncomplicated tunes on the radio." Chad's final take in the documentary is emphatic: "I play Nickelback songs for our loyal fans.
I don't intend to convert the critics." Directed by the talented Leigh Brooks, "Hate to Love: Nickelback" delves beyond the hate, exploring the band's meteoric ascent from humble Canadian stages to jam-packed global arenas.
The film poignantly covers various challenges, from former member Ryan Vikedal's exit, Mike's near-death experience, to Adair's harrowing battle with a grave neurological disorder.