Nickelback Party Hard, Get Deep On Here And Now
Band’s November 21 album kicks off with two wildly different singles, ‘When We Stand Together’ and ‘Bottoms Up.’
By James Montgomery
Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger
Photo: MTV News
Late last month, ahead of the release of their (sure to be colossal no matter what you think ) Here and Now album, Nickelback premiered a pair of singles — the pro-social “When We Stand Together” and the pro-party “Bottoms Up” — which seem to have only one thing in common: Nickelback wrote both of them.
After all, one’s a positively massive power ballad with lyrics like “Hand in hand forever/ That’s when we all win,” and the other is, well, basically about drinking every substance under the sun, a list that includes, but is not limited to: Jim Beam, Jack Daniel’s, Black-Tooth Grins — Dimebag certainly would’ve approved — and, of course, “straight gasoline.” You can probably guess which is which.
But if you think “Stand Together” and “Bottoms Up” represent a Nickelback veering in two wildly dissimilar directions, well, just wait until you hear the rest of Here and Now, as the band told MTV News earlier this week.
“I mean, it’s not Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall or something; it doesn’t have this theme. It’s more all over the map than those two [songs], for sure,” frontman Chad Kroeger explained. “Because, when you play a Nickelback show, I mean, there is every range of person that you could possibly imagine on the face of the earth [in the audience], and you couldn’t peg one on the street to save your life. I think we can all pick out a Slipknot fan, but it’s tough to pick out a Nickelback fan, because they’re all so different.”
And that was the challenge presented to the band on Now, which contains a whole lot of party-ready chuggers, plus a couple more, uh, conscious tunes, too. But though you’d think penning songs about global suffering would be tough for Kroeger and Co., well, you’d be wrong. Because, quite frankly, it’s writing the hard-charging, harder-drinking numbers that keeps the band up at night. After all, partying is something they take pretty seriously over at Nickelback H.Q.
“It’s a drinking anthem. I mean, it’s harder to write those songs than it is to write those social-awareness type songs, it really is,” Kroeger admitted. “Because for us, they’ve got to be good. Some of the stuff’s got to be a little tongue-in-cheek, there’s got to be some clever stuff there, you know, and you’ve got to be descriptive. But when you get done listening to it, you need to have the feeling of just wanting to grab a bottle of Jack. And I think we got there, because we’d bring friends over all the time and it was just like, ‘You are now a test subject! Hit play; turn it up nice and loud.’ And the song’s over and they’d be like, ‘I want to drink. I want to drink something right now.‘ And we were like ‘Yes!’ ”