What could be more passé than ragging on Nickelback?
So two things happened early this week; filmmaker Tony Scott threw himself from a bridge in California, and Nickelback released a goofy video for “Trying Not to Love You”, starring Jason Alexander as a barista or two.
The first event prompted a tsunami of Twitter grief (the lowest form of tribute, but that’s another column), and a kind of flash-revisionism regarding Scott’s career (sorry, wasn’t a fan, to say the least).
Then, a couple of hours later, we were engulfed in the day’s second wave of Tweet-orrhea, this time over everybody’s favourite four-man punching bag, Nickelback. Which led, in turn, to any number of florid online and hard-copy exercises in Nickelback hate (the lowest form of professional trolling, but that’s another column.)
No, wait, that’s this column. As Jerry Seinfeld might ask, “What’s the deal with that Nickelback video?” Perhaps you can shed some light, Jonathan Simkin?
“I think it was one of those things that grew out of a brainstorming session between the band and the director,” explains the 604 Records head, calling the Straight as he accompanies Carly Rae Jepsen on her empire-building activities along the east coast. “That was one of the names that got tossed around and everyone went, ‘Hey! If he’s into it, that’s great!’”
So, given the somewhat insane level of hostility prompted by the results, what’s the feeling on the other side of the Nickelback flame-wall? Simkin isn’t blowing smoke when he says, “It’s an easy target, it’s boring, and it’s lazy.” But does it hurt?
“I think everybody on the team stopped caring about that stuff about 30 million records ago,” he says, pointing to the Funny or Die clip the band made after last year’s Detroit Lions shitstorm. “Nickelback cares very much about their fans, but these people aren’t fans. They’re people who love hating Nickelback. And hey! To each his own. It’s a democracy, that’s fine. But I’m kind of bemused that here the band goes and does a kinda goofy video, shows yet again that they’re not taking themselves so seriously, and they still can’t get a break.”
There you go, people. The message board is open. Just bear in mind, as Simkin asks, “What could be more passé than ragging on Nickelback?”