Industry News

Nickelback’s Revenge: ‘Hate to Love’ Doc Bows This Spring

Band behind 'How You Remind Me' learns to take serial hate in stride

No band wants to be a punchline.

Canadian rockers Nickelback earned that dubious honor, and the label stuck. It wasn’t for lack of success. The band scored several hit songs during the 2000s, including “How You Remind Me,” “Rockstar” and “Far Away.”

Then the pop culture tastemakers turned on the quartet.

That toxic shift is captured in “Hate to Love: Nickelback,” a documentary on the band that debuted at the Toronto Film Festival last year. The film will get a two-night global release March 27 and 30.

Hate To Love: Nickelback (Official Trailer)

“They were part of Cancel Culture before we had a name for it,” a voice says in the trailer.

That’s not necessarily accurate. 

The Grammy-nominated band wasn’t “canceled” for any perceived wrongdoing or “problematic” songs, although some whined over its hedonistic lyrics. By pop music standards, that’s hardly uncommon.

The band mostly suffered from seeming uncool in the eyes of enough music snobs and consumers. That’s the band’s crime, and “Hate to Love” purports to explain why.

Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger attempted to do the same in 2022.

“I think that because we write so many different kinds of music, I think that if you were listening to a radio station any time between 2000 and 2010, ’11, ’12 even, we were kind of tough to get away from,” he explained. “‘Cause if you didn’t wanna hear it and you changed to a different radio station, you’d probably hear it on there, and then changed to a different radio station, you probably were gonna hear it in so many different places. And we were really tough to get away from … but we became the whipping boy of the music industry for a while there. But whatever. It’s just part of the history of the band.”

Drummer Daniel Adair also put the band’s critics in perspective during a 2010 interview with Ultimate Guitar magazine.

“It used to bug me a lot more than it does now, but it just gives them power when you let it bug you. They can say what they want, but I’m just gonna do my thing, and I just try to keep my head in that kind of space.”

‘Hate to Love: Nickelback’ Shows Band’s Thick Skin

Artists have notoriously thin skins. Celebrities routinely lash out at random strangers on social media for their critical barbs. Some quit social media platforms after receiving negative feedback.

Others shriek over negative reviews. Comic actor Kumail Nanjiani sought out a therapist after his 2021 movie “Eternals” drew withering reviews.

Nickelback members grew thicker skins over the years. The band also refuses to call it a career. Instead, the musicians chose to open up about their curious fame via a tell-all documentary.

Success, as always, is the best revenge.

The band is actively promoting the new documentary on its official web site. Plus, its 2024 schedule features a globe-trotting tour. The rockers will visit Hawaii, England, Germany and Italy before the year ends.


  1. Nickelback is like the McDonald’s of rock: I can think of a lot of things I’d definitely prefer over it, but it’s fine if no better options present themselves. The hate is certainly just as overblown in both cases.

  2. As a Canadian, I can tell you that a lot of the backlash was over the fact that so many great Canadian bands that emerged from the late Eighties through the mid-Nineties went totally ignored by the general public outside our borders, even though some of them (Sloan, Pursuit of Happiness, Great Big Sea, The Tea Party) did gain stateside and overseas cult followings. Two other recent documentaries on Canadian musicians I recommend are I’m Going to Break Your Heart, about the enduring marriage between Chantal Kreviazuk and Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida, and July Talk: Love Lives Here about the Toronto band setting up a benefit concert in the middle of the pandemic.

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