An Interview with Nickelback
Nickelback have quickly gained a reputation for penning insightful, ubiquitous rock anthems, and have attracted loyal masses with their powerful and melodic message. After achieving breakthrough in their native Canada, their first album, The State, hit the top ten on the Mainstream Rock charts with "Breath" and "Leader of Men." "It was fantastic," enthused guitarist Ryan Peake. "The snowball effect of the album was phenomenal. We started doing well in Canada and then the buzz in the States took over. It totally went off the hook and was a great kickstart for us!" After touring ceaselessly for over 200 shows, the band had gone from virtual unknowns to playing in front of over a million people alongside the likes of Creed, 3 Doors Down, Fuel and more.
Silver Side Up, their 2002 follow-up release, went on to enjoy multi-platinum certification Silver Side Up saw singer Chad Kroeger write more personal, introspective lyrics that seem to have struck a note with their growing audience. Later, when the single "How You Remind Me" went on to gain a number one position on both the U.S. and Canadian charts, it was only the second time in history since the Guess Who's "American Woman" that a Canadian band hit the top of both those charts simultaneously. And their smash hit "Hero" from the Spiderman soundtrack has garnered them even more critical and popular acclaim.
Nickelback's overwhelming success is also due partly to their immense commitment to touring. Singer/guitarist Chad Kroeger, guitarist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger and drummer Ryan Vikedal have sustained a nearly constant schedule of live shows for the last few years. Mike explained, "We really just made our name by never turning down the opportunity to play a show. It didn't matter where it was or what the weather was like - we were there. I mean, we would go out in weather that was just nasty, load up the gear and go play." One piece of gear they have been glad to incorporate into their shows is the VOX Valvetronix AD120VT combo amplifier.
Apart from its many advanced effects, VOX Valvetronix offers an interesting advantage for a modeling amp: its underlying structure is so expertly designed, it turns out an effortless, great-sounding performance regardless of which tube amp it's modeling. Peake concurs, "I'm using it for the clean channel, which I really like. It's versatile and it sounds great. Very cool."
Chad Kroeger expounds, "I'm also using it for my clean tone. I've got my tech switching around and grabbing the many different effects that the amp offers while I'm playing. So he's switching to a lot of the stuff that's built right into the amp while I'm going through the set. I've found it really convenient to be able to get such a variety of tones and effects out of one amp."
Look for their new release soon and it's a certainty these road warriors will be coming to a stage near you.