Crowned Rock Group of the Decade by Billboard, Nickelback has been a force to be reckoned with since bursting onto the worldwide charts with their 2001 debut smash "How You Remind Me" - certified by Billboard as "Top Rock Song of the Decade" and "Most Played Song of the Decade" by Neilsen SoundScan - from their eight-times platinum album Silver Side Up. Thirteen years, and 23 chart-topping singles later -- including such indelible classics like "Photograph", "Savin' Me", "Far Away", "Someday" and "Rockstar" -- only Nickelback has remained rock-steady during the most turbulent periods in the recording industry. And true to form, the Vancouver-based quartet has beaten the odds with their hotly-anticipated and distinctive eighth studio album No Fixed Address, a title which offers a clue to the band's enduring longevity, relevance and allure for millions of fans around the world.
On the surface, the aptly-named No Fixed Address is a sly reference to the band's globe-trotting expeditions to nearly a dozen different cities in writing and recording their triumphant follow-up to 2011's platinum-selling Here and Now. From such locales as Zurich, Göteborg, London, Surrey, Copenhagen, Vancouver, Berlin, Kapalua, Toronto, Los Angeles and Budapest, the over year-long endeavor proved a long realized dream for the band. "Rather than being locked in a studio for months and months on end, I really wanted us to get out and fully experience a bunch of different places," reveals Mike Kroeger. "Whether a tropical island, a hotel room in Italy or Sweden, or rented houses around the world, it really does change the way you work. We went everywhere to compose and record these songs. From the culture, the food, the surroundings or even the weather - the vastly different vibes have a huge impact on your frame of mind and greatly enriches the music."
Consequently, No Fixed Address traverses a sonic spectrum with pulsating vigor and innovation reflected throughout the diversity of the album's 11 tracks, each embodying the much-loved Nickelback sound propelled to tantalizing and unique new levels. While continuing to lure a broad spectrum of listeners into the trademark Nickelback party-brew of fast-lane indulgences and soaring power ballads, No Fixed Address ultimately proves an equally befitting title for its inspired and boundary-pushing musical map."I think we're very lucky because from the beginning, we never painted ourselves into a corner of saying we're only going to make one kind of music," reflects Chad Kroeger, who along with brother Mike began scouting future recording destinations during the band's massively successful two-year Here and Now world tour -- which took them everywhere from North America, Russia, South Africa, Australia, Brazil and all points in between -- to help weave a myriad of new textures throughout the soundscape of No Fixed Address.
"As a result," continues Kroeger, "we're able to produce a variety of different songs that get accepted by our fans. And that's fantastic, because that means there's always going to be a ton of diversity on all our records. So even while we've gone to different places on our albums, and especially now on No Fixed Address, we've always had to make sure it's still somehow in the language of Nickelback."
United in that core conviction is also the Kroeger's faithful friend and bandmate since junior high school Ryan Peake, who recalls their band's early days of defying musical trends to carve out their own niche in that once-predominant era of grunge rock that quickly faded into disposable synthetic pop by the early 2000s. "When you fashion yourself after musical fads, you'll find out you're yesterday's news in a couple years," notes Peake, whose early influences as a guitar prodigy was largely informed from his father's eclectic vinyl collection. "Suddenly, you wake up one day and find out you've completely pigeon-holed yourself. But when you're honest in what you do and concentrate on the songwriting, people will follow you. Fortunately, we have such a well-rounded fan base. And in these days of extreme ups and downs and cyclical musical movements, our fans have always stuck by us.
"Because at the end of the day," adds Peake, "people just really like hearing good songs, plain and simple. They like to feel good, whether they're singing along or just listening to it. It's something innate in all of us."
It's Nickelback's beloved universal tongue - cunning linguistics delivered with a devilish wink and a smile - crafted with unforgettable and highly-melodic hooks and epic choruses that have consistently blazed a trail atop both the rock and pop charts, all the while blowing roofs off stadiums with their fist-pumping rock anthems and pyromaniacal stage spectaculars across virtually every continent. But while most bands of such rarified global stature are content to merely rest on their catalogue of beloved greatest hits, Nickelback is continuously revving to top themselves. It's an inherent work ethic honed by these humble small-town boys from Hanna, Alberta who spent their early years driving themselves town-to-town across rural Canada in a busted old van playing tiny clubs for what seemed the princely sum of $300 per week and some free beer. Despite now playing to 35,000 adoring and rabid fans per night for well over a decade, Nickelback's long road to superstardom definitely hasn't quelled their creative compulsion. "Because we know very consciously what we've done in the past and where that bar has been set," relates Chad Kroeger, "and you can phone it in - that's very easy to do at this point - but our fans will know that immediately. So every time we go into the studio, it's about making our fans happy and hearing them say that it's not only a record they love, but that it's a Nickelback record that they love amongst all the other Nickelback records. That's what we strive for every single time."
Undeniably, the band has hit another home run with No Fixed Address, which strikes all the right power chords as they once again prove their uncanny knack for shaking rock & roll to its very core while surfing the Zeitgeist. Their electrifying and galvanizing first single "Edge of a Revolution" is the band's fiercely-charged protest anthem that jolts awake a bygone era of rock music as the once preeminent voice of dissent and protest. With such ripped-from-the headline lyrics as "Hey! Hey! Just Obey! Your secret's safe with the NSA" and "In God we trust or the CIA?", "Edge of a Revolution" boldly serves as a
battle cry against the steadily pervasive political, social and financial subjugation worldwide. "Wall Street / Common thief / When they get caught / They all go free / A brand new yacht and a finders fee" growls Chad Kroeger as he soars into leading a fist-pumping chorus of chants: "What do we want? We want change! And how we going to get there? REVOLUTION!" Complete with LA director Wayne Isham's Orwellian counter-culture video, Nickelback's incendiary chart-topper is yet further testament that rock & roll is definitely not dead.
Explains Peake: "Obviously we'll never get confused with a political band, but people are just so pissed off with what's going on around them that if there is some organized and peaceful civil disobedience against things that are criminal and unfair, I don't see a problem with that. This song is ultimately positive but also, more importantly, begging for people to participate. 'Edge of a Revolution' has a lot more teeth than anything we've ever done before. I'm really proud of it...[and] at this point in our career, I think it's a good time to stick our necks out."
Yet for every raucous "Revolution" there's an equally harmonious "Satellite", a highly melodic and soulful ballad that crosses the musical scope of No Fixed Address as one of the album's most poignant singles. "Let us dance around this bedroom like tonight's our only night" croons Chad Kroeger, reflecting his softer side in further testament to Nickelback's wide appeal in both rock and pop formats in an ever-increasingly fractured music scene. Even Nickelback's follow-up single to "Edge of a Revolution" is the epic uptempo pop-fusion "What Are You Waiting For?", a distinctly-crafted "painstaking labor of love" according to Kroeger, a song which challenged the band both in its musical evolution and sonic complexity that Mike Kroeger proudly calls "the most satisfying" single on No Fixed Address. "It took us to places we had never gone before," states Kroeger, "and that's ultimately what remains most important to us."
But Nickelback has always defied conventional norms and marched to the beat of their own drum. Call it wisdom or stubbornness, but the band's tenacity has paid off in droves, as evidenced, once again, by No Fixed Address. Whether it's such scorching, pedal-to-the-metal rockers as "Million Miles An Hour", or the decidedly slick and funky grooves of "She Keeps Me Up", a danceable echo of Sly and the Family Stone that Ryan Peake cites as one of his personal favorites. "That song is just so left-field for us but was so much fun to write and play because it has such a different vibe from what we normally do," smiles Peake. "That song has really surprised a lot of people - including me!"