After 18 months of touring behind last year's Silver Side Up, Nickelback can relax now that they're finally off the road.
For workaholics Chad Kroeger and company, however, sitting still may prove even harder than spending another year and a half on a cramped tour bus.
The Vancouver, British Columbia, quartet has already recorded three songs for its next album, the band's fourth. Never ones to go soft with their subject matter, the new tracks are just as weighty as those found on their predecessor. "Throw Yourself Away," for example, deals with a particularly nightmarish situation.
"There was the girl who went to her prom, and she was pregnant but barely showing," Kroeger said. "And nobody knew she was pregnant. They thought she gained a little bit of weight. She gave birth at the prom and threw the baby in the garbage and went right back out and continued on like there was nothing wrong. She got caught, thank God."
While still in its formative stages, Nickelback's new album should have something for everyone, said Kroeger, who revealed another title to be "Figure You Out." They're ratcheting up the heavy — which they showed they were capable of when they evolved from 1996's Curb to 2000's The State — while also delving deeper emotionally.
"We branch off in different directions," he explained. "We're truly trying to please most of the people most of the time."
The long nights on the road also gave rise to a cover of Elton John's "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)," which features some unlikely collaborators in the form of Kid Rock and Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell. With their busy schedules, the song was more of a "virtual" collaboration than a conventional one, since the three parties never actually shared studio space but e-mailed music files back and forth, tweaking the passed-along project with ProTools.
"It's a heavy song," Kroeger said of the tune, which he doesn't expect to appear on the new album. "We're tuning down to Z, and we're just grinding. We're both just screaming our balls off."
The versatile Kroeger also said he's got a previously recorded song he intends to donate to, of all people, country singer Faith Hill.
"I'm going to send it to her, and if she doesn't want it, she can walk down the hall to [husband] Tim McGraw," he joked.
With the momentum of having sold more than 4.4 million copies of Silver Side Up in the U.S., Nickelback don't plan on slowing down anytime soon. If anything, Kroeger is liable to work even harder during the supposed downtime, thanks to his perceived inability to say no.
"Nickelback are going to put out another album and we're just going to keep doing what we're doing," he said. "Anytime someone says we should get together and do a song together, I don't take another drink of my beer and go, 'Yeah, yeah, we should.' I take it seriously and I follow up, and that's why these things come to fruition."
Before Nickelback get their wheels in motion, however, they'll make up seven concerts that were postponed in November due to guitarist Ryan Peake's illness.
Nickelback tour dates, according to Roadrunner Records:
- 1/17 - Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
- 1/18 - Jacksonville, FL @ Marquee Theatre
- 1/19 - Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
- 1/21 - New York, NY @ The World
- 1/22 - Boston, MA @ Avalon Ballroom
- 1/24 - Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
- 1/25 - Indianapolis, IN @ Murat Centre