Chad Kroeger believes in striking while the Nickel is hot.
In addition to writing the follow-up to Nickelback’s multiplatinum Silver Side Up, Kroeger is working with Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell and Kid Rock and writing for Faith Hill … yup, that Faith Hill.
The country-pop performer is apparently a big Nickelback fan and wanted Kroeger to write a song for her 2002 album, Cry, but her schedule got too tight so she never brought it up. Someone at her label did, though.
“I caught wind of this, and then I found out that she’s got a greatest-hits record coming out soon, [which will likely contain one or two new tracks],” Kroeger said. “So, right away I grabbed the acoustic and put pen to paper and tried to write a song for not only someone from another genre, but the opposite sex, which is really tough to do. I just tried to make it an honest-sounding song, and I’m sending that off to her right away.”
There’s no guarantee the song will make her album, but Kroeger is pretty sure that the version of Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” that he recorded with Dimebag and Kid Rock will wind up on the “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” soundtrack (see “Nickelback ’Fighting’ With Kid Rock On Elton John Cover” ).
Kroeger, who said he’s been a fan of the Elton classic since he was a kid, recorded most of the track on his own. Then, one night when he was in Dallas to hang out with Dime, he brought along the demo.
“We were driving and I slipped it in [the CD player] in his vehicle, and he just flipped,” Kroeger said. “So I said, ’Dude, wanna play the guitar solo on this?’ And he was like, ’Yeah, I’d love to.’ ”
The Nickelback frontman used a similar sneak attack to recruit Kid Rock. While Kroeger’s bandmates were playing golf during some downtime in Detroit, Rock invited the singer to hang at his pad.
“He’s got a studio right there in his house,” Kroeger said. “We were listening to a bunch of stuff he was doing and I said, ’I brought a CD. Check this out?’ When I put it on, he stated singing the whole thing right away. He goes, ’We used to jam this five years ago.’ And he really liked the version we were doing, so I took that as an opportunity to ask him to sing the second verse.”
Kroeger currently has 18 new Nickelback songs, three of which are in finished form, and he hopes to have a new record out by the end of the year (see “During Hiatus, Nickelback Eat, Sleep … And Record” ).
“There’s a work ethic I’ve developed that helps me with a lot of the success,” he said. “When we go home, my bandmembers split to all four corners of the planet with their wives or girlfriends, and I am in the studio either producing bands or writing new Nickelback stuff or writing stuff for other artists. I like to stay pretty active.”