Stardom has its disadvantages. You need disguises in public, you're away from home a lot, and don't even dream about keeping your promises to friends and loved ones.
Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger addresses the latter in the single "Someday," and as the September 23 release date for the band's new record, The Long Road, draws nearer, lines like "Someday, somehow I'm gonna make it all right, but not right now" are starting to look prophetic.
"When we recorded the song, it didn't ring as true as it does now," he explained. "It's become the story of my life. There have been so many times when my girlfriend has said, 'You promised that this week was just going to be us. No interviews, no hanging out in the studio. Just us. You promised.' And I'm like, 'I know, but, but, but ...' "
While "Someday" is specifically about Kroeger's current situation, lyrics like "Let's rewrite an ending that fits, instead of this Hollywood horror" are vague enough to have widespread impact, and that's intentional. Even within Kroeger's most personal revelations lie universal truths that Nickelback fans can relate to.
"Everybody's been there, and that's important," Kroeger said. "If I sing to you about taking a trip to Saturn, well, you can't identify with that, and neither can anybody else on this planet. So what's the point of writing a song nobody can identify with? But everybody loves to have their story told. So if you write about something universal, then you get a lot more people who go, 'Ooh, I've been there. God, I've been there a thousand times.' "
"Someday" is a mid-tempo Nickelback song that offers no surprises. It opens with a ringing, undistorted guitar rhythm, straightforward beat and yearning vocal. Then, just after the verse, the guitar buzz kicks in and the track builds into a layered power chorus.
Kroeger came up with the main rhythm one night while jamming on the band's tour bus with drummer Ryan Vikedal. When Kroeger went back and listened to the recording he'd made, he said he could hear Vikedal in the background declaring, "Whoa, that sounds like a hit, dude."
As simple as "Someday" seems, Nickelback spent three weeks in Kroeger's home studio working on the song, which features more than 100 tracks of recorded audio. "That's something we had never done before," he said. "We wanted to lay down as much stuff as we possibly could and then start stripping it away. Obviously, with 100 tracks left, we didn't strip much away. There's a ton of stuff there that the human ear can't even detect. There's mandolin in there, and you can feel it, but you can't hear it."
A video for "Someday" was shot by Nigel Dick, who previously worked on "Too Bad" and "Never Again." The clip, which will air in September, features a story line about a relationship but also includes footage of the band jamming.
"We're really just window dressing," said Kroeger, who, along with his bandmates, came up with the treatment for the clip. "We realized we were dealing with a subject matter that had limitations, so we had to do something pretty cool within the barriers. When you first watch the video, it seems a little cliché, and then there are a couple twists to the plot. You actually have to watch it twice to figure out what's going on."