When Nickelback set out to record their brand-new album Here and Now, which hit stores Monday (November 21), they decided not to stray far from the mantra that has made them one of the decade's biggest-selling acts: Namely, keep it simple, stupid.
"If we had a 'vision,' it was pretty much 'Record 11 songs, try to make sure they don't sound like any of the other 11 songs, and make 'em good,'" frontman Chad Kroeger said. "That was about it."
If Kroeger sounds like he's joking, he assures you, he's not. After all, for more than 15 years now, Nickelback have done one thing — write and record the kinds of songs that sound great played very loudly, be it on the radio, in the parking lot or inside venues that house professional sports franchises — and have done it exceptionally well, to the tune of some 50 million albums sold worldwide. And Here and Now seems destined to follow in those footsteps, both sonically (have you heard "Bottoms Up"?) and commercially. Then again, the latter doesn't seem to matter all that much to Kroeger and company, which may very well be the secret to their success.
"Did you read the bio [for the new album]? Oh my God, it's a thrill ride. It's like my mom wrote it. She's like, 'They've sold this many records worldwide, they've won all of these accolades, the band has set these records,' and you just go down it, and there's almost nothing about the new album," Kroeger laughed. "The adjectives are just like, 'Wow, this dude got a thesaurus for Christmas for sure, and he just blew the dust off it.'
"You know what? I think [sales] mean more to my mom. My mom is just pumped when this stuff comes out," he continued. "But I think sometimes, we'll be sitting at dinner, and we'll look at each other, if it's just the four of us, those are those little secret private moments where we'll look at each other and be like, 'That was pretty cool.' Or, you know, 'Pass the butter.' "
And so, on Here and Now, Nickelback return with much of the same that has led them to such lofty heights. They'll make no bones about it, either. It will probably sell a bazillion copies and launch singles onto modern rock radio for the foreseeable future. And it will most definitely be coming to an arena near you very soon. And all those things would be near-certainties even if the band decided to go with their original title for the album, which, truth be told, would've been pretty awesome, really.
"It's called Here and Now because it just represents a snapshot in time, a snapshot of who we were when we made it," Kroeger explained. "And of all the names we had, it was better than Wizard Beating."