Few successful bands are as despised as Nickelback. In fact, when the Canadian foursome was asked to play at halftime during a Thanksgiving Day NFL game in Detroit, one fan was so incensed he started an online petition asking the Lions to pick another halftime act. That petition garnered 56,000 signatures from people who all felt the same way about Chad Kroeger, Ryan Peake, Mike Kroeger and Daniel Adair. But despite the tremendous amounts of vitriol directed at Nickelback, the band refuses to fade into oblivion. Why? Because of their fans. Nickelback has some of the most passionate, diverse and influential fans in all of music. In fact, you may be surprised by the people who swear to be die-hard Nickelback fans, such as:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran: After morning prayers each day, Ahmadinejad listens to "All The Reasons," the 2005 Nickelback album that featured five Top-20 singles, including "Photograph" and "Rockstar." While Ahmadinejad is a HUGE fan of Nickelback as whole, Iran's fearless leader is especially partial to the band's front man, Chad Kroeger. In fact, Ahmadinejad, or 'Jad'* as his confidants call him, said he listened to Kroeger's solo smash "Hero" prior to every televised interview in which he denied the Holocaust ever happened. It's rumored that Ahmadinejad is in talks with Nickelback's management to have the boys play live at a public execution, by stoning, of a woman who was found guilty of "grube" or excessively enjoying sex with her husband.
Thom Yorke, leader singer of Radiohead: There's a widely held belief among Radiohead fans that Yorke was so moved after the recording of "Fake Plastic Trees," he immediately broke down in tears. Of course, the real story is this: On a whim, Yorke purchased Nickelback's "Silver Side Up," and listened to the record in its entirety seven times in a row. After the seventh listen, Yorke's closest friend -- a man who goes only by the symbol ^ -- said he found the Radiohead frontman in a corner rocking back and forth and muttering, "It's all shit. Everything we've ever done is shit compared to that bloody record ("Silver Side Up"). ^ also said that Radiohead's critically acclaimed album, "Kid A" was Yorke's attempt to make a "Nickelback-caliber record," and that Yorke considers the album an "epic failure." According to ^, Yorke has a detailed tattoo of Chad Kroeger on his inner-thigh. Yorke, allegedly, looks at Kroeger's image each morning before his bath and promises out loud to "stay true to the music."
Nancy Pelosi, minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and Speaker of the House from 2007-2011. Pelosi, the highest-ranking female politician in American history, was introduced to Nickelback by her oldest grandson. Pelosi told Rolling Stone, "I remember it was Christmas, and I'd had a few glasses of wine. I excused myself to use the ladies' room and, as I passed my grandson's room, I heard this music blaring from inside. Even the solid oak door couldn't muffle the raw power of Nickelback's auditory assault. It was just so ... it was just so fucking visceral, you know?" In that same interview, Pelosi went on to say that during long and dull Congress sessions she'd often fantasize about performing a strip-tease to Nickelback's "Shakin Hands." Said Pelosi, "my mind would begin to drift, and the next thing I know I'm visualizing myself on top of a table, grinding my hips, ripping at my lavender Armani blouse and screaming, 'She'll shake her money maker twice as hard as anyone can/She didn't make it this far by just shaking hands!' at a shocked House of Representatives."
Kyle Lazinski, owner of indie record store and scarf emporium Shawl Sounds. Few of Lazinski's regular customers know about his penchant for a band that has been accused on multiple occasions of being, "unrelentingly unsubtle in its pandering to the lowest common denominator." But for that, Lazinski is unapologetic. "Look, I know I'm supposed to hate Nickelback, but I just don't ... I, I just fucking love that band," he told Valium Vickie over lunch at Su Tao, an all-vegan, all-you-honestly-think-you-should-in-good-conscience-eat-because-you-know-there's-people-starving-and-stuff buffet. "Sure, they're derivative, trite and insanely misogynistic ... but they fucking rock, and sometimes, I just want to fucking rock, you know?" Lazinski added, "Sometimes when I'm with my friends, I just want to say, 'Yeah, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy is great, and Karen O is amazing, but what the fuck do you really have against Nickelback, you pretentious assholes?' But I'd never do that. Have you tried the Golden Pond, yet?"
* The nickname 'Jad' was reportedly chosen by Ahmadinejad himself because of its phonetic similarity to Chad, the first name of Nickelback's lead singer.