The early 2000s were a great time to be making rock and roll, in the same way the ‘70s were a great time for rock bands. Labels just couldn’t stop signing rock bands. Rock festivals were gargantuan. It was a great time to be a singer in the rock band. And there were a lot of rock bands. Rock was at a pinnacle. Country music was nowhere to be seen and nowhere to be found.
Chad Kroeger – Billboard interview
“Silver Side Up” hit the streets on September 11, 2001. Yep, that September 11.
But nothing was going to stop this album from going 2x platinum in Australia, 3x platinum in the U.K, 6x platinum in the U.S and 8x Platinum in Canada. It was a monster album for the Roadrunner label.
And they had momentum.
Paying their dues since the mid 90’s, “The State” made inroads and their songs “Leader Of Men” and “Breathe” were doing the rounds on radio. In the guitar mags, those songs also got transcriptions, and those transcriptions got me interested in the band.
Rick Parasher is producing. He worked with Zakk on the Pride And Glory album in 1994, as well as “Ten” for Pearl Jam and “Sap” for Alice In Chains.
The rumbling bass and drum groove kick off the song. It percolates until the octave guitar riff kicks in. It’s a riff that’s as good as any of the riffs that became Guitar Store staples.
Its metal, in the 2000 way.
Lyrically, it covers domestic violence. With all the knowledge available to people, it’s an issue that doesn’t seem to go away.
How You Remind Me
Billboard celebrated the 2001 year recently and they interviewed Chad Kroeger, asking him a lot of questions about this song and how it came to be.
Woke Up This Morning
Check out the intro/verse groove and riff.
Its heavy metal and a perfect fit for a song about feeling like crap when you wake up in the morning, because life has gotten the better of you.
It deals with abandonment from a child’s perspective. The Kroeger brothers had their father leave when they were young and like all relationships, the father came back into their lives after “Silver Side Up”.
This song would not be out of place on a Fuel album.
Nickelback had a knack for merging metal with hard rock with grunge with nu-metal with alternative. This song is living proof.
The riff is heavy, reminding me of the “Sad But True” groove. Vocally, its more alternative, grunge like.
It could have appeared on a Nirvana album. These crossover tracks got purists upset.
Where Do I Hide
It sounds like Shinedown took this sound for their debut. Check out the verses call and response vibe.
It’s got a real heavy blues groove. And this part of their style gets missed or forgotten.
And it’s got a chorus which sounds really similar to “How You Remind Me”.
Good Times Gone
Country blues rock before it became massive again in the mid 2000’s and way before Jovi took the “Lost Highway”. Goddamn, it could have come from the vintage fingertips of Tom Keifer and his 1990 “Heartbreak Station”.
In the end, Nickelback had an algorithm. “Physical Graffiti” + “Eliminator” + “Nevermind” + “Superunknown” + “Ten” + “The Joshua Tree” + “Metallica Black” = good popular songs and potential success.
And this album captures the algorithm nicely but “All The Right Reasons” in 2010 would perfect it.