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Well-Built 'Road'

NickelbackIt's OK with Nickelback if you want to call them a pop group. In fact, pop doesn't begin to describe the Canadian quartet's third album, "The Long Road," due this week via Roadrunner. "Somewhere along the line, people turned pop -- as in 'popular' -- into a dirty word," says frontman Chad Kroeger. "We want to reach the widest audience possible and let everyone know who we are. Korn, Tool and Slipknot are among the heaviest bands out there, and they're all popular. So come on, I take that as a compliment."

"The Long Road" follows 2001's breakthrough "Silver Side Up," which was certified either gold or platinum in 10 countries. In the U.S., the album has sold more than 4.7 million units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and spawned the Billboard Hot 100 song of the year for 2001, "How You Remind Me."

New single "Someday" is No. 2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. "There's no central theme here," Kroeger says of the set. "'Silver Side Up' was very personal. This one doesn't draw on the experiences of my life; it could be anybody's story." Sonically, he says its his goal to make the album a singular experience, "where you can listen to the whole thing and enjoy it, without skipping songs."

The first leg of Nickelback's North American tour starts Oct. 14 in Texas, wrapping Nov. 11. Trapt is confirmed for support, and Three Days Grace will open all shows.