Nickelback drummer Ryan Vikedal tells Billboard.com that after the breakthrough success of the group’s 2001 disc “Silver Side Up,” which included the hit single “How You Remind Me,” the band wasted little time beginning work on the recently released follow-up, “The Long Road.”
“We made the decision to go into the studio right away, as soon as we got off the ‘Silver Side Up’ tour, because everything just changes so fast in the industry these days,” says Vikedal. “New bands are coming out constantly, so it was kind of important for us to continue the momentum.”
Interestingly, while recording demos during the tour, the band realized its musical vision was best served without the assistance of a producer. While longtime friend Joe Moi did help out, the majority of the studio duties went to Vikedal, singer/guitarist Chad Kroeger, guitarist Ryan Peake and bassist Mike Kroeger. What resulted was a diverse and definitely heavier rock album, for which Nickelback had been hoping in the first place.
“We just kind of went in to get our own sort of true sound out,” says Vikedal. “We did different things on this one. There’s a song called ‘Should’ve Listened,’ which is an acoustic, bluesy slower tune and is something we have never done before. And then there are some of the heaviest songs we’ve ever recorded. So, I would have to say the last record was more just a rock record, but this one has a little more elements to it.”
With lead single “Someday” at No. 34 on the Billboard Hot 100, Nickelback is planning to release the cut “Figured You Out” before Christmas. Despite its apparent growth, Nickelback finds itself in the unique position of being critically disparaged yet striking a major chord with rock fans everywhere.
“The most important thing is to have fans,” says Vikedal. “I’d rather have it this way than be critically praised and have no one come out to the shows.”
As for touring, the quartet is on the road in the States through early November, with a European jaunt planned for December and Canadian and Japanese/Australian legs to follow in early 2004. Nickelback will likely not tour the U.S. again until next summer.