ROCKER: Rolling with the punches


Sometime back in 2004, Nickelback were playing a show in Portugal. The crowd was absolutely not interested in watching them play so from the moment they took the stage, boos rang around the arena.

Chad, their front man, put down his guitar and asked the crowd if there were any Nickelback fans in the crowd and no one responded. This action prompted the band to walk off the stage and since then they have never returned to play in that destination. They experienced a similar situation when they were performing at an NFL Half Time show at the Detroit Lions stadium.

There was an online petition deliberately seeking to have them not play the show. In fact, the same became a global phenomenon with people from all around the world partaking and giving their say.

They ironically played just one song for the crowd, When We Stand Together.

There is a lot to handling hostility as a band and a lot of it is an acquired skill. There is no specific way of handling such a response from those expected to appreciate your music but to keep on moving on.


Fans have a right to opinions when it comes to what they like and what they don’t like. Rock and Roll fans are as expressive as they come unfortunately and when they don’t like you, they will let you know. Just ask Metallica back when the Napster issues came about.

Of course, that served to create some more awareness and popularity for the band but this didn’t stop them from experiencing a dip in their album sales.

Think about the online hate messages we see pop stars receiving every now and then. Imagine stopping by your social media page to check on fan mail and all you see is hate mail which has nothing to do with your music but everything to do with you as an individual and how your voice is horrible or your songs mediocre.

Fans can be cruel and it takes a lot to be able to stand after being knocked down. Most people give up and leave the industry entirely. It takes grit and determination to be able to roll with the punches.

Now don’t get me wrong, some criticism is positive and it is worth taking it in to be better.

Perhaps if the comments have something to do with bettering your music, take it in your stride. However, when someone opts to blatantly insult you then that’s when you have to stand tall.

Usually, responding to hate with bile will lead to you saying things you don’t mean and then it becomes a worse situation where these “keyboard ninjas” will do everything to make their dislike felt.

You need to know something when faced with hate from the fans; these moments don’t last. They will forget and move on to the next best thing.

Even though people say hurtful things about Nickelback’s music, they are the second most successful act after The Beatles. Metallica are by far the highest selling metal act in history.

The Black Album was still selling two million copies in 2014 well over a decade later.

This is part of being a rock artiste. There are some things that you will attempt that will fail. You have to remember why it is that you decided to venture into the art in the first place and hold onto that. Keep horning your craft even in the heat of the hatred from your fans.