Getting a few minutes to sit down with NICKELBACK during their swing through NYC on December 5th would really have been difficult for anyone else... seeing as I made their schedule and built in some time to talk to them for Roadrunnerrecords.com, we rounded them up for a 15-minute chat in the Roadrunner conference room. To set the stage, Chad Kroeger was reading a piece of fan mail that was sent to him via the RR offices. He read out loud to the rest of the band and showed them the photo of the devoted fan. I would have recounted a bit of what the letter said, but Mike Kroeger turned my tape recorder off, saying "This is off the record!" For the record... RR is me, Jamie from Roadrunner CK is Chad Kroeger (Vocals), RP is Ryan Peake (Guitar), MK is Mike Kroeger (Bass) and RV is Ryan Vikedal (Drums)! RR - "So lets talk about fan experiences guys..." RP - "Like this one? (pointing to Chad's piece of fan mail)" RR - "Yeah, like this one. Or how people come up to you and do things you find strange or give you strange things... (pause) Will you look at the smile on Mike's face when i ask that?!" CK - "That shit-eating grin." MK - "That's all you're getting out of me!" RV - "Yeah, there was that one girl, she started out in, i think, Pennsylvania and ended up in New Orleans..." MK - "OH YEAH, the one that hitchiked the whole way." RR - "She followed you around?" RV - "Yeah, she was a witch and gave us all those necklace things and we wore them and had the worst luck." RR - "What necklace things?" RP - "She said 'I make these necklace things and give them away'..." MK - "She cursed our Guitar Tech" RR - "She CURSED your Guitar Tech?" MK - "Yeah, he's not been right since!" RP - "She was on tour." RR - "She was on tour with YOU." CK - "She came off the NICKELBACK tour and went on the UNION UNDERGROUND tour... She's in the Where Are They Now? File..." RR - "OK, so I am sure you are sick of telling the Starbucks story... so say you had the opportunity to change the name of the band or the story behind the current name... what would it be? what would the story be behind it?" RP - "I would change the story behind the name..." RR - "What would you change it TO?" RP - "That it was a World War 2 aircraft... that never made it to the production line because it was made by Canadians." RR - "Oh, that's a good story." MK - "There actually was one, called the Arrow." RP - "But we'll call it the NICKELBACK for future reference. Have you ever heard of the Arrow??" RR - "Uh, no..." CK - (to rest of band) "She's an American... its all about Uncle Sam keepin us down!" (laughs) RR - "So tell me the story about how you got signed to Roadrunner." CK - "So I met Ron (Roadrunner A&R guy, Ron Burman) through this escort service... (laughs)." RP - "I sent a CD... Its cool because we actually keep in touch with this guy who we also sent a CD to... Jan Seedman ... at M3..." CK - "I picked Ron up at the airport!" RP - "And he was a publishing guy who sent it to Ron Burman. Then Burman heard it, liked us, then came up to a show. A gig in Vancouver." RR - "What did you like most about making THE STATE?" CK - "Just the fact that it wasn't being funded by anybody else. It was all us, we had full control over it." RP - "We picked everyone who worked on it." CK - "Yeah, we got to pick everything, do everything. We just had full control and it feels really good that something that we let no external force manipulate, that exact same sound that we had when we were done with it, did not get remixed, remastered or anything. That piece went on to get us the record deal and went on to sell..." RR - "About a quarter of a million copies... at least now." RP - "When we came to Roadrunner the only thing that was re-done was the artwork. None of the music was touched." RR - "How do you hope the next record will happen?" RP - "Exactly the same way... Roadrunner looks at us and says 'That's amazing - we couldn't have done a better job.'" RR- "Are you going to work with Garth again, you think?" (GGGarth Richardson) RP - "Possibly." CK - "He is being considered...definetly. I don't know what level, probably a different level than last time..." RR - "So I KNOW you guys are buddies with 3 DOORS DOWN because I met one of those guys out in LA at a Farmclub taping and when his LA radio promo guy introduced him to me, he freaked out, hugged me and was psyched to meet me just because I work with you..." (whole band laughs) "That had to be Todd..." (said in unison) RR - "So there is no question that you are good friends with 3 DOORS DOWN. How have your experiences been with the other bands you have toured with." CK - "They have all been great. We have not struck a connection quite like the one with 3DD, that's very very unique. That doesn't happen very often. Hardly ever happens at all. But, SEVENDUST... awesome! They're great guys. CREED - very nice guys. FUEL...great. Those southern bands..." RP - "It seems like all the bands from down south work really well with us..." CK - "FULL DEVIL JACKET..." RR - "Do you still talk to the 3 DOORS DOWN guys while you are on the road?" CK - "Yeah, we call them on the phone." MK - "They're hard to get a hold of right now because they are in Europe. When they're in America its easier." RV - "We're friends to the point where we will play Todd's hometown and his folks will come to our shows. They drive all the way from Mississippi to Louisiana." RR - "Are your parents going to go see 3DD when they play in Canada?" CK - "They haven't met my parents yet... I mean, my dad would go..." RR - "When you appeared on Farmclub, did you meet any other bands on the set? Or did you hang in the trailer?" RP - "Not really, well we saw LIL KIM had her entourage...about 20 people." RV - "GOLDFINGER, didn't you get to meet GOLDFINGER?" MK - "Yeah, we had met them at other shows.. that guy, Kelly... that's the guy!" RR - "Are there any bands you have played a show or two with that you would like to tour more with?" CK - "Sevendust" RP - "Yeah, they are a very inspirational band. I would go and watch them every day. They kicked our ass every night..." RV - "Yeah, they were the only band we played with where I would make sure I could get on the side of the stage every night to see them." MK - "They are an example of what a show SHOULD look and sound like." RP - "The Deftones too - we played once with them at a festival in Miami. That would be a really cool tour." RR - "Now, what are you guys listening to while you are on the road?" RP - "There is some great new music around..." CK - "Trunk Full Of Amps... SELF..." MK - "HELMET!" RP - "Yeah, he listens to a lot of Helmet." (pointing at Mike) "We still listen to the DEFTONES, that is such a good album. What else?" (looks around at the rest of the band) "David Gray too - that is a good single." RR - "What is your favorite new NICKELBACK track of the ones you have written since THE STATE?" CK - "Brand new stuff, the newest thing... there is stuff we are working on, on the bus, 3 new songs." RR - "So you have a bunch written already?" RP - "Oh yeah. A bunch demoed and a bunch more written... we are getting ready to roll." RR- "Wow, because I know for a while you have been playing 1 or 2 new songs in your live sets that are not on THE STATE. Last time I saw you play live I heard 'Look What Your Money Bought' but I have not seen you guys play in a while." CK - "We are playing 4 now... 'Look What Your Money Bought', 'Hollywood', 'Hangnail' and 'Where Do I Hide?' " RP - " 'Hangnail' is a good one... and there is 'Slow Motion'. RR - "Do you know what the name of this new record might be?" MK - "We just started thinking about that." RP - "Put a few possibilities on a list and knock em off. Come up with a picture around the name... like last time. We got the picture first (the Canadian independent release artwork) then the name. Lay a few pictures out, you like that image and you come up with a name for it. It's not like the old Iron Maiden thing where there is a theme around the album." MK - "I dont think we'll be doing a concept record anytime soon." RR - "Since we are doing this for the Roadrunner website, what are some of YOUR favorite websites?" (Some smirking again from Mike, so I tell him no porn sites!) MK - (to RP) "Tell the world your favorite website. Tell them!! Yeah!!" RP - " ilovebacon.com " RV - (laughs) "Yeah, that's a good one!" RP - "Its wierd, I stumbled upon it through CFOX, the Vancouver radio station website. Its called ilovebacon.com and its just got... everything!" MK - (laughs out loud) RP - "Its got something new every day... It has nothing to do with bacon. It has a National Lampoon kind of thing. You can get rated-G stuff up to rated-X stuff. It is not gratuitous porn stuff it is art... Just some odd, odd stuff." MK - (looking at CK) "Were you there when i found that other one?... drunken... i think it is called drunkenloser.com and it is just a website where you're supposed to go when you are dead drunk. Because apparently it is hilarious. I dont know - i dont drink. I just went there and they had some ridiculous stuff." RR - "How involved are you with your site and what goes up there?" RP - "We monitor all the stuff that goes up on there. The thing we like a lot is the message board on the site - it is a forum for the fans to talk to eachother, not so much to talk to the band. There is a place for show reviews as well. The answering email takes a long time. We knocked off a ton of them the other night." RR - "What kind of emails do you get? Like that fan letter Chad has?" MK - "No, they're not that single white female stalker stuff, its normal people..." RP - "We have 'ask the crew' and 'ask Chief' sections." (Chief = the band's tour manager) RR - "Oh, I have to check that out. I want to ask Chief questions!" RP - "They ask questions like 'How does Morgan put up with Dawson?' or 'I saw you guys hugging after the show, are you guys gay?'" (laughs) RV - "And one person was like 'I have problems urinating, what should I do?'" (whole room busts out laughing) RR - "OK, my last question for you is... you are on a label with a lot of bands that are very different from you. What do you think of that?" CK - "We saw SLIPKNOT in Boston... that was cool...they are really cool." MK - "Roadrunner bands are some of my favorite bands." RR- "Really?" MK - "Yeah, SLIPKNOT especially." CK - "Every time we tell somebody we are on Roadrunner... Like people say 'What label are you on?' and they're expecting us to say 'Oh, we are on Sony or we are on Universal.' and as soon as we say 'We are on Roadrunner' they are just like 'You're on Roadrunner? Thats SO COOL.' " Nickelback had to run into yet another interview just then... they did that one on video with Live Music Channel and it should show up on the web really soon. One of their other stops for the day was to speak with www.shoutweb.com so you can check that out really soon too. It was great to be able to carve out some time with this 'band in demand' and we hope to catch you up with them some time next year!