Why I Feel Bad For Nickelback…

I’ve been thinking about Nickelback lately.

I’m not a huge fan…in fact, short of a few hits on pop radio, I know very little of the band’s music. Regardless, it’s been pretty hard to hide from all the Nickelback “hate” that’s happened over the past couple of years.

Maybe it’s well deserved…I don’t know. But I keep thinking what that must be like for an artist. Imagine it…you’re this band, plugging away, trying to be successful and after a lot of hard work and maybe a little luck, you get a shot. You get signed. You make a record. And then songs start getting radio play. Two or three singles make a ton of money. You’re on TV, you’re touring, heck…you get to sing on the Spiderman soundtrack!

And you keep plugging away. You make other albums, you tour more, you keep at it and yet, somehow you end up be the source of ridicule. Somehow…suddenly, it seems…you’re not cool anymore. You’re a punch line. You’re a smirk. You’re a cliche.

I’ve wondering lately if Nickelback knows how they’re painted these days. Maybe they deserve to be ridiculed. Maybe they’ve abused relationships or tried to coast on previous success. Maybe they’ve tried too hard to fit inside a cookie-cutter. I’m not sure.

I just know that, as an artist, this scares me. It concerns me that you can work hard and consistently…you produce the best product you can…and you still can end up a laughing stock.

It’s good for me to remember that culture is fickle. It’s good for those of us who make music to realize that trying to achieve massive material success will always be a gamble. It may never come, and if it does, nobody knows how long it will last. Nickelback reminds me that my job is not to impress. In fact, I’d say my job isn’t even to inspire. (Although that does happen sometimes.)

My job is to be obedient. To write and sing and arrange and share what God gives.

So, the next time I hear Nickelback, I’m going to think about that. I’m going to remind myself that success or failure is a matter of pleasing the Father. And He’ll take care of the rest.


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