Alberta, Canada’s Nickelback have been a hit machine pretty much since their inception. With the release of Dark House in 2008, it doesn’t look like that is going to change any time soon.
Frontman Chad Kroeger grew up being a fan of Metallica and Megadeth, so he’s a pure rocker at heart. I think that shows in his riffs, too. Granted, his music may not be as hard, but Kroeger writes some good songs.
For a while Nickelback became people’s favorite punching bag in the music industry, making fun of their songs and the band. A lot of that had to do with the hit “How You Remind Me,” and the fact that it was overplayed on every radio station around the world.
The fact is, Kroeger is one of the best riff-writers in the business. Listening to any of Nickelback’s rockier tunes will prove this to be true.
Kroeger is more than just a rocker though ? he does have a softer side. Some of Nickelback’s biggest hits have been ballads, or slower rock tunes.
Take the aforementioned “How You Remind Me,” “Photograph,” “I’d Come for You,” “Savin’ Me,” “Far Away” and “Someday,” to name just a few. And let’s not forget the mega-hit, “Rock Star,” which is one of my all-time favorites.
When it comes to guitars, Kroeger plays a Paul Reed Smith, Gibson and Gretsch, along with Vox amps. I’m going to base this tone on a couple of songs from the Silver Side Up album.
I made three tones using AmpliTube, Guitar Rig 3 and Pod Farm.
You can download your choice of tones below. I used a high-gain guitar, so you may need to adjust the gain settings depending on your guitar.
I actually took a different approach for each application. I like the sound of all three.
For the AmpliTube tone, I used a model of the Marshall JCM 800, while I chose a JCM 900 in Pod Farm. In Guitar Rig, I used a Vox model, which is probably the closest to Kroeger’s real gear.
Tune down, download a tone and play some Nickelback!