So the pickle won. Good for the pickle. To recap: Last month, there was a Facebook campaign spearheaded by someone named Coral Anne to see if a lowly, anonymous dill could attract more Facebook friends than Nickelback.
The “Can this pickle get more fans than Nickleback (sic)?” crusade became something of an Internet sensation and blew past Nickelback’s 1.4 million friends in rather short order.
Everyone from Rolling Stone and MTV to U.K. newspapers picked up on the story.
Given the nature of Internet memes and the hate so many people seem to have for Nickelback, the pickle’s victory wasn’t much of a surprise. But before lovers of cured cucumbers get too smug over their victory, remember this: We will always need bands like Nickelback. And here’s why.
First, Nickelback sells more records than just about any other rock band these days. The Dark Horse has sold 420,000 copies in Canada and another 2.6 million in the U.S. Overall, they’ve sold 2.5 million records in Canada, 20 million in America and 30 million worldwide. They gross in the region of $100 million in concert ticket sales each year. In other words, it’s pretty clear that someone must like them.
Second, consider the economic spinoff. In the U.S., Nickelback is signed to Roadrunner, a label that specializes mainly in heavy music — metal, especially. If you’re a fan of metal — Rob Zombie, CKY, Killswitch Engage, Airbourne, Trivium — you have Roadrunner to thank. Great groups with solid cred with metal fans, but none of them sell records in tremendous numbers.
Therefore, their careers — their very existence — needs to be subsidized by the profits generated by the few big bands on Roadrunner that consistently turn a profit. This includes Slipknot, Megadeth — and Nickelback.
This means that metal fans should want Nickelback to sell as many records as possible so that Roadrunner can help keep bands like Cradle of Filth, Opeth and Hatebreed in business.
There’s also an important Canadian connection here. Are you a fan of Billy Talent and Alexisonfire? Want them to do well in America? Then root for Nickelback, because those acts are signed to Roadrunner in the U.S., Nickelback profits are being used to support both bands in their quest for continent-wide success.
This doesn’t mean you have to like Nickelback. But they do play an important part in the whole ecosystem of metal.