Chad Kroeger Admits Hiding True Meanings Of Nickelback Songs

Chad Kroeger recently chatted with American Songwriter, disclosing why he wasn’t satisfied with Nickelback’s early discography, why his lyrics were riddled with so many metaphors, and why he’d get a twinge of embarrassment whenever he’d look back to his songs.

It’s often that artists might not be as pleased with their early works later in their careers, and Chad, a self-proclaimed ‘perfectionist,’ stated that whenever he’d look back to these early songs, he would wish he’d been able to craft them with more finesse if only he’d been given more time.

So, this ‘perfectionism’ left him frustrated and embarrassed as Kroeger realized that he failed to reflect his feelings into his words. However, there was a reason why the vocalist couldn’t put his raw emotions into his songs and hide what he genuinely felt; Kroeger was afraid that people would judge him for his feelings.

This resulted in Chad riddling his lyrics with metaphors. The singer also had doubts that people would misinterpret and get false impressions if he used the wrong words or discussed his feelings. He exemplified writing ‘Never Again,’ a song about domestic violence, leading people to think the vocalist’s parents didn’t have the best relationship.

However, these false impressions were far from reality. So, Kroeger preferred to use metaphors and not let people get these impressions and speculate about his family or all the other subjects he would write about.

Kroeger discussing looking back on his early lyrics and feeling embarrassed:

“I think when it comes to listening to songs from back in the day, the perfectionist side of me listens to our older material and thinks, ‘this part could have been so much cooler if we just could have had the time.’

So there’s some frustration and a little bit of embarrassment, I’ll know what the lines are that I’m saying, but they’re so heavily laden in metaphor because I was afraid to actually say what I was really feeling. I didn’t want to be judged at that point in time.”

The singer on how people misinterpreted the meanings behind Nickelback tracks:

“There are so many things that I look back on now and think, ‘God, my poor mother, and my poor father.’ If I wrote a song about domestic violence – like I did on ‘Never Again’ – everyone thinks that my dad beat my mother. It’s not the case. They’re sitting there formulating an opinion about what they think my father is. Sometimes it gets a little heavy, but all for the sake of art.”

It seemed that it wasn’t easy for Chad to write about his true feelings, as he feared that he would be judged and draw wrong conclusions from them. So, he hid his words behind metaphors so that most of his audience wouldn’t understand what he truly meant.