Chad Kroeger On ‘Photograph,’ ‘We’re Not Good Songwriters’

The creative process of a song might be challenging, but to Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, the lyrics of ‘Photograph’ just came to him kind of naturally. The frontman discussed with Planet Rock what inspired the act to write the hit song while joking about how it might not have the best lyrics.

From Anthony Kiedis to Bon Jovi, every artist has their way of writing a track. While some might prefer to plan and write beforehand, others choose to improvise and see where the story might take them. Chad is among the latter group of artists, as the singer disclosed that the band had composed ‘Photograph’ without putting much thought into it.

“You know, stuff like ‘How you Remind Me’ came so easy,” told Kroeger as he discussed the different writing processes of various songs. “I went just, [it] just comes flooding, you know, right out of… And then there were songs [that] were like, we’re sitting there, and I’ll have an acoustic, and I’ll have this thing, and I’ll know what I was doing with this thing, with ‘Photograph.’”

He continued, “And I had this, [playing the tune], going around, and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s pretty.’ And I’m leaving the top two strings to ring, it gives a sort of an orchestra thing, and when I spit out, ‘Look at this photograph,’ I had no idea where I was going. And then every time I do it, it makes me laugh; [it] just came out because it rhymed. Right? So, and then I’m sitting like, ‘Which photograph?’ And I immediately knew, ‘I know what picture does that.’”

The frontman disclosed the inspiration behind ‘Photograph.’ “It was so random that we just sort of locked our way into it, so you’re talking about the picture. And this is where I grew up, this is where I went to school, and we start listing all those things. And then every memory, and then we get to the talking about, looking through the photo album, and the whole thing becomes about all these snapshots through your life.”

Kroeger joked about how they finally put the song well together, saying, “And once we just got there, we just got so lucky to tie back to that first stupid thing that I said, and then when you listen back to it, you’re gonna be like, ‘This is really good. These guys are good songwriters.’ So, it’s like, ‘No.[We] just kind of fluked our way into that.’”

It seemed like there was no deep thinking behind the inspiration of ‘Photograph,’ but that makes the track even better. Nickelback just wrote the song the way they felt, which was genuine, but the singer admitted that it wasn’t the best lyrics out there, yet they still found a way to wrap it somehow.