Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Write your very own Nickelback song with this handy tutorial

Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images

If you’re going to make fun of Nickelback in a world that has exhausted Nickelback jokes, you better have a good angle. Luckily, that’s exactly what musician John Fassold has brought here. Fassold’s still-new YouTube account found popularity after he began using his keyboard to dissect the boilerplate songwriting formulas of artists like the Chainsmokers and Lana Del Rey. Now, he’s done the same to music’s perpetual punchline.

“I didn’t understand the flak this band received until I listened to their music in preparation for this video,” he writes in the caption, but after listening to four Nickelback LPs front-to-back all he can mutter on tape is a resigned, “Holy shit.”


Fassold says all Nickelback songs derive their tempos from the first three tracks of Nirvana’s Nevermind, though the riffs themselves, he says, lack character and exist simply to “fill up space” (hilarious examples follow). Approximating Chad Kroeger’s vocals, meanwhile—which is important as he believes they’re the true target of fan hatred—involve “a growl, but not a cool growl” that, once you hit the chorus, must sound “like you’re taking the biggest dump of your life.” Soon, he’s written a song about almonds that, if it came out of Kroeger’s voice, would probably become a mainstay on modern-rock radio for at least six months.

There are benefits to imitating Nickelback, after all. You can scam people out of $25,000 worth of drum equipment, for example, or trade barbs on social media with Arnold Schwarzenegger. A word of advice for Fassold, however: Watch out for Avril Lavigne.

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