Only dipshits and teens who think spiked hair is edgy take Nickelback seriously. So when on Wednesday, St. Louis' Riverfront Times blogger Daniel Hill pointed out that Nickelback frontman and occasional Guy Fieri stand-in Chad Kroeger was now claiming that their 2014 hit "Edge of a Revolution" was really inspired by the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., people the world over laughed themselves into a coma and died.
"Edge of a Revolution" really is a horrible song, with lyrics tying the NSA and the CIA to Wall Street, TheNew York Times and "mass delusion" and "mass confusion." Anyone who's ever listened to a Nickelback song knows that the only kind of "revolution" Kroeger inspires is petulantly storming to bed after getting caught smoking by your dad.
Unfortunately, this too-perfect confluence of Nickelback's lyrical commentary and the death of Michael Brown appears to have been an outright lie from Kroeger. The earliest I was able to track this bad boy was a forum thread announcing "Edge of a Revolution" started in the middle of June. And also this guy, who cited a "Canadian magazine" on June 21.
Well, that's good enough for me.
Lyrically, we were kind of taking potshots at, you know, fat cats on Wall St., ripping everybody off and ah, everything that's just been going on in the Ukraine, just like globally, just a lot of people that are really pissed off with the way that their governments have been treating them. And uh, you know, we sort of touch lately on a few different things. And uh, yeah. Standing on the edge of a revolution.
Yeah, fuck those Wall Street bankers and their heavily-armed nationalist cronies waging a civil war in the eastern Ukraine. When the song was originally conceived, Nickelback's conception of the problems facing the world today is a political cartoon where two fat dudes in top hats labeled CORPORATION and GOVERNMENT shake hands while holding bags marked $$$ BRIBES. Either way, Kroeger's stupid "Revolution" that will never be televised was prepared well before Brown's death.
Anyhow, when the song was released on August 19, a mere 10 days after Brown's shooting, it doesn't appear that the band deliberately attempted to cash in on the Brown shooting. Kroeger's mention of Ferguson in his Nov. 4 interview with Yahoo! Music was the only mention I could find. Still, Chad Bro Chill was clearly trying to hitch a ride on the #Ferguson bandwagon now that it was back in the limelight:
"The issue of the black boy who was shot by the white cop in Missouri was a major story and there was rioting like crazy," Kroeger tells Yahoo Music. "This was all happening right when we were working on the music. It definitely seemed like the seeds of revolution were being planted, and I wanted it to feel that way in the song."
Bonus points: Nickelback thinks there was "rioting like crazy," which tells you they weren't actually that invested in following the story. And since the song was being prepared all the way back in June, Nickelback couldn't have actually based it on Ferguson. Instead, Kroeger opportunistically took the shot to to try and tie his "revolution" into the news cycle, which is actually worse. That or he actually does think his angsty teen music has something to do with Mike Brown, which is just flat-out insane.
Some fans had drawn the connection way earlier:
But the video, released in early September, was conveniently filled with appropriated protest imagery. Yahoo Music said the video combined "arresting scenes of soldiers, protests, and a classroom full of children being fed messages of conformity...that they ultimately decide to reject in favor of much-needed change." You can watch it down below, and it's surprisingly good for something made for 5th grade show-and-tell:
Anyhow, that brings us back to the piece by the Riverfront Times which alerted the entire news media to the fact that Kroeger claimed to have written the song about Ferguson:
So this whole thing is a clusterfuck. But until Kroeger tried to direct the attention towards Nickelback two weeks ago, no one gave a shit about their political views. Now we're going to go through a whole cycle of hearing about Nickelback and Ferguson, mainly because one terrible frontman briefly co-opted the all-too-common shooting death of a black teenager to successfully place his song on every frontpage on the internet. It may have been unintentional, but c'mon.
I kind of hate hating on Nickelback, because every time I do a little voice in my head goes, "Hey, 2005 called, it wants its easy target back." But by believing Kroeger, some people writing the song was supposedly about Ferguson actually managed the impossible feat of giving Nickelback too much credit.
Fortunately, like everything Nickelback does their attempt to make "Edge of a Revolution" the Michael Brown anthem was half-assed and terrible. In exchange for a couple thousand extra plays on YouTube, Kroeger et. al are receiving yet another round of mocking derision and thinkpieces on Jezebel.
Christ, even Artie Lange has more pride.
Follow me on Twitter @thetomzone