Nickelback entertains the haters in new documentary on Alberta rockers

By David Friend in Toronto

Nickelback has tasted the hater-ade from the band’s zealous detractors — and is raising a toast to them.

A new documentary called “Hate to Love: Nickelback” premieres today at the Toronto International Film Festival. The rockers from Hanna, Alta. have signed off on the film that, in part, grapples with their complicated legacy.

On one hand, they’ve delivered numerous top-selling albums over their three-decade career, and on the other, they’re often called one of the most-hated rock acts of all time.

It’s a history that bassist Mike Kroeger — brother of frontman Chad Kroeger — says was impossible to ignore as they considered how to tell the story about their formation and worldwide success.

And so the band decided to tackle their reputation head-on by acknowledging the hate in the documentary’s title while dedicating a small part of the film to dissecting how they landed such paradoxical popularity.

“Hate to Love: Nickelback,” from rock documentarian Leigh Brooks, will also screen at TIFF on Saturday and Sept. 15.

Guitarist Ryan Peake says choosing to entertain their divisive reputation wasn’t “about controlling any kind of narrative.”

“But it’s like, ‘do you want to hear our side? You want to hear how it’s been for us?'” he posed.

“You have to accept that this is part of the story. We’ve got to talk about it because it’s weird if you don’t.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2023.