NICKELBACK bassist Mike Kroeger says that it's a "compliment" being compared to METALLICA.
Kroeger addressed the musical similarity between the two acts just days after ALL THAT REMAINS frontman Phil Labonte said in an interview on the "Breaking The Ice" podcast that most of the songs on METALLICA's "Load" and "Reload" LPs are sonically very similar to any of the albums by NICKELBACK.
Labonte explained: "I wanna point one thing out about NICKELBACK that I think a lot of people know but they don't realize they know it. NICKELBACK records are METALLICA 'Load' and 'Reload' sonically... almost any of the NICKELBACK songs could go on 'Load' or 'Reload', and almost any of the songs on 'Load' or 'Reload' could go on a NICKELBACK record."
Labonte added: "And just get James Hetfield to sing the stuff on a NICKELBACK record or vice versa, and you would not know the difference. And that is not a criticism — that is not a criticism."
The singer continued that "sonically, those albums are very, very close," saying, "At the time at least, they were the pinnacle of audio quality when it comes to production; there's not records that sound better than those that came out in the same era. And the songs are all phenomenally crafted songs."
Labonte concluded that the "vast majority" of METALLICA and NICKELBACK songs from that era would be "interchangeable," adding, "NICKELBACK could absolutely do [METALLICA song] 'Fuel' on any NICKELBACK record and people would be, like, 'Fuck yeah!'"
Asked by the 95.5 KLOS radio station for his opinion of Labonte's comments, Kroeger said (hear audio below): "I read [what Phil had to say]. I'm a fan of their band [ALL THAT REMAINS]. I guess it's a compliment. I don't think that's anything negative, really. I'll take that as a compliment, for sure."
During the 95.5 KLOS chat, Mike also once again discussed the fact that NICKELBACK has earned a type of hatred so potent it's hard to fathom what they did that was so terrible to the public consciousness.
"It just seems to be, I think, one of those cases where familiarity breeds contempt," he said. "This thing didn't come out of nowhere, so I feel like that's probably what it is. People became so familiar, or felt like they became so familiar with our band that they had to start throwing shade at it, I guess.
"Everybody knows from our time that this happened to BON JOVI at the highest part of their career, it happened to METALLICA at the highest point in their career. So I guess it's a good sign," he continued.
"When we first got started, we were really kind of surprised when people liked it. We've always had a more blue-collar way of looking at this whole thing, which is just do your work and don't worry about what everybody's saying and just keep focused on the goal, whether it was getting on tour or making a record, or whatever it was. And we never really listened to what people said, positive or negative. I think you've gotta be wary of your critics, but I think you've gotta be more wary of what your lovers are saying, because if you read too much of your own press, you can turn into an idiot.
"It's nice to have people say nice things about you — it is — but you've gotta just temper it all and not drink too much of your own Kool-Aid," he added.
Although critically acclaimed at the time, "Load" and "Reload" are considered by many fans to be among the worst METALLICA albums ever made.
As previously reported, NICKELBACK drummer Daniel Adair is recovering from recent surgery for radial tunnel syndrome, a condition in which the radial nerve is pinched when passing through a tunnel near the elbow.
Guitarist Ryan Peake said last month that a documentary on NICKELBACK — which has been in the works for at least a couple of years — is "very close to being released."
Before the pandemic hit, NICKELBACK was supposed to hit the road this summer to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the "All The Right Reasons" album.