Why Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger Is a Bigger Metalhead Than Devin Townsend
Devin Townsend has rocked out as a member of Strapping Young Lad and delivered some of the more interesting metal solo albums of the last three decades, so why is the musician saying that his one time collaborator Chad Kroeger of popular rock act Nickelback is a bigger metalhead than him? Townsend addressed his friendship and working relationship with Kroeger in an interview with Ultimate Guitar, offering some insight on the Nickelback frontman and giving him the ultimate "metalhead" compliment in the process.
Reflecting on working with Kroeger, Townsend started out, "Chad's brilliant. Chad is a phenomenally intelligent human being. But he's a rockstar, too, on levels that you and I will never participate in. And so there's gonna be a disconnect just based on that. You only have a few things in common, and then, after a while you run out of things to talk about."
"I think it was flattering for me at first, too," commenting on their collaboration. "But again, guy's got a very complex life, and I can't understand a lot of it. How could I? it's not within the realm of my world. But I think he's exceptionally talented. I think he's phenomenally intelligent. And I think that there's a certain degree of intensity to his life that I just can't hang with, man. It's too much for me. For every hour of social activity, I need two hours on my own to recover."
"And there's other people, and a lot of them are the people that end up being at that level of success that are never enough. You play a concert in an arena, and then you go to a club, and then you go parasailing, and then you drink all night. And I'm like, 'I can't do it.' I hate it. Even if I respect and care for people, after a certain amount of time, again, I have to tap out. I'm like, 'Dude, I can't hang with this.' I'm in bed by nine, usually. I don't want to listen to Pantera at four in the morning, you know?"
Townsend then continued to talk about their personality difference, adding, "That's not a character flaw at all, it's just a different frequency that folks like that exist on. I'm not like that. But sometimes it takes experiences with folks like that to know that. Maybe you think you can hang, and then you get there. And I mean, with Chad, I remember being at his house a couple times, and just being, 'Wow, this is so intense, man.' He had a stage set up, and it's metal all night. And I'm thinking like, 'Man, you are so much more of a metalhead than I am.' But I do care for him. And I think he's brilliant."
Townsend has previously shared his praise of Kroeger, stating in a series of 2018 tweets, "For years I was critical of Nickelback for a number of reasons, not the least of which [was] jealousy and falling into the negative public sentiment." He goes on to add that he had heard speculation that Kroeger was critical of him, but eventually they met and became friends.
"I saw them play a few years back and it was great," says Townsend, who continued, "Over the past few months, him and I have spent some good times together hanging out, playing guitar and talking." Townsend said he found he could lean on Kroeger for advice and went on to add, "Chad is a real person. He's exceptionally talented at what he does and he's above all a good dude who helped me when I needed help. He gets a ton of shit, but I have immense respect for the guy now. In fact, I've met very few brilliant people in this industry, but he's one of them."
Kroeger appeared on Townsend's 2019 album, Empath, which found the singer contributing backing vocals to the song "Hear Me." Take a listen to the song below.