Nickelback is “one of the greatest bands of the ’90s,” said no one ever, well, except for one U.S. congressman who defended Canada’s favourite band to hate during a debate on the House floor Thursday.
That’s right, two congressmen got into a discussion about the merits of the rockers from Alberta, while debating prison gerrymandering, the practice of counting inmates as residents of correctional facilities and not their home districts.
Citing the 2016 census, Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat, said only four out of 77,000 public comments were in support of the process.
“Only four wanted to keep this provision. Everyone else wanted to change this out of the 77,000,” he said. “That’s probably about the per cent of people who think Nickelback is their favorite band in this country. It’s pretty low.”
Ouch. But wait, it gets better.
“Nickelback is your favourite band? I apologize to the gentleman,” Pocan said.
That gentleman happened to be Illinois Republican Rodney Davis.
“Why would you criticize one of the greatest bands of the ’90s?” Davis said.
“Wow! Alright,” Pocan said with a laugh. “One more reason why there’s a difference between Democrats and Republicans clearly found on the floor of Congress today.”
Pocan continued on with remarks about gerrymandering before opening the floor up once again to Davis.
“I stand here to say that my colleague from Wisconsin, I know he did not mean to offend the many thousands upon thousands of Nickelback fans in his district in Wisconsin,” Davis said. “I’ll stand here to save you from doing that and have to face the political consequences at the ballot box. I enjoy debating back and forth and it’s always good to have some good humour on the floor of the House, and yes, I do actually have a Nickelback song on my running playlist that I listen to on a regular basis. And was ridiculed by that when I posted my playlist one time, and I know some in this chamber and even up at the dais are still laughing about that.”
After wrapping up his rebuttal, Davis gave the floor back to the Democrat, where Pocan took one final shot.
“I will just wrap by saying I appreciate that very brave admission of your fandom for Nickelback. That’s very brave, and I do recognize that,” Pocan said. “I didn’t think we were gonna talk about Nickelback on the floor today, somehow it came up.”
Following the debate, Davis posted his playlist again on social media asking his followers to chime in.
Nickelback has endeared a love-hate relationship with fans for years, something the band addressed in a 2014 interview.
“People just say things,” said Mike Kroeger, Nickelback’s bass player, in an interview with Global’s The Morning Show. “It’s OK. People can say things.”
The band’s frontman chalked it up to their music being played everywhere.
“The last decade, it was tough to get away from Nickelback,” Chad Kroeger said at the time. “We record a lot of different kinds of music and when it gets played in that many places sometimes it’s tough, especially if you’re not into the band.
“That can cause some backlash but the nice thing is it can also garner you a lot of fans and allow us to be able to go everywhere in the world and play our music for people, ‘cuz that’s our job. That’s what we signed up for.”
Debuting in 1995, Nickelback has gone on to sell more than 50 million albums worldwide.