Living life on the road is something that the guys from Nickelback have grown quite accustomed to. It’s not only their career, but also their way of life. Touring from country to country and town to town playing for their army of loyal fans, guitarists Chad Kroeger and Ryan Peake rely on their VOX Valvetronix amplifiers at every show and recording session. The band has realized a level of success only dreamed about by most bands. Their latest album, The Long Road, has achieved double platinum status in the U.S. alone. Just listen to their music and see them play live, and you’ll understand why they’ve earned the accolades and attention they’ve received. However, they didn’t accomplish this high level of success overnight. Talent, determination and dedication all played major roles.
Nickelback started off life in Hanna, Alberta, Canada as a cover band. The band members drew on their varied influences to begin writing their own material. As Ryan explains, “I grew up listening to Metallica and Megadeth, but today I listen to almost everything. Stuff like Bob Marley, Brad Paisley, Coldplay. You get influenced musically every day by the songs you connect with.” This range of diverse influences helps to justify Ryan’s need for the versatile array of tones that his VOX Valvetronix amp delivers.
Soon the thrill of the cover band gig grew thin, and the band decided to go to the more music-centric city of Vancouver to record their original songs. Based on the success of that experience, they decided that it would be best make Vancouver their permanent home base. Once they set up shop, Nickelback began touring incessantly in support of their EP, Hesher and full-length debut album, Curb. This helped the guys build up a significant fan base. It also helped the self-managed band learn the ropes of the music business. The band members learned to be self-reliant and to handle many of the business details themselves. 2000 saw the release of Nickelback’s next album, The State. The single, “Leader of Men” garnered the band even more attention and earned them opening slots on the road with the likes of 3 Doors Down and Creed.
The band’s next album, Silver Side Up helped the band reach new heights. The single, “How You Remind Me” was an international hit and attained the number one position on the U.S. and Canadian charts at the same time! It also earned the band four Grammy nominations and four Juno awards. 2002 also saw Chad Kroeger garner a fair amount of attention for the song, “Hero,” which he wrote and performed for the Spiderman movie soundtrack. The song even earned Chad a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
The follow up album, The Long Road, was released in September of 2003. Upon the release of the album, Chad stated, “We’ve pushed things further in every way possible. We’re very proud of this album. Fans of real rock music are in for a surprise.” The first single, “Someday,” was a huge hit for the band. The guys spent the majority of 2004 on the road, everywhere from Canada to Australia, in support of the album. This included a summer co-headlining tour with 3 Doors Down.
Throughout the tours and recording sessions, both Ryan and Chad have relied heavily on VOX Valvetronix amps. In their sonic arsenal, the guys utilize an AD120VTX, AD212, AD120VTH, AD30VT and a ToneLab SE. Ryan had this to say about his Valvetronix AD120VTX, “I’m using it for the clean channel, which I like, and it’s pretty versatile, which is cool, too.” Chad loves the Valvetronix series for similar reasons, “I’m also using it for my clean tone. I’ve got my tech switching around and grabbing the different effects that the amp offers while I’m playing. So he’s switching to a lot of the stuff that’s built right into the amp while I’m going through the set.”
For many artists, the VOX ToneLab SE has proven to be an indispensable tool stored in their magic bag of tricks. Ryan expounds, “The ToneLab SE is a good studio companion as well as for live use. The combination of sounds you can get out of it is fantastic, if you like versatility when looking for the right tone. Having the expression pedals built on the board make it a pretty hassle free, all-in-one unit.”
Be sure to catch Nickelback live to witness Ryan and Chad achieve sonic nirvana with their VOX Valvetronix amps. To keep up with Ryan and Chad, please visit the official Nickelback website at www.nickelback.com