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John Lamb, Published May 13 2012

Love 'em or hate 'em, Nickelback, playing here Sunday, says they'll never make the Hall of Fame

Nickelback has millions of fans, sold more than 21 million records in the U.S. alone, six platinum albums, 10 top 40 hits, and five top 10 hits, including the No. 1 “How You Remind Me.”

The quartet has played halftime at the annual NFL Thanksgiving Day football game and closed the 2010 Olympics. They were declared the band of the decade for the 2000s by Billboard, the industry magazine.

Despite the success, fame and money, there is one thing the hard rockers will never get, says singer/guitarist Chad Kroeger.

“Nickelback will never get into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” the frontman said last month during a conference call interview with bandmate, guitarist Ryan Peake.

The group returns to the Fargodome on Sunday night with Bush, Seether and My Darkest Days.

The musicians were asked what they thought of Axl Rose’s decision to reject his part of Guns N’ Roses induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and if they thought Nickelback would get in.

When asked why he thought his Canadian quartet will never be immortalized in Cleveland’s Hall, Kroeger paused.

“Oh, that can’t be too much of a stretch, really,” he said.

The singer didn’t elaborate, but it doesn’t surprise music fans to hear he and the group have critics.

Detractors have synched the group’s songs to show how similar some can sound. A popular campaign in early 2010 was successful in getting more people to “like” a Facebook page for a pickle than the group’s own page. (The pickle’s page no longer exists, though Nickelback has more than 13 million followers on Facebook.)

When Nickelback was tabbed to play the halftime show at Ford Field between the hometown Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers, 55,000 football fans signed a petition. They objected over why a Canadian act should perform to American fans for American teams on an American holiday when America’s Motor City itself has such a rich musical history. The group did play with little negative feedback.

While critics may be vocal, fans have let their money do the talking. Nickelback’s latest album, “Here and Now,” went gold (500,000 copies sold) just over three months after its November release.

Locally fans have flocked to see the group, which drew more than 12,000 for its 2010 show at the Dome and more than 8,000 in 2006.

Kroeger later made light of his prediction about never being enshrined.

“Well, we may be dead by then, but I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will probably show up the same time as our first Grammy,” he said with a laugh. “And the only Grammy that we would ever win would be Lifetime Achievement Award – thanks for sticking around longer than anyone else.”

He may be right. Popular rock groups like Kiss and Bon Jovi have longer careers and more albums sold than Nickelback, but have been snubbed by the Rock Hall.

But if they ever get in, Kroeger won’t pull an Axl Rose.

“Why wouldn’t he want to be celebrated, you know?” Kroeger said. “Guns N' Roses, had they stayed together, would still be one of the biggest bands in the world. You know, it’s an absolute shame when bands have to break up and they can’t see eye to eye on things. … And when your fans, when everybody, when the industry and just your genre, everybody wants to celebrate you and that. And the things that you created and ‘thanks for the good music and yadda, yadda,’ whatever have you. And then for someone to just be like, ‘Uh, not into it.’ I just find that a little bit pompous.”

“He’s got the reasons I guess, so it’s unfortunate,” said Peake. “I want to remember them as, you know, in their heyday.”

“At least he’s not holding a grudge,” Kroeger quipped.

If you go

What: Nickelback, Bush, Seether and My Darkest Days

When: 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: Fargodome, 1800 N. University Drive

Info: Tickets are $49.50, $59.50 and $69.50. For more information, call (855) 694-6367 or go to www.inforumtix.com

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533