No one is going to mistake Nickelback for the heaviest band out there by any stretch.
Even though the band definitely fits in the hard rock category and even counts bands like Alice in Chains and Metallica as their influences, they also tend to be the one rock band that’s big enough to actually get on the charts, with ‘Photograph’ being seared into most of our collective memories.
On that exact same record though, Chad Kroeger talked about collaborating with one of the meanest guitarists to ever walk the Earth.
When speaking about songs off of their album All the Right Reasons, Chad had talked about using some of Dimebag Darrell’s posthumous work for the record, saying “It was great being friends with him and being able to get outtakes from his guitar solos that didn’t get used on ‘Cowboys From Hell’ and ‘Far Beyond Driven’.
We were able to take them and chop them up and build a solo to put into a song, with his brother Vinnie’s nod of approval. That was on the song ‘Side Of A Bullet.’”
While hearing Dimebag on a Nickelback record might be the equivalent of hearing an Eddie Van Halen guitar solo on a Machine Gun Kelly record, the actual results do end up sounding pretty heavy here, actually turning the fragments of his old licks into something that sounds Southern-fried in some spots.
Chad did end up talking about how haunting it was listening to the tapes as well, saying that “To be able to listen to him and only him, and hear his accuracy, would just give you goosebumps. It was absolutely mind-blowing. He had a very influential tone, too.”
Even without him being there working on the song though, Chad talked about how those initial demo solos still had the same feel that any Dimebag solo had on the record, saying:
“The tastefulness of Dime’s riffs and solos is unparalleled. He goes into these bluesy lines, sounding like some Southern bluesman, and then a second later he instantly becomes a metal shredder with all the harmonics and horse squeals with the bar.”
Considering what they do in the world of hip-hop with deceased artists, this might be the most high-profile sample to ever find its way onto a Nickelback record. It’s a shame it couldn’t have been a Pantera cut, but even from beyond the grave Dime was finding ways to impress us.