As Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives push forward with formal impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump, an innocent beloved Canadian rock band has been dragged into the fray.
On Wednesday, Trump shared a meme featuring the hit 2005 song “Photograph” by Nickelback. The video posted to Twitter concerned former vice-president and current Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son’s business dealings in Ukraine.
LOOK AT THIS PHOTOGRAPH! pic.twitter.com/QQYTqG4KTt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2019
It’s a tried and true meme format. In this case, Trump used the Canadian rockers to try to call out Biden, first with footage of the Democrat denying involvement in corruption and then the “photograph” in question, which shows Biden and his son playing golf with someone identified as “Ukraine Gas Exec.
This week, a whistleblower came forward with accusations that Trump abused his presidential powers. A particular phone call is under scrutiny, where Trump allegedly pressured the Ukraine president to dig up dirt on Biden and his son in order to help his own 2020 U.S. re-election campaign.
The impeachment wheels are churning, as the American political system continues its song and dance.
And now Nickelback, a band of the 1990s/2000s most famous for being hated for no apparent reason, has been dragged into the whole thing. And I will admit it is oddly fitting to hear the phrase “Donald Trump tweeted a Nickelback meme.” Something about it feels so peak 2019.
i mean, if i were being impeached, i would post nickelback memes about it
— pumpkin spice liz bruenig (@ebruenig) October 2, 2019
Band members Chad Kroeger, Ryan Peake, Mike Kroeger and Ryan Vikedal — who according to the band’s Twitter account are currently on tour in Brazil — have not responded to Trump’s tweet yet.
Now, Nickelback did not ask for this. And frankly, they’ve been through enough.
hasn't nickelback suffered enough
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) October 2, 2019
In 2013, Rolling Stone named them the second-worst band of the ’90s behind Creed. And according to tastebuds.fm, they are the number one musical turn-off for people.
It’s hard to explain why people love to hate Nickelback. They’re successful, they’ve sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, their songs are hella catchy and they’re Canadian icons.
Frankly, we should be talking about Kroeger alongside Celine Dion or Drake in the pantheon of Canadians we’re proud of.
But instead, the band is a laughing stock used in memes co-opted by the American president. In 2015, NPR Music writer Stephen Thompson said we love to hate Nickelback, because that’s what we do.
“Nickelback sold millions of records in a style that’s fallen out of fashion through overexposure. The genre to which the band has typically belonged — umpteenth-generation copy-of-a-copy post-grunge, dispensed with urgent, Creed-esque self-importance — has seen the scales of public opinion tip overwhelmingly against it,” he wrote.
If nothing else from this whole mess, allow the meme to put this vision of Donald Trump in your head, alone in the White House singing:
Every memory of lookin’ out the back door
I have the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor
It’s hard to say it
Time to say it