Nickelback Choose "Long Road"

Heavy fourth album due in September

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Nickelback's upcoming album, The Long Road, due September 23rd, features some of the heaviest songs the Vancouver-based rock band has ever recorded.

"It sounds like Pantera meets Metallica," says Nickelback frontman and songwriter Chad Kroeger. "That comes out of my roots. I'm a metal guitar player at heart."

But Road's first single, "Someday," is a lighter track. "It's a very 'How You Remind Me'-esque song," explains Kroeger. "It will appeal to the largest audience . . . That's what record companies are for."

While Kroeger has been the songwriter over the course of Nickelback's three albums -- 1996's Curb, 1999's The State, and 2001's multi-platinum Silver Side Up -- he says he allowed his bandmates, brother Mike Kroeger (bass), Ryan Peake (guitar) and Ryan Vikedal (drums), more input lyrically this time around.

"On the single, I allowed contributions from other people," he says, "which I don't really like doing -- I'm the one who sings them and I'm the one that has to believe in the words. But they came up with some really tasty stuff."

Kroeger approaches songwriting like a science -- he actually dissects the ingredients of a hit song. "If you study songwriting, you can learn so much," he says. "That's why there are so many one-hit wonders -- they don't know how to write. They stumble onto it by accident once. I study everything -- everything sonically, everything lyrically, everything musically, chord structure."

Nickelback also decided to produce the album themselves, after sharing credit for Silver Side Up with Rick Parashar. "Too many producers are glorified engineers," Kroeger says. "For me, the ultimate producer can play the guitar better than I can, can play the drums better than I can, can sing better than I can -- which isn't that tough -- can arrange songs better than I can, and can come up with hooks better than I can. That's the only way I'm going to have respect for somebody's opinion."

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