Lawmakers Debate Merits Of Nickelback Band On House Floor

Mar 8, 2019
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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The band Nickelback was a surprise topic of discussion on the House floor yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOW YOU REMIND ME")

NICKELBACK: (Singing) This is how you remind me of what I really am.

SHAPIRO: Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan of Wisconsin dissed the group while debating a voting rights provision.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARK POCAN: Seventy-seven thousand people did comment. Only four wanted to keep this provision. That's probably about the percent of people who think Nickelback is their favorite band in this country. It's pretty low.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

What Pocan didn't expect was to find a true Nickelback fan right across the aisle.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RODNEY DAVIS: Why would you criticize one of the greatest bands of the '90s?

POCAN: Wow.

SHAPIRO: Congressman Rodney Davis, a Republican from Illinois, passionately defended Nickelback's honor.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DAVIS: I actually do have a Nickelback song on my running playlist that I listen to on a regular basis.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOW YOU REMIND ME")

NICKELBACK: (Singing) It's not like you to say sorry. I was waiting for a different story.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DAVIS: I know he did not mean to offend the many, many thousands upon thousands of Nickelback fans in his district in Wisconsin.

CORNISH: NPR Music's Stephen Thompson is from Wisconsin. He had something to say about that.

STEPHEN THOMPSON, BYLINE: Mark Pocan is not losing his seat over Nickelback.

SHAPIRO: This is hardly the first time Nickelback has found itself a punchline - after all, they did once lose a popularity contest to a pickle.

CORNISH: Still, Nickelback shouldn't take this too hard. After all, how many bands can say they made it to the House floor?

THOMPSON: I'm just glad that this conversation is in the Congressional Record, that now it belongs to the ages.

SHAPIRO: Stephen Thompson of NPR Music. Take us out, Nickelback.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROCKSTAR")

NICKELBACK: (Singing) 'Cause we all just want to be big rock stars and live in hilltop houses, driving 15 cars. The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap. We all stay skinny 'cause we just don't... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.