‘Crimes Against Music:’ Nickelback Wanted by Australian Police

Australian police have issued a “be on the lookout (BOLO)” alert for rock band Nickelback after claiming the group has perpetrated “crimes against music.”

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) released a “Wanted” poster on its Facebook page Wednesday complete with a sketch of the polarizing band, urging Australians to be wary of “men who are believed to be impersonating musicians around Boondall this evening.”

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Nickelback is set to play a show in Brisbane’s Entertainment Centre Wednesday night, but the Queensland police department are apparently not very big fans of the group.

“Avoid the area. It may be hazardous to your hearing and street cred,” the police department wrote.

The QPS has taken a shot at Nickelback and other Canadian musicians on social media before; last year, the police department posted a photo of officers escorting Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper during the G20 summit and captioned it, “They gave us Celine, Nickelback & Bieber but we’ll still help with their PM’s motorcade.”

Nickelback is infamous for being the band that everyone loves to hate. In 2011, more than 50,000 people signed a petition to cancel the group’s halftime performance during the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving Day football game, and the band ended up playing just one song after getting loudly booed during the show.

Last October, a man started a Kickstarter campaign to permanently ban Nickelback from playing in London, a campaign that ultimately failed.

“Just imagine, thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of music lovers, all not witnessing an exclusive concert by Nickelback in London,” Craig Mandell, the campaign’s founder, said at the time. “It will be glorious. Legendary.”

In November, The New Yorker’s Ian Crouch suggested that the hate that has surrounded the band over the last decade has helped keep it culturally relevant. And the numbers certainly don’t lie: Nickelback has sold over 50 million albums since forming in late ’90s.

Stranger still is that Nickelback’s music is “smarter” than most of the top-selling rock bands of the last decade: according to a study published this week by Andrew Powell-Morse, the band’s lyrics average slightly higher than a third-grade reading level, a low number to be sure, but higher than most other rock artists.

Of course, the band is laughing all the way to the bank; after the Australian leg of their tour, they have got dates scheduled all over the world, including in the U.S. and Europe. The band plays London’s Wembley Arena (capacity: 12,500) on November 24.

 


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