Nickelback rocks again, and the band’s Surrey-raised drummer is loving it

Current Langley resident Daniel Adair talks about a new album, tour and the good life after a dozen years as a member of the band

Drummer Daniel Adair (left) and his Nickelback bandmates will play Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Oct. 1.

SURREY — Nickelback is rocking again, and Daniel Adair is loving it.

The band’s Surrey-raised drummer, along with his three bandmates, is in the midst of recording a ninth studio album, called “Feed the Machine,” prior to the start of a summer tour.

The new album is due out on June 9, just two weeks before Nickelback begins a 45-date journey across North America in Noblesville, Indiana. The band is set to end the tour on Oct. 1 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

When the Now-Leader recently called Adair, he was driving from his Glen Valley-area home to the nearby abode of Nickelback singer/guitarist Chad Kroeger, to work on some songs for the new LP.

“The pressure cooker is on,” Adair said with a nervous laugh. “We have some work to do, yeah. We only have about half of (the album) done, and there’s good songs in the works but they just have to be finalized. It’s a bit of a process, you know.”

PICTURED: Photo of Daniel Adair posted to his Twitter page.

Adair in still the “new” guy in Nickelback, although he joined the band more than a dozen years ago, in early 2005.

Technology has changed plenty since then, and so has the way Nickelback records new music. Enthusiastically, Adair shed some light on the process.

“We’re kind of strange in a way, because we record as we write, and technology can afford us to do that now,” Adair explained. “We have an engineer up from Los Angeles, we go to Chad’s house (and) all you need is a mic, a kickass computer and Protools rig, and you’ve got everything. The drums are programmed as they go along, so they have something to write to.

“It used to be that the drums were done first and everybody built on top of that, but this way now, I do the drums last,” Adair added. “The song’s all written, the parts are kind of there, and I built a studio at my house so the guys don’t even have to come over there. They came over once and they didn’t want to be in the room with me smashing the drums, so they just email the tracks over and I’ll do the drums, and either email them back or run a hard drive over. I can track drums in my pajamas out in the forest where I live, it’s fantastic.”

At age 42, Adair is loving life as a member of one of the world’s most popular bands.

Yes, they are.

Adair and his wife, Brittany, recently celebrated their 10th anniversary, and they have two kids, aged five and seven.

As a kid in Grade One, the future drummer’s family moved from Toronto to Whalley.

“It was pretty rough in Whalley, sure,” he told the Now in 2007. “Friends would show me their bruises from the beating they got from their stepfather the night before, stuff like that.”

Years later, after getting some schooling in North Delta, Adair landed a job at the Long & McQuade store in Whalley, where he connected with other musicians and practised the drums until his hands blistered. He was soon good enough to land studio work, including a session with the American band Three Doors Down and, eventually, a permanent job with Nickelback.

”When I first got the Three Doors gig, I won the lottery, and when I got the Nickelback gig, I won the lottery again,” Adair said. “That’s a long time doing this now, and you go through a lot of stuff in your personal life as well. There’s been hard times for everyone but it kind of came around a bit four years ago or so, with all of our kids getting older. I’m very happy in my family life, with the best wife and best kids, and we’re in this place watching the music industry deteriorate, and knowing you’re very fortunate. I have one of the most coveted drum thrones in the industry. There are so many drummers I know, way better than me, that would just kill to be in my position, so I’m very grateful for what I’ve got. You know, I can provide for my family and I’m doing what I love to do, and the appreciation factor is really high.”

(story continues below)

Adair’s hard-pounding drum work kicks off the new album’s first single, “Feed the Machine,” which was released on Feb. 1 as a “lyric video” in advance of the album. Since then, the clip has been viewed nearly four million times on YouTube.

With chugging guitars and frantic pace, the song echoes Nickelback’s early days, not the band’s more pop-sounding songs of recent years.

“Yeah, we went through that era, especially after working with (producer) Matt Lange, where things were a little more four on the floor, back in the ‘Dark Horse’ album days, and it’s nice for me to stretch and play some more interesting stuff again,” Adair raved. “We’re going back to this roots of Nickelback kind of thing, you know. I’m a rock fan at heart and we went pretty pop there. It all depends on what comes out of Chad, and that was just the mode he was in. He writes great songs but I like when they rock a little better.”

With screaming fans to soon welcome back Nickelback to arenas across the continent, Adair reflected on a rock ‘n’ roll journey that now involves his own family, one he adores.

“When I was a young man I always said, ‘I’m never gonna have kids. I don’t want ‘em,’ but then I met the right woman,” Adair said. “I was still anxious about it all, but it all worked out, you know. That first year with the first baby, that was a hard one for me. That was the roughest point for me as a father, on the ‘Dark Horse’ tour, where I quit drinking, quit partying and tried to be responsible, but I was stressed out about having a kid and there was a learning curve with all that. Well, glad we got through that. It’s good now.”

Tickets for Nickelback’s Oct. 1 concert at Rogers Arena are available through The show will include opening bands Cheap Trick and Shaman’s Harvest.



Just Posted

Newton bingo hall to close after April 21

Gateway Casinos ‘working to transition its employees from the Newton facility to other Gateway properties in the region’

‘Significant waitlists’ for early French Immersion programs in Surrey

District struggling to find specialist teachers for French Immersion, Fine Arts and Montessori programs

Surrey MP apologizes for inviting criminal to Trudeau reception

Posing for photos with controversial people has been a bane for politicians

White Rock ‘demoviction’ complaint heard at RTB

Decision expected to be made next week

‘Anti-gym’ for baby boomers opens in Surrey today

Expanding Surrey-born company is brainchild of city’s 2017 Business Person of the Year, Sara Hodson

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

More snow expected on the Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says five to 10 centimetres will come down between Friday and Saturday mornings

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

Lane closures on Alex Fraser, Port Mann bridges considered to avoid ‘ice bombs’

Province spent $5 million clearing both bridges last years

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

Most Read