Chad Kroeger laughs when asked if the phenomenal sales for 2005's "All the Right Reasons" gave confidence to Nickelback as it set out to make its sixth studio album, "Dark Horse."
"No, because look what we have to try to live up to," says Kroeger, who co-founded the quartet in 1995 in Alberta, Canada. "There's a mountain sitting behind us. We've got to try and put something out now that's going to stand up to that. So for us, the bar has been raised ridiculously high."
"Dark Horse," which comes out Nov. 18 on Roadrunner and was co-produced by Mutt Lange, certainly has a target to clear. Buoyed by seven multiformat hit singles and five No. 1 videos-and apparently unaffected by widespread critical drubbing-"All the Right Reasons" has sold 10 million copies worldwide, according to Roadrunner, and spent a staggering 110 consecutive weeks in the top 30 of the Billboard 200. It fell off the chart Oct. 11 after a 156-week run, the longest registered in 11 years.
"All the Right Reasons" also took off in a big way this summer in Europe, meaning Kroeger and his bandmates-brother and bassist Mike Kroeger, guitarist Ryan Peake and drummer Daniel Adair-were multitasking across two continents as they recorded "Dark Horse" and promoted its predecessor.
"We've never left the previous album cycle," Roadrunner president Jonas Nachsin says. "That's got to be a seriously positive sign going into a new one. It's become such a monster to try to put our arms around, we're just doing the best we can to guide it into fruition at this point."
In his first interview about the new album, Kroeger -- who started working with Lange ("The dude is my hero," he says) on "Dark Horse" in March in Switzerland -- acknowledges that he "would've liked a longer break" for himself. But he also recognized it was time for more Nickelback music in the marketplace.
"If you're a fan of the band and you went out and got 'All the Right Reasons' the first week it was released, you'd be waiting for new material for, like, three years now," Kroeger says. "So it was definitely time for us to make sure that we had a new album and some new songs for the fans."