604 Records

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What label? That’s what Chad Kroeger asked on the fateful day in 2002 when Nickelback’s attorney Jonathan Simkin called him and said, ”Hey man, here’s something interesting, I think I just started a bidding war on our label.”

Seven years later, and having just secured 604 Records’ first ever US Gold with Theory Of A Deadman’s Scars and Souvenirs album, Simkin says, “I’ll never forget what he said. ‘What label?’”

Back then, Kroeger was riding the cyclone of immediate and astronomical success as Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” became the post-grunge confessional that ate the world.

This was after six years of slow-building from the Last Picture Show ground up of Hanna, Alberta, to the bitchy maelstrom of Vancouver’s late ‘90s, punk and credibility-infatuated music scene, and further onto moderate Stateside success with Nickelback’s sophomore album, The State. And suddenly, Kroeger and his erstwhile friend, strategist, and behind-the-scenes partner Simkin found themselves on the other side of the looking glass.

Recalls Simkin, “Once Nickleback took off, all of these American labels are looking at us like we’re the Godfathers of some neo-grunge movement taking place in
Vancouver. Which was not true. It was insane. It was off the hook.”

Before that, Kroeger merely had an ad hoc interest in developing other bands, while Simkin was pursuing an ad hoc interest in structuring the business side of his client’s activities – something the duo dry-ran in 2000 when they negotiated a deal with TVT for one of Kroeger’s earlier discoveries, Default. Simkin was in LA shopping around another of Kroeger’s pet bands, Theory of a Deadman, when “How You Remind Me” changed everything.

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