Canadian rockers Nickelback grabbed the headlines in October 2019 when then-U.S. president Donald Trump tweeted a meme targeting then-former vice president and current president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, set to the band’s 2005 hit “Photograph”.
Trump’s since-removed video echoed his unsubstantiated allegations that Biden improperly used his influence in office to benefit his son Hunter.
The video opened with a clip of Biden saying that he’s never spoken to his son about overseas business dealings. The video then cut to the “Photograph” clip of Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger holding a framed photograph of Biden and his son on an apparent golf outing with a “Ukraine gas exec” named Devon Archer, who reportedly served with Hunter on the Ukrainian gas company board.
“LOOK AT THIS PHOTOGRAPH!” Trump captioned the tweet, referencing the song’s opening line. Though the text of Trump’s tweet remains, Twitter ultimately removed the video after Warner Music made a copyright complaint.
Ryan Peake talks about the incident
During a new interview with Nardwuar The Human Serviette, Chad and Nickelback guitarist Ryan Peake were asked what their initial reaction was to Trump’s tweet.
“Bizarre. Very bizarre,” Chad said: “That was really tough to put words on.”
“I could have done without it, put it that way,” added Ryan.
Asked by Nardwuar if there is anything they can do when something like that happens, Ryan said: “Yeah, you could do something. I got talked off the ledge that night. We were in Rio [De Janeiro] that night.”
“I thought it was hilarious,” Chad continued. “Somebody came to us with the metrics the following week and they said, ‘Did you realize that because he tweeted that, ‘Photograph’ got played 700 million times?'” Ryan added: “Yeah, I’m not gonna give him that credit. [Laughs].”
Chad added: “We stepped back, didn’t do anything. The label went and said, ‘You can’t do that. This is illegal. You can’t use the band’s…’ whatever. We just sort of stepped back and didn’t do anything.”