“Which band truly epitomizes dad rock today?”: New survey claims to have the answer, at least in the US

father and child playing guitars
(Image credit: Getty Images/Siri Stafford)

Nickelback have 'won' out as America’s leading ‘dad rock’ band in a trolly new survey.

'Geek merchandise’ firm Merchoid asked 3000 people one simple question: ‘Which band truly epitomises dad rock today?’ Over 26% of respondents voted for the Canadians, over twice as many as their nearest rivals, Van Halen and Blink 182 who were on 12% each.

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Yes, that’s Blink 182, the pop punkers who used to sing about zits and teenage angst. They’re now a ‘dad rock’ band. I know…

Chad Kroeger’s crew also topped the chart for the ‘Ultimate Dad Rock Song’, with their 2001 hit How You Remind Me beating Van Halen’s Jump, Under The Bridge, Smells Like Teen Spirit and Sweet Child O’ Mine. Limp Bizkit’s Break Stuff and What’s My Age Again by Blink 182 also made the top ten.

If nothing else, the survey reveals the changing nature of male musical taste. Back in the 1970s dads, if they listened to anything at all, went for Perry Como and Sinatra. In the 1980s the face of dad rock, at least in the UK, was Chris Rea. Now the list encompasses acts like Linkin Park, Nirvana and Limp Bizkit and perhaps more predictably, Bon Jovi and Guns N’ Roses.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication (Official Music Video) [HD UPGRADE] - YouTube Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication (Official Music Video) [HD UPGRADE] - YouTube
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The survey also shows where in the US these acts are most popular. As you’d expect Red Hot Chili Peppers were top of the, ahem, pops in their home state of California. But interestingly, middle-class Brits Coldplay won out in South Dakota of all places. Nickelback are seemingly big wherever you go in the States.

If a similar survey was to be compiled in the UK it’s a fair bet that many of those punk pop bands would be replaced by the likes of Oasis, Blur, Travis and the king of British dad rock, Paul Weller.

The survey also threw up some interesting stats. Over 57% thought that music today is worse than it was in the past, with only 3% thinking it’s better. 40% believe that today’s songs are just as good as the classics.

As for the phrase ‘grandad rock’, 86% of respondents associated it with the 1960s, whereas only 6% linked it to the grunge era. Over 41% feel that you 'become out of touch with modern music by the age of 35', whilst 30% said you 'never get out of touch'.

For more information on the survey go to www.merchoid.com  

Will Simpson
News and features writer

Will Simpson is a freelance music expert whose work has appeared in Classic Rock, Classic Pop, Guitarist and Total Guitar magazine. He is the author of 'Freedom Through Football: Inside Britain's Most Intrepid Sports Club' and his second book 'An American Cricket Odyssey' is due out in 2025