Former Nickelback drummer Ryan Vikedal would like to set the record straight: His departure from the band was no "departure." He was fired. "I still don't know the reason," he says during a phone call to the Sun yesterday.
"We met with producer Bob Rock before Christmas holidays and everything seemed fine, but when I got back from the holidays, I was told I was fired."
Vikedal says he was taken completely by surprise and had been ready to start work on the next album when he got the news.
He says he wasn't impressed by how singer Chad Kroeger and the other musicians handled it - summoning him to the tour manager's house for a meeting on Jan. 3 only to be told "my heart wasn't in it," the 29-year-old drummer says.
"And then they went on to say that I'm not quite the rock drummer that they were looking for - and this after three albums and 17 million records sold.
"I had to direct the meeting because they kept blabbing about my playing and that I wasn't happy with the band. It was just a bunch of lame excuses because no one could tell me the deal.
"I had to tell them to cut the s--- and get to the point. And even then they couldn't bring themselves to tell me I was done."
Vikedal says his replacement will be Three Doors Down drummer Daniel Adair, who is from Vancouver.
Nickelback and Three Doors Down toured together last year and Vikedal says he figures the change was in the works even back then.
On the prospect of Three Doors Down now needing a drummer, he shoots back, "No, thanks. I'm done with them."
Now, he says, "I feel like there's a weight off my shoulders but I'd like the honest truth to come out.
"I feel pretty betrayed by what was once called a family."
Vikedal says he's going to take a year off to study music in Boston, with teachers from the Berklee College of Music.
Nickelback, meanwhile, will not be working with Bob Rock after all, according to Vikedal, as Kroeger will again produce the band himself for the followup to the multi-platinum selling album, The Long Road.
Following the hit single How You Remind Me in 2001, the former Hanna group became one of the biggest modern rock bands in the world.
Of the snippets of new Nickelback material Vikedal has been privy to hear, he offers a one-word description: "Ballad-y."
A spokesman at Nickelback's Los Angeles management company denied that Vikedel has been replaced, saying he and the band have just "parted ways." The band itself was not available for comment.