Originally a jazz drummer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Ryan Vikedal replaced Mitch Guindon as the drummer for post-grunge rockers Nickelback, in 1998, just before the band was set to make it big, drumming on what would become their first major-label success, The State, released that same year. With Vikedal's contribution cementing the band's sound, they signed a deal with EMI and Roadrunner Records. And in 2000, the big labels re-released The State, which the band had originally released independently. The exposure that followed fueled a rapid rise in popularity throughout Canada and the U.S.
The next year Vikedal and his bandmates released the album that would officially launch them into superstardom, Silver Side Up, which featured the singles “How You Remind Me,” “Too Bad,” and “Never Again,” hits that instantly went into heavy rotation on mainstream rock radio. Silver Side Up eventually reached multi-platinum status and gained Nickelback a huge following worldwide. With their use of big, heavy rock riffs and earnest, hook-laden vocals, Nickelback connected with fans across a broad musical spectrum, making them a staple of the modern rock scene. While Vikedal’s drumming is rooted in jazz, his work with Nickelback is straightforward rock drumming. On songs like “How You Remind Me” and “Never Again”, Vikedal plays big, heavy beats that keep the song moving relentlessly forward. Much of his work with Nickelback is simple four-count beats, but with his use of tasteful accent notes creates a fuller sound that works equally well in a ballad context.
And he would have ample opportunity to show off his skills. After the success of Silver Side Up, Vikedal and his bandmates released yet another mainstream smash hit in 2003, The Long Road Home. With the hit single “Someday” helping the album earn another multi-platinum distinction, Nickelback was virtually assured an enduring position at the top of the modern rock totem pole for years to come. The Long Road Home would be Vikedal's last with the band. In 2005, just before the recording for Nickelback's fifth album All The Right Reasons, Vikedal left the band amidst talk of internal tensions. He was replaced by 3 Doors Down drummer Daniel Adair.