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The 5 Biggest Takeaways From This Year’s GRAMMY Awards

From Matt Pike to Vinnie Paul, the GRAMMYs was a night of highs and lows for rock and metal fans.

Another year, another GRAMMY bash we weren’t invited to. The 61st annual Recording Academy awards took place in New York last night, celebrating the great and the good across EIGHTY-FUCKING-FOUR different categories. It was a long night, where not a lot happened besides Childish Gambino no-showing and Cardi B laying the smack down, but there are some important talking points for us rock fans. Starting with…

What The Hell Was That St. Vincent Win All About?

Okay, now this one just doesn’t add up. St. Vincent won Best Rock Song for her track Masseduction, originally released in 2017 on the album of the same name. Truthfully, it absolutely slams, and is a great alt-pop song. In fact, the LP bearing that same name was nominated for this year’s Best Alternative Music Album gong, losing out to Beck. So how does the single from a GRAMMY nominated ‘alternative music’ album go on to win Best Song in the rock category? At the risk of sounding like the Chewbacca Defense from South Park, it does not make sense.

St. Vincent bested Bring Me The Horizon, Ghost, Greta Van Fleet and twenty one pilots with a track originally released in October 2017. Is this a case of the GRAMMYs simply not knowing what is happening in rock music today? BMTH are one of the biggest bands on the planet right now, Ghost are a phenomenon, GvF are selling out huge rooms off the back of a debut album and twenty one pilots are about to become bona fide rock festival headliners…

Somebody has some explaining to do.

Matt Pike Is A GRAMMY Winner

Just read that sentence back again. The man behind the 63-minute stoner anthem Dopesmoker has now been recognised by the Recording Academy for his contributions to metal. Admittedly, the award was for High On Fire’s excellent Electric Messiah album, but you cannot deny Matt Pike’s impact on heavy music. He’s remained firmly in the underground for his entire career, but as doom and stoner culture becomes part of the zeitgeist in heavy circles, the Sleep mastermind is finally getting his dues. It sucks that the metal award is so early into the evening that the hall was basically empty, but it’s rad to hear Kurt Ballou getting a shout-out at the biggest awards show in music.

Greta Van Fleet Won Best Album… For An EP

While it took the legendary Matt Pike 30-plus years to receive his gilded phonograph, Greta Van Fleet won a GRAMMY on their very first try. And it wasn’t even for their most recent record! GvF managed to win Best Rock Album for their second EP, From The Fires, released almost a whole year before debut album Anthem Of The Peaceful Army. It’s hugely deserved by GvF, and it’s hard to argue that another new band has seen as much success as these Michigan rock stars in 2018, but why not nominate their full-length record? Or hand out awards for EPs?! Can’t hurt to add in even more categories, can it?

Oli Sykes Looked Dapper

It’s a shame that Bring Me The Horizon didn’t win a GRAMMY on their first try, but did you cop a load of Oli Sykes’ suit? Covered in what looked like blood-red leaves and butterflies, the BMTH vocalist stood out massively amongst other normo-suited bores. What’s more, later in the evening he swapped his jacket and shirt for a Cannibal Corpse longsleeve to meet the Backstreet Boys. Incredible.

Vinnie Paul Was Snubbed

This one really sucks. We can moan about St. Vincent winning like it’s a sleight on rock culture, but this one actually hurts. In the GRAMMYs’ annual In Memoriam reel, there was zero mention of the late-Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul, who passed away in June last year at the age of 54. To be clear, we’ve lost a number of musicians over the past 12 months and we’re not expecting every one to be included, but this is Vinnie Paul – he founded Pantera! He is responsible for the sound of metal in the ’90s and not letting heavy metal die when everyone else was looking to grunge for The New Sound. This man deserves to be remembered for his contribution to music and it’s a travesty he wasn’t deemed worthy of inclusion in this year’s video package.

Words: Luke Morton

Posted on February 11th 2019, 5:01pm
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