Thrash metal pioneers MEGADETH have been nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award for “Best Metal Performance” for the title track of their latest album, “Dystopia”. This marks the band’s 12th Grammy nomination in this category (including nominations in the discontinued “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance” category). The band is hoping to win its first Grammy at the 59th annual event, which will be held on February 12, 2017 at Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.
The Grammys are voted on by approximately 13,000 Recording Academy members, who are comprised of artists, songwriters, producers and engineers. More than 21,700 recordings were submitted for Grammys consideration this year. For 2017 awards, music must have been released between October 1, 2015, and September 30, 2016, in order to be eligible.
Asked by FeMetal TV if he thinks the Recording Academy members understand the heavy metal genre, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson said (see video below): “No, not really. The Grammys is a very broad entity, and they honor all kinds of different music. And certainly they’re credible, and it’s incredible to be nominated again and invited back. But do they fundamentally just understand every single genre? How could you?”
He continued: “Really, it’s the voters. I stayed on as a voting member for a few years after we started getting nominations back in the ’90s, and then I just kind of discontinued it. But it’s recognition by your industry and by your peers for the work that you’ve done. And I assume it’s nice to win [laughs] — hopefully we’ll know one day.
“It’s always nice to be nominated. And I think being nominated for a metal band, that says a lot. Because if you’re a pop act, if you’re Nashville, or an urban act, a Grammy can really put a lot of wind in your sails — to sell records, to bring notoriety, touring… on all aspects. I remember Norah Jones, the little girl with eleven or whatever Grammys she had, it changed her life. Whereas a metal band, we’ve been around many years — we’ve done the ground work, we’ve done the leg work, we’ve toured, we have a very intrinscic connection with our fanbase already.
Ellefson added: “The Grammy thing is obviously wonderful. But I think we are a genre… And there’s a lot of genres there, because there’s something like a hundred categories; they only televise, like, twelve or fourteen of ’em on TV, but there’s another, literally, sixty [or] seventy categories that they give away from 1 p.m. ’till 5 p.m. before the televised section starts — Tejano music, things that I barely even have heard of. And they’re honoring that. And that is the thing that I think is cool about the Grammys — they have really widened themselves out to honoring all of these different genres, and deservedly so. There isn’t just one-size-fits-all in music, so it’s cool that they honor that, and it’s great that metal is one of those.”
MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine released a statement earlier in the month in which he expressed his gratitude for the band’s latest Grammy nomination. He said: “Last time we were nominated, I was at the awards talking with Kenny G and I said how we’d been nominated a lot, but hadn’t won it yet. He said, ‘Don’t feel bad. It took me 21 times to win my first one!’
“This has been such an incredible year for MEGADETH. With so many milestones, and so many individual and group awards, to now have this honor of being nominated again is the grand finale to the most perfect campaign.
“We are very appreciative and thankful to all of our peers and contemporaries that are voting for the 2017 Grammys.”
MEGADETH recently completed a month-long U.S. tour with AMON AMARTH, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, METAL CHURCH and BUTCHER BABIES.
The band is continuing to tour in support of “Dystopia”, which came out in January.