Monday, February 3, 2014
I know I'm a little late on this, but indulge me. It's 2014 and another Grammy ceremony has passed. The brightest stars of lowest common denominator, mass market product masquerading as sonic art donned their best overpriced clothing and crowded into a theater to engage in a night of mutual ego stroking. Of course, in the aftermath, we are once again treated to a round of pissing and moaning from people who presume to call themselves "metalheads." This year one heavy metal news site even went so far as to send an open letter to the Grammy organization to scold them for not televising the "best heavy metal performance" award. There was a time about 14 or so years ago, when the 14 year old metal fan that I was would have joined right along in this whine fest. The 28 year old metal fan that I am, however, sees things a bit differently. First of all, there are plenty of other genres whose awards do not make the telecast. When was the last time you saw the awards that they give for Classical, Jazz, or "world" music during the T.V. broadcast? To act like Heavy Metal is the only musical genre that gets snubbed by this overproduced dog show is ridiculous. What's more is have any of you who complain about this taken the time to ask yourselves this: does lacking recognition from the Grammy committee make any of your favourite bands any less good? My favourite bands are (in no particular order) Death, Rush, Dark Tranquility, Nevermore, and Exhorder. As far as I know, none of those guys have ever won a Grammy.... and four of them have never even been nominated. It doesn't make me like them any less. If things like that matter to you, you are a rather shallow individual and should probably be reevaluating your music choice as there is really no place for that in the metal community. Now, think about this. What would happen if the Grammys did show more love, respect, whatever to the metal community? Do you think you would suddenly see At The Gates, Testament, etc tearing up the stage at the ceremony every year? Well, yes and no. What you would be treated to is another hallmark of these vapid awards ceremonies: arranged by committee, awkward, on stage "collaborations." You know what I'm talking about. When you see random rock band A performing with random rapper B. They usually perform a slap dash version of a snippet of a song by each where rock band A's song has some rapping tacked on and rapper B's song has some out of place distorted guitars tacked on. They never serve to enhance either and are invariably terrible. Would you really want to suffer through say..... Annihilator featuring Nicki Minaj or Sodom featuring Drake? Something tells me the answer is no. Grow up, this is like high school politics taken to a new level. The guys with long hair and black clothes who pretend to be nonconformists and claim to like being "against the grain" and then complain when the popular kids don't invite them to their parties. Heavy Metal is a form of music that is, and always has been, pretty noncommercial. Yes, it has a following, but you have to face facts.... music that is so overtly dark in its lyrical approach, mathematical in its rhythmic approach, abrasive in tone, and often heavily chops based in its execution is never going to get recognition on the same level as the easy to listen to material that is paraded around on the Grammy telecast. I'm a big believer in the "if you don't like it, then don't watch it" philosophy. If Heavy Metal not being represented at the Grammy awards annoys you so much..... watch something else when it is on, or better yet.... throw on an album by one of the bands that you claim to love so much and turn the damn T.V. off.