The 58th Annual Grammy Awards happened on Monday and saw music’s glamorous inner circle erupt in Los Angeles to celebrate the best releases and performances of the past year. Artists from all corners of the industry were praised, with categories from Latin Jazz Album to Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song joining the festivities.
Even rock and metal got a mention! We were thrilled to hear that the metal category was represented by bands such as Lamb of God, August Burns Red and Slipknot, with Ghost winning the award for Metal Performance with ‘Cirice‘, while the rock category was represented by… Wait, James Bay? Florence + The Machine? With Alabama Shakes winning two out of three rock awards? Um, okay…
Don’t get us wrong, the Grammys obviously start out with all good intentions of including rock artists in their ceremony, and we can see that with bands like Foo Fighters and Muse being selected as nominees. But, somewhere along the way, these intentions became lost and the few genuine rock artists end up wildly outnumbered by indie, pop and alternative artists- or, really, anyone whose songs bear some semblance of guitar. With such an outcome, the Grammys no longer fairly represent what the rest of the world generally acknowledges as rock ’n’ roll.
There have been some great accomplishments for alternative rock artists this year. For example, they might not be everyone’s cup of tea but Bring Me The Horizon have practically taken over with their latest album That’s the Spirit, which has turned them from one of the country’s most hated bands to one of the world’s most loved. Or even bands such as Fall Out Boy who, while more recently dipping their toes in a variety of genres, still know what it is to be a rock band- they capture the heart of rock music, at least far more than the likes of James Bay.
But it looks as though these award ceremonies would rather take the easy road; why opt for Marmite bands that cause against-the-grain controversy when you can take the safe option of guitar-wielding chart artists that our mums actually think are “quite nice”. It’s a shame when something so high-profile pretends to promote a wide spectrum of music but, in reality, misrepresents itself time and time again.
While this year looks like a lost cause, all we can do is keep our fingers crossed that all award ceremonies- music and film alike- open their minds to real diversity in time for next year’s celebrations.