The Grammy Awards has had a long history of ignoring hard rock and heavy metal ever since the genre emerged screaming from the womb of late ‘60s rock. Consider that such legendary bands as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath never received a single Grammy Award during their existences and years later were only awarded for live recording from their reunion shows. Last night’s show seemingly went to lengths to include hard rock and metal with performances by Metallica and Queens Of The Stone Age though metal fans have been rightfully outraged about Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman being excluded from the In Memorium montage. in DJ, author and host of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show, Eddie Trunk is one of hard rock and metal’s biggest fans and greatest advocates and has long been critical of the genre’s treatment by the mainstream media in general and institutions like The Grammys and The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in particular. We asked Eddie to share his thoughts on last night’s show and why the music still never gets the respect it deserves all these years later.
VH1: What are your thoughts about the Grammys in general?
Eddie Trunk: It’s clearly a major event for the world of music but it is sorely lacking in the areas of rock and metal and has been for many years. It’s embarrassing the decisions and nominations given for rock and metal. They seem to be totally random and lacking any real logic. As a result they mean next to nothing for an artists’ career these days as far as a bump in sales and profile. I get that it’s a prestigious cool mainstream thing to say you won, but if we are being honest it really means nothing in the big picture for rock and metal sadly. This is not helped by the fact that rarely are these artists represented in the show and most of the rock and metal awards are not even televised. So sure, it’s cool for someone to say they won one for the history of it, but because of how lost they are when nominating it has no real impact.
What do you think about Jeff Hanneman from Slayer being excluded from the Grammys Memorial segment?
It’s pathetic. It proves again they just have no clue at all when it comes to rock and heavy metal and they continue to demonstrate it.
How do you feel about Black Sabbath winning the Best Metal Performance Grammy for “God Is Dead”?
Black Sabbath invented heavy metal in my opinion. It’s great that they won but I would think it is more to do with their history and name recognition than anything else. I’m not saying it’s not a good song or album, but everyone knew this would happen because it was by far the most recognizable name for the voters. Good for them, but it was the name and history being celebrated more than anything. I just don’t think everyone that voted sat and cranked up an 8 minute song and said “That rocks.” But I am happy for them if it’s meaningful to them. They are the founding fathers.