Unless you’ve been away from the headbanging world, you are aware that Halestorm won the 2013 Grammy for “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance”. This win is historic in the sense that singer Lzzy Hale is the first female singer to ever be nominated for that category and win.
By all means, congrats to Halestorm. They are a hard working band and “Love Bites (So Do I)” is a great song.
But once again, this decision reflects the cluelessness of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the head of the Grammys, when it comes to metal.
The hard rock/metal category has undergone several changes.
The first and only “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental” Grammy was awarded in 1989. It was expected that Metallica would win. Their album “…And Justice For All” had spawned the hit “One” and was their best-selling album to date.
But non-metal band Jethro Tull won.
Jethro Tull released an ad in Billboard Magazine showing a picture of a flute and the line, “The flute is a real, heavy metal instrument!” Subsequent editions of Metallica’s “…And Justice For All” contained a sticker reading “Grammy Award LOSERS.”
Entertainment Weekly called it one of the biggest upsets in Grammy history.
Here are some more examples of the board’s knowledge:
- Metallica won the 1991 metal Grammy for their cover of Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy,” though Queen itself was never nominated.
- Motörhead won the 2005 metal Grammy for a cover of Metallica’s “Whiplash”.
- The 2009 metal Grammy was awarded to Judas Priest for a live version of “Dissident Aggressor,” a song originally released in 1977.
Now it’s 2013, and though the board appears to have made progress, there are still changes to be made.
Up against Halestorm were Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Anthrax, Marilyn Manson and Lamb Of God.
Iron Maiden has one Grammy to their legendary name. They are often credited as one of the pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and are regarded as one of the most successful metal bands of all time.
Anthrax and Megadeth are two of the Big Four of Thrash Metal, which were credited with popularizing the genre. Neither have won a Grammy. Megadeth holds the record for the most Grammy nominations (eleven) in the metal category without a win.
The hard rock/metal category is the still the only one dedicated to this art form and the award is not televised. Eddie Trunk and other metal journalists have complained about the outright disrespect for these musical genres by the board.
Though the talent of all this year’s nominees is unmistakable, Halestorm’s win is reminiscent of actions by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Winners and inductees are not chosen according to a band’s record sales or influence, but according to politics.
While KISS, Deep Purple (“Smoke on the Water”), Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and countless other influential rock and metal bands have yet to be inducted, newer bands like Guns N’ Roses and non-rock acts like Madonna are in there.
With all due respect to Halestorm, the proponents of “Music’s Biggest Night” have a lot of explaining to do.
February 11, 2013 | Categories: Editorials, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Music | Tags: And Justice For All, Anthrax, Big Four of Thrash Metal, Deep Purple, dissident aggressor, Eddie Trunk, Entertainment Weekly, Grammys, Guns N' Roses, Halestorm, hard rock, heavy metal, Iron Maiden, Jethro Tull, Judas Priest, KISS, Lamb of God, Madonna, Marilyn Manson, Megadeth, Metallica, Motorhead, NARAS, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, One, Queen, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, sin after sin | 4 Comments
Part two of TBOS’s interview with Doro Pesch. Here, she tells about her experiences at Wacken Open Air Festival, her first tour with Judas Priest, and receiving health advice from Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. Part 1 is here.
The Blog of Shredding: So you were the first woman to ever play at Donington (Monsters of Rock) and Wacken (festivals). Can you tell us about that?
Doro Pesch: I didn’t realize it at the time, and for me it was just like so amazing and so overwhelming. At the Donington Monsters of Rock Festival, it was actually—it was the biggest (metal festival). Back then, it was like unbelievable, and when we heard that we would play on this festival. And I tell you, I guess I was the happiest girl on earth, and that was actually when I quit my job.
Actually, I heard that we would go on Judas Priest’s tour right after the festival and then we would play this big festival in England. Then actually I quit my job as a graphic artist, and I thought, “I wanna try it”.
Then we played there, and it was 120,000 people. And the stage was very high. They had a lot of stairs to go up, a lot of steps. I tell you, my knees, they were like pudding. I walked up the steps and I went (surprised noise) and all the guys in the band felt the same. It was so amazing and the fans were in so (sic) good spirits and so into it, singing along, everybody headbanging. It looked like 120,000 people would headbang at the same time. Back then, there weren’t any iPhones, but in my memory, it was one of the greatest memories.
Then Wacken (Open Air Festival)—I’ve played there eight to nine times. I was there the first time in 1993, and it was a little tiny village. And it was actually when metal wasn’t doing well. It was in ’93, when grunge was so big. And there’s two fans doing a metal festival. I’m like, “Really? That’s so cool!” And I said, “I want to be part of it.” And we get there, and we couldn’t find it because it was such a tiny village, so we asked some farmers, and they actually brought us there on their tractors. It was so funny.
These two fans, it was like metal came out of their hearts. It was great. There was maybe 2,000 people there. But the huge stage, the huge P.A., so probably, I mean 50,000 people could have been easily there to listen. But yeah, the first time, we played with 2,000 maybe.
And then four years later, in ’98 we came back, and I thought, “Another little metal festival with the die-hard fans,” and now there were already 35,000. We thought, “wow!” And then every two, three, four years I played there again, and every time, it was the 20, 30, more thousand people, and now I think it’s like 80,000 people. Yeah, that’s what the police allows.
But I think even more than 50,000 people could be more on the field. But it’s always a big honor to play there and metalheads from all over the world, they’re always, you know, going to Wacken. Many people from the States, Australia, Brazil, like from all over the world. It’s so unbelievable and all the bands, all the musicians feel like “wow,” you know? It’s definitely a great honor to play there.
And you can always show the best show, because Wacken—the guys there—are so supportive. When you want to do something outrageous or something super-special, they always support you in that.
You can always expect the fans to see like a totally unique show, and with the best pyrotechnics and fireworks and light show and state-of-the-art ideas. So that’s what makes Wacken so extra-special.
The Blog of Shredding: You’ve opened for Megadeth and other legends such as the Scorpions. Could you tell us more about that?
Doro Pesch: Oh, yes, yes. I’d love to. My very first big tour was actually in ’86 with my favorite band, Judas Priest. And like I told you before, that’s actually when I quit my job.
It was unbelievable. I got the phone call from my manager at the place I worked. It was actually totally forbidden to take phone calls there, and then my boss, he said, “Hey, little girl. It better be important!” And I’m like (stutters) “Yeah, I hope so!”
So I got on the phone and my manager said, “Hey, are you ready to quit your job?” I said, “Why?” “You’re going on tour with your favorite band.” I said, “What you mean?” “Yes. Judas Priest.”
And back then, it was—I mean, for metal, it was Maiden, Priest, Metallica. It was like-it was like bigger than life. So it was my first tour. It was packed, sold out.Back in the ‘80s, it was definitely the biggest places. Metal was so strong. It was so great to be on tour with them.
My second tour was in ’87 with Ronnie James Dio. And Ronnie James Dio is my favorite singer, and it was so fantastic, and I learned so much.
Then we wanted to go on tour in America. We did a couple of club tours and stuff, which we really did great. And then I got a phone call from the record company and from the manager that said, “Hey, you’ll never guess who you could tour with.” And I said, “Who?” They said, “Dave Mustaine and Megadeth.” And I thought, ‘OH! WOW!”
So actually, you know, we immediately canceled all the European dates because we had another tour in Europe already booked. And then we canceled all the dates. I said, “No, I wanna do it.” And then we did our first big tour in Spain.
It was great. You know, I love Megadeth. “In My Darkest Hour,” that was my favorite song. It was so great. I watched their show every night, and it was so-it was so special. So great.
Then we did many other tours, all with my favorite artists like Motörhead and the Scorpions, W.A.S.P.
It was my first big England tour, and Blackie Lawless, he was so super-nice to me. He was so cool to me because I was on tour with Judas Priest, and at the end of the tour in Scandinavia, it was this big ice hockey venue. And then everybody said, “Hey, girl, don’t walk on the ice!” And I said, “Oh, I can take it.” You know, I’m metal (laughs) and Judas Priest and it’s ok cause I was watching every day (sic) the sound check of Judas Priest. So I was walking on the ice and said, “Nah, it’s kinda cold. But it’s ok.”
So a couple of days later, we were on tour with W.A.S.P. in England, and I had pneumonia. I was so sick! And that was when I first met Blackie Lawless.
I was sitting on a staircase because there was only one dressing room. And Blackie said, “Hey, is that Doro? The singer of our support Warlock?” And I said, “Yes.” He said, “Wow! You look like you’re really sick.” And I said, “Blackie, I’m so sick, man. I don’t even know if I can do the tour. I’m so sick.”
He said, “You know what? You wait.” And then he told the band members to please give me the dressing room and said, “You know what? Lay down here on the couch. I will wake you when it’s time for you to get dressed. I will get you some great medicine.” And he got me like all this medicine and magic potions for the voice. He got me some fresh fruit juice and fresh fruit, which back in the day, was very, very difficult to get. It was, you know, in England, actually very difficult.
He got me all this medicine, magic potions, and then, he woke me up and he said, “Doro, it’s time for you to get dressed and have a great show.” And I tell you, I felt like a million bucks. I was immediately feeling so much better.
And I thought, “Wow. I will never forget.” You know, he was so nice and so kind. Then I thought, “If I ever have a support (band), I’m gonna treat them as good.”
I learned from all the great bands and artists. And I can definitely say I had a great chance to learn from the best and we played with so many bands. It was unbelievable.
I was always in Heaven. And I never thought, being a little metalhead from Germany, you know, that you could ever tour the world and tour with your favorite bands, with your favorite artists. It was such a dream come true, and it still is. I still deeply appreciate it and feel grateful for it.
To be continued…
January 24, 2013 | Categories: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Interviews, Music, Music News | Tags: Blackie Lawless, Castle Donington, Dave Mustaine, Doro, Doro Pesch, hard rock, heavy metal, Judas Priest, Megadeth, metal, Monsters of Rock, music, rock music, W.A.S.P., Wacken, Wacken Open Air, Warlock | 1 Comment
The Blog of Shredding: So could you tell us about the new album?
Doro Pesch: It’s called “Raise Your Fist,” and it took about 2 1/2, three years to make it. And it has many anthems, which I love. For example, songs like “Raise Your Fist in the Air,”—which was actually the first single and the first video—“Rock Till Death,” and there’s another one, another neck-breaker, real heavy metal and speed metal tunes on this, like “Little Headbanger” or “Revenge,” and it has some beautiful ballads on it as well.
And we have two killer guests. One is a guitar player. He plays the solo on the song “Grab The Bull (Last Man Standing)”: Gus G. from Firewind and Ozzy Osbourne. And then I sing a duet with Lemmy Kilmister (of Motörhead), and the song is called “It Still Hurts,” and yeah, that’s one of my favorite songs and it’s a very deep, dark ballad.
The first song I wrote for this record is called “Hero”. It’s actually a song dedicated to Ronnie James Dio and gives him thanks and honor and respect. We just played all over Europe and I played the song every night. The fans, they really, really, really love that. There will always be Dio chants before or after the song, you know. “Dio! Dio!” Yeah, I’m just so touched and happy to sing about Ronnie, so “Hero” is just one of my most important songs on this record.
There’s some other cool tunes on this record, “Coldhearted Lover,” “Free My Heart,” “Victory”. There’s one in German. It’s called “Engel”—that means “angel”. That’s a ballad and there’s another one that’s titled in German-English. It’s called “Freiheit (Human Rights)”. “Freiheit” means “freedom, liberty”. It’s actually a human rights song, and I dedicated that song to a human rights organization. It’s called Terre Des Femmes. They’re a big organization. Whenever young girls, young women need help in all kinds of areas, they’re supportive there. I wanted to dedicate a song to the ladies all over the world.
The Blog Of Shredding: Could you tell us about the opening band Sister Sin?
Doro Pesch: Yes, it’s actually a Scandinavian band. It has a female singer. Her name’s Liv (Jagrell). She’s a really cool girl. Actually, we toured together before and like each other a lot. And we just did a song together for their record. It’s a cover version of the Motörhead classic “Rock N’ Roll”. Great band, great attitude. It’s a great, exciting package for the fans.
To be continued…
January 23, 2013 | Categories: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Interviews, Interviews, Music, Music News | Tags: Dio, Doro, Doro Pesch, Firewind, Gus G, hard rock, heavy metal, Lemmy, Lemmy Kilmister, Liv Jagrell, metal, Motorhead, music, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie James Dio, Sister Sin, Warlock | 2 Comments