Will rock and metal ever return to the televised portion of the Grammys? Or will it forever remain on the pre-telecast “Premiere Ceremony”? We recently spoke with The Recording Academy’s Head of Awards, Bill Freimuth, who explained how the devil’s music could return to TV screens on “Music’s Biggest Night.”

The pre-telecast has been the home for rock and metal for many years, with the Grammys focusing on hip-hop and pop music for the majority of the TV ceremony. Though the rock and metal community is no longer mainstream, our artists are selling out venues that rappers with tens of millions more streams can’t fill. So when will the most passionate fans on earth be seen as a valuable audience by the Grammys?

“We never know what categories are going to be on the telecast until literally days before the actual show,” Freimuth says. “There are a lot of different factors, one of which is, we send out invitations to all the nominees and they respond letting us know whether they’re going to be there or not. We don’t want to put a category on the telecast in which we know that several of the nominees aren’t even going to be in the audience. Having the presenter accept on behalf of somebody from the stage doesn’t make for very good television.”

Most of the rock/metal nominees do tend to appear at the annual ceremony. In 2018, four of the five Best Metal Performance nominees were on the red carpet, with only Meshuggah not in attendance. Between the Buried and Me even rescheduled some of their 2019 tour dates to attend the the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.

“Also, we wait to see what categories people are talking about, where the interest is from the television viewer, the music fan, what’s buzzing on social media… all those factors,” Freimuth continues. “We want to put what we hope most people would consider to be the most interesting and exciting competitions to be revealed on the telecast.”

Essentially, the Grammys want to cater to the largest, and in many ways, most casual audience possible. The Grammy Awards is a business, so the more eyeballs on TV screens and more social media posts flooding the internet, the better for their bottom line. If rock and metal fans filled that space like they do concert venues, the demand alone would force our genres back on television.

Will new buzz bands like Greta Van Fleet or rising cult phenoms Ghost provide the Grammys with “the most interesting and exciting competition” of the night? We’ll see when the Grammys air on Feb. 10.

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