Open Letter to Grammys Demands More Respect for Metal, Points at Critical Mistakes

NIN's Trent Reznor also bashes event organizers with "a heartfelt f--k you."

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Although the metal genre has received a decent amount of recognition at this year's Grammy Awards, a series of oversights on organizers' behalf couldn't help spoiling the overall impression.

The omission of late great Jeff Hanneman and Iron Maiden's Clive Burr from "In Memoriam" segment, the rude cut-off of all-star rock finale and the absence of Black Sabbath receiving their Best Metal Performance award from the live telecast stand out as more prominent screw-ups, leading to an open letter from our Loudwire colleagues.

Demanding more respect for metal, the letter specifically points at the given errors as unforgivable, still giving the organizers deserved props for some of the good choices they made. Focusing on Black Sabbath, the article asked an important question:

"But when did TV viewers get to see Sabbath accept their award? They didn't! Instead it was presented during the online-only pre-ceremony while Black Sabbath were still making their way into the building for the main event. Pop star Cyndi Lauper had to accept for them. Cyndi Lauper! All respect to Daft Punk, but did we really need to see them accept three awards during the main telecast?"

After dubbing Hanneman's "In Memoriam" omission "inexcusable," the letter switched to the matter of QOTSA/NIN/Grohl jam. The final jam was cut out from the live telecast with roll-out credits, showing great disrespect to some of the biggest names in today's rock. Speaking of which, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor decided to personally address the matter via Twitter.

"Music's biggest night ... to be disrespected," Reznor said. "A heartfelt f--k you guys."

In conclusion, the open letter reads: "While we'll keep our language a little less profane than that of Mr. Reznor, we'll reference the NIN mastermind when we say: Hey Grammy producers, get your heads out of your holes and start giving metal and hard rock the respect they deserve!"

Music's biggest night... to be disrespected. A heartfelt FUCK YOU guys.

— Trent Reznor (@trent_reznor) January 27, 2014

115 comments sorted by best / new / date

    stiltsdajumz
    Damn right. Grammys are a joke anyways.
    Cavalcade
    Exactly. So why do people (like whoever wrote this "open letter") still get their panties in such a twist over them?
    TheNumber6
    because its a "big night for music" and all music should be represented, rock music and metal are always on the back burner when it comes to shows like this. the Grammys have always disregarded metal completely and with it being such a huge genre it should at least get a brief 5 minute segment shown. And if noone gets their "panties in a twist" nothing will ever have a chance of being changed
    filipe26
    It's a huge genre for us who like metal, compared to pop artists it's tiny.
    mattjamesrenn
    It’s true, I am one of those people that claims that the awards are shyte and meaningless but I’m one of the first to jump in the air when something like that happens. Humans can never be pleased.
    zn-1
    I do because it isn't just the Grammys. There wasn't any metal in this years MTV VMAs. With so many awards shows dedicated to so many other different music genres, why is it that metal only truly gets honored by the Golden Gods Awards and not any other award show? Most award shows are jokes, but that's not the point.
    Democrab
    Because they don't really, they're just kinda annoyed. The internet makes it easy to complain loudly about issues that don't really mean much to you.
    filipe26
    Nah, if it didn't mean that much to them they wouldn't have complained.
    Diarm0
    reznor can be a drama queen but I completely agree that the grammys are a joke, they have been for a long time, that great performance being cut off at the end is a prime example, as a community of people who enjoy good music from talented artists I propose a boycott, ignore them, the grammys don't mean shit anymore
    sladeballard
    To be frank this was the first time I've ever watched these awards just because Metallica was playing, I sincerely don't care about media awards at all.
    joeyreece
    Who that listens to metal actually would watch the grammys if it did give more screen time on the genre? I wouldn't spend my time watching it, risking the chance of hearing nicki minaj and beyonce etc etc like the event organizers know damn well that we're too narrow minded to be ****ed watching it regardless of what great metal acts play
    sideslick
    Well, I wanted to see QotSA w/ Grohl play, o there's that. Grohl playing with the Queens again is pretty awesome, considering he recorded the actual drum parts that John plays live. That would be worth it... If they didn't cut it off.
    Northernmight
    Cause caring about the grammy's is metal as ****, right? Come on people - sounds like people have completely forgotten what rock n roll is all about. Screw awards. It's simple. If you want to win mainstream awards, play mainstream music. Leave the rockin' to the rockers, then. Drama-****s. AHem. Sorry for that outburst.
    mmkat
    Really, that's the problem the metal community has with metal? How about going out to see your local bands, supporting those bands who need it the most? Complainging about a big organisation won't change a damn thing. There's tons of bands out there that have to fight for every gig they get. Im sure there's tons of people on this board that can confirm this, me sadly included. Support your locals instead of complaining about something so trivial, something that most big metal bands dont even seem to care about.
    HoddiDarko
    Why should metal fans care? Do you crave acceptance that bad? Metal bands should just boycott the grammys. Make a bigger metal/rock awards ceremony or something instead.
    seance
    Your last two sentences contradict your first two sentences. I don't like pointing things out.
    HoddiDarko
    Reading it again, you are right. Should have been: "Make a bigger metal/rock awards ceremony or something instead if they care so deeply about golden statues. "
    BrandonATFT
    *cough* Golden Gods Awards *cough*
    Skin_n_bones
    Golden Gods are also a joke. So is the rock n roll hall of fame. No matter what we create to try and recognize anyone in music, it will always just become a joke to people because they wont agree with some things. People were ripshit when BVB got a golden gods award. People are just too materialistic. If we really care about the music, a stupid little golden paper weight shouldnt matter
    cfhdomination
    As a metal fan I don't give two rat turds about the Grammy awards or the golden gods award show. Metal has done just fine all these years without mainstream recognition. I don't get what the fuss is all about. And as far as Jeff Hanneman not getting recognition, I'm sure if he wouldn't care either. Fame was one thing he never craved, and as influential as he was/is, all he ever wanted to do was play awesome music. And that's how it should be.
    filipe26
    Partly true only. If he didn't crave fame he wouldn't pursue success, accept loads of money, or play to tens of thousands.
    Cavalcade
    To "boycott" something, you have to watch it in the first place, or it doesn't really count.
    third(-)eye
    Well they're kind of treating it like it's a lower class of music, which IS disrespectful.
    bangbang!!
    Which is funny, because you'd think radio country (not ALL country), R&B and cheesy pop would be treated as lower class. Except those things can be tied directly to skincolor and religion. Soooo can't upset all them fans.
    Skin_n_bones
    Wasnt there something like 2 years ago that made heavy metal a religion? Im pretty sure i read it on this site
    crazyhorse174
    Since when did a band\artist have to win an award or be recognized at the Grammy's to validate their career? Honestly, this and few of Reznor's other outbursts recently make him seem like a whiney premadonna. So metal doesn't really get a look in at the Grammy's? Big deal - the best thing you can do is get on with your career and keep producing the best material you can. Then when the Grammy's do come knocking, you can tell them to **** off.
    Elderer
    The fuss is about how rudely QoTSA was cut out by the advertisements.
    matth898
    No one on UG would be making a fuss if Avenged Sevenfold or Green Day were cut off...
    Z_Man1209
    It wouldn't matter who it was that's cut off. It's a rude and disrespectful thing to do no matter what.
    seance
    No, I guarantee most people would have a good laugh if it was (grabs name from hat) Justin Bieber who got cut off. So I guess we can be disrespectful so long as it's someone we generally agree is worth being disrespected.
    andriusd
    You can play your "what would be if something happened" game all night long, but back to reality, Justin, nor any other "pop" act, hasn't been cut off. And you don't have to be a genius to realize that that wouldn't happen - and that's what makes some people angry, that is that Grammy favours mainstream commercial pop music and doesn't treat all music equally. Now in regards to the other issue: sure, people here at UG generally wouldn't be pissed if Justin or Beyonce was cut off, but that doesn't mean that the whole point is baseless and wrong. If anything, it only proves my point that Grammy shouldn't take sides like UG visitors and should treat all music equally.
    d3th03
    Its not about Metal not being invited, or represented. Its the fact that they invite these people, give them spots and then treat them like shit. I invite you to my house for supper then kick you out halfway through your meal... You going to be happy about it?
    adambauman31
    What if you were playing a big show and just after you started they shut the lights off and turned off the sound? You'd be pissed too if you got cut off.
    phds
    Though that's not what happened. They still played but it wasn't televised on it's entirety.
    seance
    It's happened to me before - they cut the power in the middle of a song. But I was in a nobody band. They're all rock legends (...) who are wildly successful and household names and no strangers to playing on network television. In the end, it really should not be a big deal. What's done is done.
    badfish_lewis
    Most people who like these bands (and I'm making an assumption here) could really care less about the f'n Grammy's anyway.
    bit64
    Grammys are probably music's worst night.Making such fuss about it is kinda waste of time,in my opinion.
    filipe26
    Music's worse night is every Norwegian Black Metal show, not the Grammy's.
    seance
    Yeah, the entire show was really only made up of like 5 songs anyways. Nothing to care about one way or the other.
    FlyingPirahna
    Metal doesn't pull in ratings, pop does. So of course it's going to get the shaft. What they did to QOTSA was just rude, though.
    adambauman31
    Hold on... I'm gonna let you finish but QOTSA had one of the best albums of all time...
    caseharr33
    I'll still support the bands I like regardless of what some stuff suits present to the rest of the brain dead sheeple of America!
    kramer242
    Let's be a little more metal, rather than an open letter, let's go with reznor.....**** you.
    Sunny035
    Grammys are made for the mainstream music listeners by the mainstream music big wigs. Why would anyone in metal want one?
    cocacolabottle
    It's simple: Accessible poppy artists like Daft Punk and Pharell Williams get more interest from the main audience. That said, metal or any other heavy genre is often too much trouble for people to really listen to. That's probably why it's a genre that is listened to by so many musicians - because the complexity and different nuances aren't understood by 'regular' people. But think about what you're asking: if metal becomes mainstream, that would take the whole rebellious and unconformist part away from it. I wouldn't mind if metal stayed fairly underground forever, it's an acquired taste.
    MattHessing
    Or maybe some people just don't like listening to angry dudes shouting... I really don't think it's about understanding "complexity and nuances". You could argue that about any genre. I'm not bashing metal, I love it. I just don't see why people are so shocked that mainstream audiences don't want to accept metal with open arms. Isn't that the point of the genre anyway?
    andriusd
    I don't see anything wrong with the mainstream audiences not accepting metal. But QoSA, NiN and Black Sabbath (Osbourne era) are not metal. Mainstream audiences didn't have problems with rock and hard rock in the seventies, so acting like there's no place for hard rock in today's mainstream world is pretty ignorant.
    Skin_n_bones
    Yeah but they snubbed dave grohl, who is the epitome of family rock with foo fighters. Radio friendly, and the guy is still in the media's favorable light. The man is this generations bruce springsteen and he still got a middle finger at the grammys
    Djaydjay
    I can get why they wouldn't want to play that song on the grammys. While I enjoy it, it's quite the opposite of what is required for such a show: an attention grabbing / fast "paced" song (in it's structure). QOTSA/Grohl/Reznor basicly repeat the same beat/melody during 5 min (with variations tho). 90% of the public would have changed channel before the end of the song. If you do a non accessible song, don't wonder that it doesn't get played on mainstream events...
    local_hero
    can you be more of a pretentious douche? daft punk's album was a great album. giorgio by morodor, touch, within and instant crush, just to name those, are great songs
    Spychosis
    Anyone else remember how the Simpsons have made jokes about how worthless a Grammy is since the early 90s? Nothing has changed.
    matth898
    No one who watches the Grammy's would even want to see any metal acts. What would be the point of shoving it down their throat just to make the stray metal head who watches happy. Even when a rock/metal act does perform on the Grammy's, it is always the most popular and overplayed song anyway. Which is honestly quite boring.
    acdc2k
    I think you guys need to understand that the majority of the world and the viewing audience just doesn't listen to metal, so naturally they are going to get very little airtime. If you look at awards like Best Alternative album or something related to jazz or the latino categories, they didn't get much recognition either. So it's not just metal, it's everything that really isn't that popular. It's sad but that's how it is. No reason for anyone to get pissy about it.
    Dalamander
    I understand that metal isn't as popular to the public as pop (obviously) , but it still has a HUGE audience. There are so many metal festivals around the world. I was at Orion last summer and it was AWESOME! Rant over.
    Br0c00ler
    I'm pretty sure the Grammy's always favored mainstream music and rock/metal aren't quite mainstream. It'd be nice to get equal recognition but the reality is that to get a Grammy you need to play pop.
    K33nbl4d3
    "I didn't care about the Grammys anyway!" is just embarrassing to read so many times over. Calm down, folks.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Yeah...because those types of things are the only groups of people that can be offended or disrespected. Take your fedora and go on home, boy.
    Balltongue
    F*** the Grammy's and f*** all those rock and metal artists who so desperately crave their approvel, it's pathetic.
    sladeballard
    To be frank this was the first time I've ever watched these awards just because Metallica was playing, I sincerely don't care about media awards at all.
    jmarg25
    They even picked the wrong rap album too. Macklemore? Come on
    bigblockelectra
    I live in the Seattle area, they play Macklemore on all of the rock stations as well; very annoying when I literally switch from the alternative station to get away from it and the same Macklemore song is being played on the rock station that i switch to.
    Ryan Withers
    what? listen to 99.9 kisw. i have never heard Macklemore there. they strictly play rock music only. i don't know what stations you listen too. Seattle area resident by the way
    -LAW-
    Pffff! Fuck the grammys. Keep metal for us to enjoy and argue over which is the greatest bands; not for the scrutiny of a bunch of rich morons.
    brity12311
    I suppose we could just stop caring about the grammys. Any real musician is well above all the pop stars the public is so infatuated with. Just let the children play so to speak while keep ya know...actually making music.
    INSULIN
    you can't have every one on tv=if I was in a polka band id be piseed-they have a catergory too.
    enterthegoat
    Seeing QOTSA, NIN, Grohl and Lindsey get cut off sent me through the roof. I waited through 2 hours of Grammy douchbaggery only to have my all-star jam band completely disrespected in front of everyone. And more importantly, we never got to see the rest of the god damn performance.
    Rex Inclitus
    Not quite sure why any musician would even appear on the Grammy's, I would shun it personally for the same reason I don't watch it, I am usually playing guitar and its not relevant to me, I don't watch TV often anyways. Kudo's to performers like Marlon Brando, George C Scott ( Oscars ) and Sinead O'Connor who refused to accept their trophy's in their respective fields. I think Pearl Jam also refused to appear. If you boycott it, they will change it as I believe Hip Hop artists did in the past when they felt they were disrespected. Do we really need validation from a bunch of tools at recording company exec's that look like Elvis Costello? Its all just swagfaggery and shite IMO.
    PatrickMarc
    I would of thought that, in essence, the metal and hard rock movements were established purposefully in the face of institutions like the Grammys. The whole counter culture thing. A bit embarrassing to see members actively look for recognition now. Black Sabbath being there should of satisfied any desire to see metal celebrated at all.It sucks about Jeff Hanneman though, considering they were paying respects.
    morbidguitar
    That was 50 years ago, things change. A bit of recognition would be nice where it is due.
    PatrickMarc
    That's pretty much what I said. Regardless of when it was established, it was, and in that vein. Black Sabbath, arguably the biggest metal/rock band around were celebrated. Of all genres, I don't think the sentiment behind metal will change. It's basic enough. Recognition for the talents within- if you're going to recognize them at all- should be respected. They mentioned Chi Cheng though. So that's good. All in all the Grammy's don't matter. All in all, R.I.P Jeff Hanneman.
    Gorelord666
    Instead of just Metal, how about all of the other genres as well? And QOTSA/NIN/Grohl being cut-out was because CBS needs money from ads, they always treat the closing act like that, nothing new.
    zeddlikezebra
    i will start with this statement. congrats to the winners and its nice to see a group like daft punk beat out the usual winners. that being said music awards have always been unfair. its about the mainstream and not about the content. there have been many years where albums have been released with amazing substance and catch btu they lose out to the new flavour.
    onetonryan
    We don't need some crappy award show to legitimize what we like. Save your open letter and keep metal underground where it belongs. That is all.
    vIsIbleNoIsE
    someone should write an open letter to these open letter writers demanding more indifference to the grammys