Revolver Magazine editor talks rock at the Grammys, Golden Gods Awards - Reverb

Revolver Magazine editor talks about hard rock at the Grammys, Golden Gods Awards

The 55th Grammy Awards, which aired Sunday night, distributed more than 80 awards to music industry professionals across all genres of music—with one award dedicated to hard rock and metal. Halestorm took home the Grammy for best hard rock/metal performance, which wasn’t televised.

The representation of rock n roll at the Grammys has been a hot-button issue for artists, labels and media the heavier side of rock. Which is why five years ago, Revolver Magazine stepped up to give rock its own big night—the Golden Gods Awards.

Reverb spoke with the man behind the pages of Revolver Magazine, Editor in Chief Brandon Geist, to get his take on rock at the Grammys and the 5th Annual Golden Gods Awards, which will air May 2, 2013 from Club Nokia in Los Angeles.

What was the reason behind the inception of the Golden Gods Awards?

Geist: I mean it was a pretty obvious idea that a lot of people thought about because there was just an obvious void there—in America in particular. The U.K. alone has like three genuine hard rock and metal awards shows and the U.S. has nothing. It was an idea we had been kicking around for a while and then as the Grammys had gotten even less receptive to hard rock and metal and even getting rid of the separate “Metal Performance” category, I think the importance of the Golden Gods was even more so. But yeah, it was just something that was missing and it was time for someone to step up and do it.

What was the initial reaction like from the hard rock and metal world when Revolver stepped up?

The reception’s been great. I mean, I think everyone in the hard rock and metal world—the bands, the fans—and just the industry in general felt the void and that we needed a night to celebrate this kind of music and this sort of lifestyle.

How does Revolver choose the nominees?

It’s basically just the Revolver staff. We pick the nominees and the winners are picked by the fans. The first year of the show there weren’t even nominees, it was just a way to get the show off the ground. We, the staff, just selected award winners in various categories and then the second year is when we started the whole nomination process. So we pick the nominees—it’s sort of limited to bands that put out a record over the Golden Gods calendar year (between each Golden Gods Awards).  Or, in the case of “Best Live Band”—it’s the bands that have toured heavily in the past Golden Gods year.

Now, the category that really stood out this year is “Best New Talent.”  It’s pretty all over the place. Can you take us through how you chose the nominees for that category this year?

Yeah, the thing that’s cool about Revolver but also kind of challenging is that we cover such a wide range of music. Everything from the most underground black metal bands to pretty mainstream bands like Metallica and Guns ‘N Roses, even Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed and Korn. There’s such a wide range of bands so we tried to get a sampling of the range of what Revolver covers and of what exists in the hard rock and metal world in just that one category.

You have pretty underground bands like Ghost and Kvelertak. Ghost is a Swedish band whose lead singer dresses like, what I call a satanic Pope and the rest of the band dress in Druid robes—they don’t even use their real names. They’re about as cult and underground as it gets, while Kvelertak is this sort of cool punk ‘n roll Norwegian bands that just signed to Roadrunner. On the more mainstreamey side you have a band like Young Guns who are already pretty big in the U.K. but are just now sort of storming American rock radio. Then you have bands that fall in between like Of Mice and Men.

It’s purely off opinion then? Does Revolver consider radio spins or sales when looking at “Best New Talent”?

I mean, we consider all of that. We consider what tours bands have been on and who’s into them. Ghost is a good example of a band that probably not a lot of people have heard of but James Hetfield loves that band, Phil Anselmo loves that band, Duff McKagan loves that band and Dave Grohl loves that band. So we look at things like that—who are the fans of these bands and what bands are really on the rise? Bands who in a couple years—everyone is going to know that band. We look at tours, we obviously listen to the music and look at who’s in the band. You have a band like Device who haven’t released anything yet but just the fact that its David Draiman’s new band and because the level of interest and anticipation of that band is so high we just had to nominate it.

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