DISTURBED's DAVID DRAIMAN Defends SAM SMITH And KIM PETRAS's 'Satanic' GRAMMY Performance: 'I Applaud' Them

February 8, 2023

In a new interview with Baltimore's 98 Rock radio station, DISTURBED frontman David Draiman discussed his views on this year's Grammy Awards. Premiering live from Crypto.com Arena, the 65th annual event honored this year's biggest musical releases on Sunday, February 5, with Ozzy Osbourne walking away with two Grammy Awards for "Best Rock Album" (his first-ever win in the category) and "Best Metal Performance" from his hugely successful and critically acclaimed "Patient Number 9" album.

Saying that he caught "some of" this year's Grammy Awards, Draiman added (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'm [a Recording] Academy member. I support it. I do — as many other rock musicians feel — I do wish there was a stronger rock presence and at least more of a representation. I'm happy that Ozzy got two awards. I voted for him. So I'm happy to see him get it."

Draiman also addressed the criticism leveled at Sam Smith and Kim Petras for their performance of their hit single "Unholy", in which Petras, a German singer-songwriter who identifies as transgender, performed alongside drag stars Violet Chachki and Gottmik dressed in devil costumes, while Smith — who was born a male and identifies as a "gender nonbinary individual" — was in a bright red top hat with devil horns sticking out from it for the final chorus. Instead of celebrating the fact that the pair made history for the LGBTQ community as the first openly transgender woman and first openly non-binary artist to win the Grammy for best pop duo for "Unholy", some prominent Republicans and conservative viewers expressed disgust over the performance slammed the performances for promoting the worship of Satan.

Draiman said: "It's taking the pop stars to be rock stars these days. I said it on Twitter after I went ahead and saw the performance, too. It's, like, nobody can complain that rock is too edgy or pushes the envelope too far for mass broadcasts anymore. You can't. Sorry. They definitely took it to the next level; Sam Smith and everybody took it to the next level."

David went on to praise Smith and Petras's performance, saying: "Look, that's exactly what you need to do. That's what everybody is talking about. [Sam] pushed the envelope. He did this [extends middle finger] to the camera for everybody and knew exactly how to push everybody's button to make them recognize and piss the people off that he wanted to piss off and make the people that he wanted happy, happy. It was the perfect double-edged sword. I applaud him."

In a video posted on Twitter, Donald Trump Jr., son of former U.S. president Donald Trump and a right-wing influencer, blasted Smith and Petras's performance, saying that claims Hollywood and the entertainment industry are into Satanic rituals would be dismissed as conspiracy theories "despite all of the symbolism, despite all of the coincidence with said symbolism."

"Maybe it's art, but why is it always this kind of art? Why is it never, like, regular art?" he said.

Elsewhere, Fox News host Tucker Carlson criticized the awards on his show, saying: "Yeah they stormed Omaha Beach for that: Trans ideology plus Satanism, popular entertainment."

At Sunday's Grammy Awards, Petras elaborated on the mindset behind the performance: "I think a lot of people, honestly, have kind of labeled what I stand for and what Sam stands for as religiously not cool.

"I personally grew up wondering about religion and wanting to be a part of it, but then slowly realizing it doesn't want me to be a part of it. So it's a take on not being able to choose religion and not being able to live the way that people might want you to live, because, you know, as a trans person, I'm kind of already not wanted in religion."

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