In a new interview with "The Afternoon Program" on the 102.9 The Hog radio station, DISTURBED frontman David Draiman once again 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.
Draiman 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: "I was pretty blown away by Sam Smith's spectacle. That was impressive. That's kind of what certain parts of what we do in our genre have been missing for many bands, and even us at certain points in time. That element of danger, that element of, 'Here's my middle finger. I'm putting it right in the camera for all of you, and doing this because I know it's going to get a rise out of everyone. And that's exactly why I'm doing it the way I'm doing it.' And that's rock and roll. Whether people recognize it or not, that is it — that is it. It's impressive to see people push the envelope."
He continued: "How much different is that in its own way, and in its own style and flavor and flair, than what MÖTLEY CRÜE has done for years? Or what a band like… Let's go to the real opposite end of the spectrum, a band like GWAR and what they do. It's a show, and they're putting on a show, and they're just figuring out a different way to piss people off and push people's buttons. And he found it. And good on him, man, 'cause [laughs] more people need to be pushing more buttons in a way that pisses more people off. People are almost begging for it at this point."
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 last 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."
In an interview with TMZ, David Harris, a magister of the Church of Satan, said he thought Smith and Petras's performance was "all right" and "nothing particularly special." He also blasted right-wing politicians who were offended by the performance — especially Ted Cruz and Marjorie Taylor Greene — calling them "delicate snowflakes."
Photo courtesy of David Draiman's Twitter