JAMES LABRIE Says DREAM THEATER's GRAMMY Means Recording Academy Is 'Recognizing And Acknowledging This Kind Of Music'
April 21, 2022
DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie spoke to Metal Wani about the band winning its first-ever Grammy in the "Best Metal Performance" category in the pre-telecast ceremony at the 64th annual Grammy Awards, which was held on April 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. DREAM THEATER was nominated for "The Alien", a track from its 2021 album "A View From The Top Of The World". DREAM THEATER's previous Grammy nominations were for the song "On The Backs Of Angels", from 2011's "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" album, and the single "The Enemy Inside" from 2013's "Dream Theater".
"There's a couple of things that go through my mind immediately," James said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "It's great to get the acknowledgement and recognition from the Grammy academy. So there's that part of it. And at the same time, the Grammy is recognizing and acknowledging this kind of music and this kind of musicianship. And not that they haven't — jazz artists, blues artists and fusion and everything you can think of, folk, that's all going on as well, where those bands rightfully and those artists rightfully are being awarded this type of an award and recognition. So I think it's great for a band like DREAM THEATER to have this because it not only speaks for this kind of band or who and what we are and our entity, it speaks volumes for many, many other similar bands."
Earlier this month, LaBrie told Myglobalmind that "it was overwhelming" to finally win a Grammy Award. "It was quite surreal and it took a while for it to sink in — I think a couple of days before I was, like, 'Wow. Okay. So this actually did happen. I guess the third time's the charm, 'cause we were nominees a couple of times before for 'On The Backs Of Angels' and 'The Enemy Inside'.
"When it happened and our name was called and then [DREAM THEATER guitarist] John [Petrucci] went up on stage, I thought he did an amazing acceptance speech," he continued. "He was well poised and well worded, as always; he's a very intelligent individual.
"It's an amazing feeling. I guess it's another level of recognition for us and another feather in our cap, so to speak," LaBrie added. "But, no, it's just a great feeling and it's affirmation as to the kind of band that we are and how we've been around for some time. And it's good to get that recognition from the Grammy [Awards]."
In his acceptance speech, Petrucci said: "Wow, this is absolutely insane. On behalf of the entire band, I'd like to thank the Recording Academy and everybody who voted for us.
"You know, they used to tell us our songs were way too long, we used weird time signatures and there were too many guitar solos. In fact, this song is in 17/8, so try to tap your foot to it. But we just won a Grammy, so I'm glad we didn't listen...
"All the DREAM THEATER fans around the world, you guys rock. We love you. For fans of prog and prog metal, stay true to your art. And it's alive and well."
The nominees in the "Best Metal Performance" category at the 2022 Grammy Awards were as follows:
* "Genesis" - DEFTONES * "The Alien" - DREAM THEATER * "Amazonia" - GOJIRA * "Pushing The Tides" - MASTODON * "The Triumph Of King Freak (A Crypt Of Preservation And Superstition)" - ROB ZOMBIE
Last December, Petrucci discussed DREAM THEATER's latest Grammy nomination during an appearance on MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn's "No Fuckin' Regrets With Robb Flynn" podcast. He said: "The first [Grammy] nomination we had, FOO FIGHTERS were on there. And they won it. I remember Dave Grohl had said something like, 'Oh, they should have got this,' which I thought was nice. But this time, I don't know if I'm gonna remember all of [the other artists that were nominated], but I think it's GOJIRA and MASTODON [that we are up against], and it's a cool list. I remember there were a couple of years where I was surprised at the nominees — it seemed a little bit strange — but this seems appropriate. So we'll see. It's fun. It's an honor to get nominated. It's cool. Doing what we do and the way that we do it and getting recognized in that world is something that I never would have expected. And now for us, this is the third [nomination], so it's cool. It's a good feeling."
When "The Alien" was first released in August 2021, Petrucci stated about the track: "It's the first one we wrote together. It gives people a window into what it was like when we initially met up after all of those months off. It has the adventure, the untraditional structure, the heaviness, and the hooks. It really set the tone for the album. James wrote the lyrics about the idea of terraforming and looking beyond our Earth for alternative settlements. Since we're going beyond our planet, 'The Alien' turns out to be us. I thought it was a cool and creative lyric by James."
This year's Grammy nominations were announced on November 23, 2021. The nominations were revealed during a livestream from the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, which featured Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. and Board Of Trustees chair Tammy Hurt, as well as some special guests.
The eligibility period for the 64th annual Grammy Awards was September 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021.
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