David Ellefson, Frank Bello Talk Grammys’ History with Metal, Big 4
It’s no secret how metal fans feel about the Grammys and how seemingly out-of-touch the Recording Academy has been toward the genre. However, according to Megadeth’s David Ellefson, the Recording Academy has been trying to improve.
Ellefson touched on this topic when appearing on Talkin’ Rock with Meltdown recently along with Anthrax’s Frank Bello and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal. After Megadeth finally won their first Grammy in 2017 for Best Metal Performance, Ellefson had an interesting moment at the Recording Academy Offices in California:
“It’s funny…I went to the Grammy Office, the Recording Academy Office, in Santa Monica last summer, and even they were like, ‘About time! Thank God you guys finally won!’ Even they were relieved because they know they haven’t done the best job in getting the metal category right. In fact, to the degree that they’ve actually called on a lot of us – they invite us, they invited the Mastodon guys – they invite us to “Hey, please sit on the panel that decides what songs are to be nominated and make sure they’re in the right category.’ It’s a genre they’ve admittedly haven’t understood it over the years…Now they’ve got some younger people in there and really kind of a cool little crew of people at the Recording Academy that get this [genre] now.”
The metal genre, itself, is as strong as ever, but one of its biggest pillars continues to be the “Big 4,” who famously performed on the same bill for a number of select dates in 2010 and 2011. Ever since their final show together at Yankee Stadium in September 2011, many have wondered if Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax would share a bill again. Bello had this to say:
“It’s really up to Metalica. [laughs] ‘When is the Big 4 going to come around [again]?’ Talk to James Hetfield. We’re all ready…Look, we’re ready and willing to do that. That’s fun. I think it’s great for the fans, because I’m a fan.”
With Slayer set to retire from touring, many are hoping to see one last “Big 4” show, and Bello thinks Slayer would certainly be interested:
“I bet you if we knocked on that door, they would listen…’cause that’s how special the Big 4 [is]…From the environment that we had on that tour, I know the fans saw that, but you got to see what we went through. It was such a great experience for us, the bands within. It was like a high school reunion kind of vibe…I mean, it was great! It was a great vibe.”
This interview can be heard in its entirety below.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger. The first man she ever loved was Jack Daniel. (True story.)