According to The Pulse Of Radio, The Recording Academy has weighed in on the controversy over both DISTURBED and Beyoncé being nominated in the "Best Rock Performance" category for the upcoming 59th annual Grammy Awards. Academy senior vice president Bill Freimuth told Metal Injection: "The rock category is one of our biggest umbrellas. Not quite as broad as pop, but maybe the next up in terms of what constitutes rock — it can be blues rock, folk rock, ballads… I think what we found this year is that so many artists that were in rock or adjacent to rock were really taking more sonic risks this year than ever before, and it made for a really exciting dynamic landscape in that field."
Freimuth added with regards to Beyoncé's track: "That [Beyoncé] recording has Jack White in it and it has LED ZEPPELIN samples in it and I think it's Beyoncé really stretching. It's an artist at the height of her musical powers, really reaching in many different directions and we are all the better for it."
Beyoncé is nominated for her song "Don't Hurt Yourself", while DISTURBED is up for its performance of SIMON & GARFUNKEL's "The Sound Of Silence". The other nominees in the category include TWENTY ONE PILOTS for "Heathens", the late David Bowie for the title track from his "Blackstar" album and ALABAMA SHAKES for a live rendition of their song "Joe".
DISTURBED singer David Draiman gave The Pulse Of Radio his perspective on the situation. "It's definitely a unique situation to be in," he said. "We have the utmost respect for everybody in this category, and that maybe is what makes it most intimidating, that we're up against literally the giants of the industry. We're just hoping for the best. I think we all could agree, all of us in this category would be able to live with and sleep well at night with having David Bowie take this one."
Draiman said in an interview with Billboard last week that it was "strange" to be competing against Beyoncé in the "Best Rock Performance" category, commenting: "When you can have, with all due respect, a Beyoncé and a DISTURBED in the same category, something has gone wrong. Not taking anything away from her whatsoever, we’re just very different from each other."
"The Sound Of Silence", a cover of the SIMON & GARFUNKEL classic, appears on DISTURBED's 2015 album "Immortalized" — although their Grammy nomination is for the band's performance of the song on "Conan".
DISTURBED's last Grammy nomination was in 2009, when it was up in the now-retired "Best Hard Rock Performance" category for "Inside The Fire".