Tool, Gary Clark Jr. and more: The Guitar.com Grammys rundown
Which guitarists grabbed a gramophone over the weekend?
L-R: Gary Clark Jr., Danny Carey & Justin Chancellor of Tool and Rodrigo Y Gabriela tout their Grammys. Images: Rachel Luna / Alberto E. Rodriguez / Amanda Edwards / Getty
The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards took place over the weekend – and while guitars continue to be a rare find in the biggest categories, there were still a few six-stringers recognised by the recording academy.
Tool continued to infiltrate the mainstream, taking home a Best Metal Performance win for their song 7empest. The song was up against Astorolus – The Great Octopus by Candlemass ft. Tony Iommi, Humanicide by Death Angel, Bow Down by I Prevail, and Unleashed by Killswitch Engage.
It’s not the first time the band have received their due recognition from the industry. Their 2019 album Fear Inoculum made Billboard history by being the longest song to ever chart, and even knocked Taylor Swift off the top spot of the Billboard 200.
Gary Clark Jr.’s This Land won the bluesman both Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance, edging out Brittany Howard, Rival Sons, and Vampire Weekend for the titles. The pair of awards follows Clark Jr.’s first Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance, awarded in 2014 for the song Please Come Home.
Check out our interview with Gary, in which he talks collaborating with legends, writing This Land and creating his signature triple-pickup SG Junior in collaboration with Gibson.
Rodrigo Y Gabriela scooped Best Contemporary Instrumental Album with their record Mettavolution. Speaking to us about the album’s creative process, Gabriela Quintero described the risk-taking move of bucking the trends and embracing free-flowing writing: “We are what we are, we can’t change what we are, so we’re going to stick to our guns – if people like it, great, if they don’t, then they don’t. So we just gave up all these crazy ideas and then all the creativity started to flow naturally. We decided to write a lot of music and it was important not to think about an album as such, but just to make music.” And now with their first Grammy under their belts, it seems the risk paid off for the duo.
Other guitar highlights from the awards list include Vampire Weekend’s win for best alternative album with Father Of The Bride, Cage The Elephant’s win for Best Rock Album with Social Cues and, of course, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ Old Town Road (Remix) sweeping up Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
The latter song had previously become embroiled in a controversy as to whether it should be included in the Country Music Awards. Keith Urban, speaking to Guitar.com, noted that this is nothing new, and pushback against the expansion of genre definitions has been around since at least the fifties, especially within country music.
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