Grammy notes

Quips fly backstage as victors savor the moment

Paul Epworth, who won producer and song of the year honors, was effusive about his most high-profile recent project, Adele: “She’s amazing, brave and funny, and she’s got a total gift, which makes my job very easy. She could sing the phone book. When we met, we talked about Dr. John, Tom Waits, Etta James, and found a middle ground between us. She has a gift for bringing out things in producers.”

Justin Vernon, who took home best new artist honors for his band/alter-ego Bon Iver, was diplomatic about his win, having previously declined to perform at the kudocast: “At some point I got really nervous, maybe it was because I didn’t think I deserved to be here,” he said. “This is the biggest night in music, but it’s a very small Staples Center…its hard to feel like it’s containing the whole thing.”

Speaking of the night’s reunion with his fellow Beach Boys bandmates, Brian Wilson observed: “It was kind of a different experience. Just being onstage together gives us a chance to express ourselves vocally and instrumentally.” Bandmate Al Jardine then discussed the new album the group is in the process of recording, saying: “These recording sessions we’re doing now are on par with ‘Pet Sounds.’ They have that same sort of alacrity and quality of songwriting.”

Bonnie Raitt spoke of her primary influence, Etta James, to whom she performed a tribute on the kudocast: “She was vital and raunchy and tender, and had a well of emotion that came across in her voice. She and Aretha had larger impacts on my career than any female singers, or any singers at all, really.”

Fledgling duo Civil Wars won for country duo/group performance and best folk album, pointing up a distinction that baffled them as well. “We hadn’t necessarily (thought of ourselves as country) either,” said the five-months pregnant Joy Williams, who described herself as a “human bakery.” “We’re not really sure who we are and where we fit, and I think that’s a little flattering,” continued bandmate John Paul White. “We just sort of made music and decided to roll the dice and see what happened.”

Derek Trucks, who won for blues album with his Tedeschi Trucks Band, also took part in an earlier tribute to the Allman Brothers Band, of which he is a part: “It’s pretty strange being 32 years old and getting a part of a lifetime achievement award,” he said.

Jazz bass legend Stanley Clarke was asked of Grammy’s recent category cuts, which sparked strong complaints on the part of Latin jazz musicians: “I think it’s an oversight on the Academy’s side. Latin music is one of the landmarks of this music, and they really should have their own category.”

Trey Parker, who won a statuette for musical theater album for “The Book of Mormon,” noted: “There are a lot of Mormons for whom this is sort of their ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ When asked to rate the comparative difficulty of writing comedy versus writing songs, he demurred, “Writing comedy songs is hard.”

Sam Okell, who won an historical album kudo for his remaster engineering work on Paul McCartney’s “Band on the Run (Paul McCartney Archive Collection – Deluxe Edition),” shared: “I asked (McCartney), ‘When was the last time you listened to the album?’ and he said, ‘I’ve never listened to the album.’ ”

Ryan Tedder, OneRepublic frontman and Adele collaborator, recalled how he counterintuitively went for a less mainstream sound for the singer. “I’m more accustomed to doing stuff that’s going to work on radio, that’s what I’m known for,” he said. “But with Adele I didn’t give a damn. I was obsessed with the rawness of what she had. … None of this stuff was supposed to be on the radio. Like Adele said, ‘Rolling in the Deep’ isn’t a pop record.”

Related: Adele’s ’21’ wins album of the year at Grammys

More Music

  • Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike

    Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Take No. 1 Spot on Top 100 DJs Poll

    The duo of Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike top DJ Mag’s 2019 Top 100 DJs poll, returning to the list since taking the No. 1 spot in 2015 and dethroning Martin Garrix after three years of dominance. The results of the Top 100 DJs were arrived at from 1.3 million votes cast in 179 countries. [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen arrives for the New

    Bruce Springsteen Returns to NJ Hometown for Surprise 'Western Stars' Introduction

    Bruce Springsteen returned to his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey to offer a surprise introduction to the first public multiplex viewing of his concert/documentary film, “Western Stars.” Dressed simply in a brown jacket, Springsteen took a moment to say a few words at the AMC Freehold 14 movie theater on Saturday night. “We knew we [...]

  • Marc Byers

    Execs from Motown, Live Nation, Recording Academy Set to Speak at Culture Creators' Inaugural C2 Summit

    Culture Creators, the organization which recognizes minorities in film, television, music and fashion, is holding its first-ever C2 Summit on Oct. 21 in Washington D.C. Its mission: to engage, mentor, and provide recruitment opportunities to students of color attending historically black colleges and universities. Students were selected from an application process and will participate in [...]

  • Rami Dawod SESAC

    SESAC Toasts Rami Dawod as Pop Songwriter of the Year

    Camila Cabello’s “Never Be The Same” and “Electricity” by Mark Ronson and Silk City featuring Dua Lipa are just a few of the co-writing credits celebrated during an October 16 dinner at Nobu Malibu hosted by SESAC in honor of Rami Dawod. Named Pop Songwriter of the Year by the performance rights organization, Dawod is [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

  • Ricky Martin Celia Cruz Gloria Estefan

    From Idea to Legacy: Latin Grammy Awards Mark 20 Years of Global Recognition

    The idea of creating a separate organization to honor the diversity of Latin music was a discussion that took place for years before it actually happened, but an event driven by one of pop music’s most important crossover artists solidified it. During the 41st Grammy Awards ceremony, a young Ricky Martin was scheduled to perform [...]

  • Taron Egerton Elton John Rocketman Live

    Elton John and Taron Egerton Duet at 'Rocketman' Awards Season Event at the Greek Theatre

    “Rocketman” has officially launched into awards season. Paramount hosted a screening of the film with a live-performance of the score by the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and a headlining performance by Elton John and the film’s star Taron Egerton. John and Egerton — who is in contention for best actor for his portrayal of the singer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content