Which artists' praises were being sung during Wednesday night's Grammy Nominations Concert Live event? USA TODAY's Brian Mansfield reports from backstage at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
New and surreal. Lumineerslead vocalist Wesley Schultz, whose folk-rock group had just beennominated for best new artist, was finding it difficult to process thewhole experience. "We've never gotten to be represented or promotedbefore we put out this record (their self-titled debut),'' he said."It's hard to explain, though, because nothing happens for so long, thenyou're nominated for a Grammy. It's pretty surreal. It's kind of hardto wrap your head around it. .. We felt like underdogs in this wholething.''
"It'sunexpected, for sure,'' added bandmate Neyla Pekarek. "There's a lot ofreally awesome people in those categories. You see these bands get hypeand whatever. We made an album without knowing anything about this.We're super happy to be here.''
Great shakes. DrummerSteve Johnson of Alabama Shakes said that one of his fellow new artistnominees is perhaps more deserving of the award. "If I were on the otherside of the fence, I'd vote Frank Ocean, personally,'' he said.
Addedlead singer Brittany Howard: "I'm just happy and my Nana's happy.''She said the group, which has spent about a year and a half performingtheir Boys & Girls album, will take its time before enteringthe studio again. "I feel like people want to apply that pressure, but Iwant to ignore it, at all costs,'' she said. "Songwriting has alreadybegun... We're not going to put out anything we think is garbage.''
Home cooking.Dierks Bentley, nominated for country solo vocal performance, said hewas thrilled the Grammy nominations were announced in Nashville thisyear, but admitted "I'm biased. I kind of feel like it's a goodopportunity for the rest of the world to get a sneak peek of Nashville.Everyone who lives here knows how great it is. We like that it is kindof a secret in some ways. The cool thing about Nashville is you bringthem in, give them a big hug, take them to your favorite bar, introducethem to your favorite songwriters. I think what makes this town great isit's a cool community of people who support each other.''
Finding his voice. Nate Ruess, founder of indie-pop group fun., which was nominated in four top categories, including new artist and album for Some Nights, had a rough time of it during this week's rehearsals for the televised show. The group sang record- and song-nominee We Are Youngwith Janelle Monae, but "for the last week, I've had more vocalproblems than I've ever had,'' said Ruess. "Fortunately, my voiceworked.''
Bandmate Jack Antonoff said that after surveying thenominees list he feels "there's a change that's coming in music and thisfeels like a big year for that. We're excited to be a part of it. ...If you turn on the radio, it's pretty obvious that something'schanging.''