HIGH ON FIRE took home the GRAMMY for “Best Metal Performance” last night at the 61st annual Grammy awards ceremony in Los Angeles, the music industry’s only peer-recognised accolade and highest achievement.
This was the band’s first nomination and first win. HIGH ON FIRE were nominated for ‘Electric Messiah,’ the title track off their 2018 album of the same name. The band, now as winners, join the ranks of past winners such as Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Metallica and Slayer.
“We never really needed an award for doing what we love,” says frontman Matt Pike. “Twenty-one years later, we finally got this. Thank you to the Academy.” Pike went on to thank producer Kurt Ballou among others. Bassist Jeff Matz sent out a heartfelt shoutout to long-time manager and friend Nick John who passed away last year and who was an instrumental figure in the band’s success.
HIGH ON FIRE released Electric Messiah last year to some serious critical acclaim. The A.V. Club stated that “The bar for metal album of the year has been raised” and they couldn’t be more correct. Electric Messiah has landed on a myriad of 2018 year-end lists including A.V. Club, Revolver, Loudwire and Consequence of Sound.
Consequence of sound said the new LP “successfully construct Sabbath-ian, earth-moving riffs as their blueprint.” Pitchfork said boldly, “When High On Fire rip, it’s like they’re tearing through the whole universe.”
“I had a dream about Lemmy,” says Pike, explaining the inspiration behind the title of High on Fire’s title track, “Electric Messiah.” “When Lemmy was still alive I always got compared to Lemmy,” the gravelly-voiced guitarist elaborates, “so I had this dream where he got pissed at me.”
“He gave me a bunch of shit, basically, and was hazing me. Not that he didn’t approve of me, but like I was being hazed. The song is me telling the world that I could never fill Lemmy’s shoes because Lemmy’s Lemmy. I wanted to pay homage to him in a great way. And it turned out to be such a good title that the guys said we should call the album ‘Electric Messiah.'”