If you're a country fan--and probably even if you aren't--you most likely have not been able to escape getting hooked on what's one of the hottest new bands on the Nashville scene in quite a while.
That would be Atlanta's Zac Brown Band, who have flew to the upper reaches of the charts with multiple singles, nailed down the Top New Group honor at 2009's Academy of Country Music Awards, stole the show at the 2009 Country Music Awards with a smoking cover of "The Devil Went Down To Georgia," and now are up for three more awards at Sunday night's 2010 Grammys.
What's really striking about the ZBB's Grammy appearance is that the band is not only up for two country-category awards, they're also up for Best New Artist--which comprises all musical genres. The guys will be going head-to-head with quite a diverse list in this category: Keri Hilson, MGMT, Silversun Pickups, and the Ting Tings. (Guess who I'm rooting for?)
Anyway, I asked the band a few questions about the upcoming awards show, which I'm sure is bound to be as exciting for them as it is all the country fans watching out there and cheering them on. Here's what they had to say.
VivaNashVegas: Which Grammy nomination means more to you--Best New Artist, in which you are held up as the years' best with a wide spread of musical genres? Or Best Country Album, in which The Foundation is up against country's absolute toughest contenders, like George Strait and Taylor Swift?
ZBB: We are very honored by all the nominations. We don't ever show up expecting to win, we just like to perform, and we are most excited about being asked to do so. We have all worked very hard, and it's going to be a celebration either way.
VNV: What were your personal favorite albums this year--in specifically the country genre, and also rock or other genres?
ZBB: We listen to a lot of different music on tour, take turns DJing on the bus. This past year we played a lot of Joey + Rory, Jamey Johnson, and Miranda Lambert. The latest Levon Helm record is ridiculously cool. Everyone really liked the second Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit record and of course Big Whiskey from DMB.
VNV: Speaking of tough contenders, your other nomination, Best Country Group/Duo, puts you up against Lady Antebellum, who have been having a phenomenal year award-wise. Do you think they are the strongest competitors for you in this category?
ZBB: It's great to be in the same category with all these songwriters who are at the top of their game. We just want to continue to get better and play the best music possible. Lady A is a great example of that...they are genuine, and people can tell in their music. We are happy for them, they deserve to have many more great years.
VNV: You will also be performing at the Grammys. Can you give a hint as to what you'll be delivering? Your performance at the CMAs in November blew the roof off the house.
ZBB: Yeah, we played "Devil" at the CMA fest last summer and the producers of the show asked us to play it at the Awards. It felt great, the stage looked badass, and we got to do what we do every night on the road. We are playing one of our songs at the Grammys, and are doing a collaboration with Leon Russell.
VNV: Anything special you're looking forward to on Grammy night? Which artists are you hoping to rub elbows with, see perform, or see win?
ZBB: All the awards show so far have been a great experience...we love meeting everyone from the artists, musicians, crew, volunteers, and so on. We hope to see some friends in L.A., and will probably just invite everyone out to our shows later this year.
Thanks, guys! Fingers crossed for you on Sunday night.
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