David Ellefson spoke to Sonic Perspectives about MEGADETH's first-ever Grammy win back in 2017 when he and his bandmates took home the trophy for "Best Metal Performance" for the title track of their latest album, "Dystopia". MEGADETH's "Dystopia" nod marked the band's twelfth Grammy nomination in the "Metal" category (including nominations in the discontinued "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category).
When the Sonic Perspectives interviewer told Ellefson that MEGADETH should have won some Grammys back in the 1990s around the time of the release of the "Countdown To Extinction" and "Youthanasia" albums, the bassist responded (hear audio below): "I'm not gonna argue with you. I think we were clearly the better band in a lot of those categories. And that's not to disrespect some of the contemporaries that were there, because certainly they were worthy of being in the category. But one of the things that I've found over the years is that — and I think probably the reason even the Grammys are so thrilled about our win on 'Dystopia' — because I think it shows that you don't just get nominated once, flash in the pan, and then you go away. There's a lot of award shows that are for that. The Grammys are not a popular awards show. It's like the Oscars — it's the Academy and it's the members of the Academy that vote, and the constituents, if you will, are the voters of the record labels. So it's a very industry-centric academy and award show. Dick Clark's American Music [Awards], which is great show — I love to watch it. And they're generally [focusing on] the more popular [artists]; whoever is more popular usually wins. Billboard [Music Awards is] based on chart sales. But the Grammys is very nebulous, and you really don't know who's gonna win."
He continued: "What I started to see is that usually the elder statesman bands over the years — 'cause we were in categories with JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN and MOTÖRHEAD and stuff — usually the elder statesman bands generally were winning, at least in the metal category. A couple of times, we were in there with MAIDEN and PRIEST, and you're kind of going, 'You know, they kind of deserve to win. They are ahead of us. They haven't won yet. And so when they won, it was, 'Yeah, it sucks to lose, but at least it went to one of our heroes too.'"
Last fall, MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine told San Francisco's 107.7 The Bone radio station that he was "fighting" to get another heavy metal category added to the Grammy Awards.
Mustaine recently began undergoing treatment for the throat cancer with which he was diagnosed back in May.
Although most of MEGADETH's previously announced 2019 tour dates have been canceled as Mustaine battles the disease, the MEGADETH-curated Megacruise — which is set to take place October 13-19 — will still depart as scheduled, and the band will be a part of it in some form.