The Second Annual Alternative Press Music Award Show will take place tonight at 8PM on AXSTV (check your local listings for availability), broadcasting live from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Because we cover a lot of the same music, and because I thought it would be fun, I thought we’d do something in the vein of what our friends in Smash Cut Reviews do for all the major entertainment awards shows- predictions! Below you can read the nominees in each category, as well as our selections for who we think should win and will win. Let us know what you think below! -Craig
Best Vocalist: Tyler Carter (Issues), Vic Fuentes (Pierce The Veil), Lynn Gunn (PVRIS), Adam Lazzara (Taking Back Sunday), Jeremy McKinnon (A Day To Remember), Hayley Williams (Paramore)
Should Win: Lynn Gunn (PVRIS) – Lynn Gunn has had a tremendous year. The last time the APMAs occurred, PVRIS had just finished a week long run on the Vans Warped Tour, where they played their new single “St. Patrick” live for the first time on the tiny Ernie Ball Stage. Little did they or anyone know that when their debut album White Noise dropped on Rise/Velocity Records, their popularity would sky-rocket. Lynn Gunn’s voice has taken the scene by storm, and a year later the band has been permanently bumped to mainstage on Warped Tour. Playing to crowds of thousands of adoring fans.
Will Win: As many of the other nominees pointed out, Hayley Williams is in a league of her own in this category. You don’t have two top 10 hits on one album, go on one of the most successful tours of your career, guest vocal on one of the biggest pop-punk band in the world’s songs, and lend your voice to an EDM smash hit all in the last two years… and then lose an APMA to Vic Fuentes. It just doesn’t happen.
Best Drummer: Cyrus Bolooki (New Found Glory), Rian Dawson (All Time Low), Jake Garland (Memphis May Fire), Adam Gray (Texas In July), Matt Greiner (August Burns Red), Luke Holland (The Word Alive)
Should Win: This whole category is so useless to me, because the drummers are either playing incredibly stale pop-rock (Cyrus Bolooki and Rian Dawson), or metal-core that I just don’t listen to ever (the rest of the nominees), but I saw Adam Gray play live once and he does stick tricks while playing metalcore beats, so that’s my selection.
Will Win: If I had to guess, I would say Luke Holland will take away the prize for this award. Bands like The Word Alive do very well in the Alternative Press community, even if I personally can’t stand them.
Best Live Band: A Day To Remember, letlive., Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, twenty one pilots, The Wonder Years
Should Win: This is an incredibly stacked lineup of nominees, and to be honest, there’s really no one missing from this scene except Jimmy Eat World (and Alt Press mostly ignores their existence these days anyway). Paramore put on the best show I have seen this year, but letlive. Is the best live band I have ever seen. All of these bands are incredible live, but only letlive. are better live than they are on their own records. Jason Aalon Butler is a fireball.
Will Win: I don’t even know, so many great contenders. I have a feeling this night will be ruled by Twenty One Pilots, so I will go with them to win this award. They are absolutely deserving as well. Having seen them play the mainstage at Firefly Music Festival to 50,000 people last year, I can attest to how truly incredible they are at working a crowd.
Best Underground Band: Being As An Ocean, The Hotelier, Knuckle Puck, Major League, State Champs, Tigers Jaw
Should Win: The Hotelier. When you put out the best “emo” album in years, even Alternative Press has to take notice, no matter how out-of-touch they are. Home, Like No Place Is There is that album.
Will Win: When you open for 5 Seconds Of Summer, you should be automatically disqualified from the “Underground Band” category. Unfortunately, State Champs wasn’t so they will probably get the 5SOS fanbase to rally around them to victory.
Best Breakthrough Band: Beartooth, Echosmith, Modern Baseball, Neck Deep, PVRIS, This Wild Life
Should Win/Will Win: While Echosmith got to perform at Firefly Music Festival and sing on stage with Taylor Swift, the band that will win this award is PVRIS. Echosmith’s rise was predicted by basically everyone with a pulse, whereas no one could have seen PVRIS coming. That element of the unexpected is what will carry Lynn Gunn and CO. to the podium multiple times tonight. As Dan Campbell of the Wonder Years put it, “It’s only a matter of time until this whole scene belongs to PVRIS, and I, for one, welcome our new overlords.
Most Dedicated Fans: All Time Low (Hustlers), Crown The Empire (The Runaways), Fall Out Boy (Overcast Kids), Motionless In White (Creatures), Paramore (Parafamily), twenty one pilots (Skeleton Clique)
Should Win/Will Win: Apparently, you’re not allowed in this category unless you have a catchy name I’ve never heard of for your fanbase to rally around (As a long-time Paramore fan, I was somehow unaware that their fanbase was called the Parafamily, and I think we need to come up with a new name). However, one band who has not only embraced, but also promoted their fanbase name, is Twenty One Pilots, whose Skeleton Clique moniker is somewhat unavoidable if you follow the band on social media. Ain’t nobody fresher than their mother***cking (skeleton) clique. After all, they carried the band, who had sold less than 250,000 copies of Vessel to date, to a number 1 debut on the Billboard 200 charts with their second album Blurryface, with over 150,000 copies sold in week one.
Tumblr Fandom of the Year: All Time Low, Fall Out Boy, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Panic! At The Disco, twenty one pilots, The 1975
Should Win/Will Win: I don’t really understand how this is any different than the above category? Was this just an excuse for Alternative Press to get 5 Seconds of Summer involved in the broadcast somehow? Probably. Either way, I still think twenty one pilots should win.
Best Bassist: Kyle Fasel (Real Friends), Jeph Howard (The Used), Ryan Jay Johnson (letlive.), Zack Merrick (All Time Low), Devin “Ghost” Sola (Motionless In White), Dallon Weekes (Panic! At The Disco)
Should Win: Ah, bassists, you underrated, unrecognizable bunch. So under recognized that the lead singer can completely cut you out of the promotion for an album, and you can still get nominated for best bassist (looking at you, Dallon Weeks). Ryan Jay Johnson should win this award, because I like letlive. a bunch, and because the bassists of Real Friends is the guy who writes their lyrics, and is therefore responsible for “Sleepy Eyes and Bony Knees” and no one needs that guy winning an award.
Will Win: Zack Merrick will probably win this award, because it appears that if you just copy Hit The Lights hard enough, no one will notice and you can pick up all kinds of awards and accolades, even if the album is terrible in comparison to the last one you put out. All Time Low has done this twice now in their career and no one has cared in the slightest.
Best Guitarist: Arun Bali (Saves The Day), Jordan Buckley (Every Time I Die), Tony Perry (Pierce The Veil), Kevin Skaff (A Day To Remember), Will Swan (Dance Gavin Dance), Jacky Vincent (Falling In Reverse)
Should Win: I would love to see Will Swan win in this category of really strange nominations. His guitar work on Dance Gavin Dance’s new album Instant Gratification is nothing short of remarkable.
Will Win: Knowing the fanbase that votes for the Alternative Press Music Awards, probably Jacky Vincent. Blech.
Best International Band: The 1975 (UK), The Amity Affliction (Australia), Marmozets (UK), New Politics (Denmark), Northlane (Australia), Crossfaith (Japan)
Should Win/Will Win: The 1975 don’t have a chance in Hell of not winning this category. They are the biggest band by far in this category and one of the biggest in this award show overall, and although their self-titled album came out before last year’s APMAs, they’ve been touring constantly basically since the day that record came out. Now, they’ve gone back into the studio to work on a new record, followed by even more touring. This band never stops, so hopefully they can take a break and enjoying winning an award at least.
Artist Philanthropic Award: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (Dear Jack Foundation), Bayside (The Human Rights Campaign), Koji (Doctors Without Borders), Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red (HeartSupport), Simple Plan (The Simple Plan Foundation), Taking Back Sunday (American Cancer Society)
Should Win: Honestly, all of them. It’s so commendable that these artists would use the platforms afforded them by their music to make the world even a slightly better place. It’s not something that everyone does, but it is certainly something that every band or artist should do.
Will Win: I’m not even sure, and hopefully the broadcast spends time discussing each of the candidates efforts in detail and informing the public on how to get involved. I am partial to the Dear Jack Foundation, since that is the one I have contributed to the most in the past, but I know that Koji believes 1000% in the work he is doing, and it goes well beyond just Doctor Without Borders. Though that particular line of charitable contributions (giving his music out for free with all of the proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders) is remarkable, there are so many other things he does for the community that I would like to see his work recognized.
Best Song: Beartooth – “Beaten In Lips”, Motionless In White – “Reincarnate”, Real Friends – “I Don’t Love You Anymore”, Set It Off – “Why Worry”, Sleeping With Sirens – “Kick Me”, PVRIS – “My House”
Should Win/Will Win: I’m going all in on PVRIS. My number 3 song of the year last year (anyone want to tell me why “I Wanna Get Better” or “Your Deep Rest” weren’t nominated instead of Set it Off?) will hopefully continue what I expect to be the PVRIS takeover on this award show. “My House” is at once dark and brooding and undeniably, hip-shakingly catchy.
Best Music Video: Bring Me The Horizon – “Drown”, A Day To Remember – “End Of Me”, Fall Out Boy – “Centuries”, Modern Baseball – “Your Graduation”, PVRIS – “St. Patrick”, Set It Off – “Why Worry”
Should Win: The OK GO video where they filmed the entire thing with quadcopter drones with Go Pros attached to them. Oh, that’s not nominated? That’s dumb. Well, then give me “Your Graduation,” the music video spiritual successor to Fall Out Boy’s “Dance Dance.” It’s funny, it’s energetic, and it’s basically a perfect 3-minute encapsulation of why everyone is loving Modern Baseball right now.
Will Win: I think A Day to Remember finally picks up an award here, for what is a stunning use of the music video art form. The video for “End of Me” is delightfully ambiguous, wonderfully directed, and full of really rewarding cinematography. While it may not be as good as the “Your Graduation” or “St. Patrick” videos, it is a very strong use of the medium.
Album of the Year: Beartooth – Disgusting, Black Veil Brides – Black Veil Brides, Circa Survive – Descensus, Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown, frnkiero andthe cellabration – Stomachaches, Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien, La Dispute – Rooms Of The House, Linkin Park – The Hunting Party, Real Friends – Maybe This Place Is The Same and We’re Just Changing
Should Win: La Dispute’s Rooms of the House is a gripping and chilling storytelling conceit based around the narrator staring out at all of his belongings and coming to grips with the end of a failed relationship. It’s a heartbreaking reminder of the oftentimes fleeting nature of love. And it will probably lose to an album written for 15-year-olds.
Will Win: That last line isn’t a joke. The bassist of Real Friends said his album was written for his 15-year-old fans, who are trying to understand the world around them, in a real life interview. I’d say that has a good chance of winning, but what will probably end up winning is the Black Veil Brides self-titled, since if I’m going to expect the worst from this broadcast, I might as well really expect the worst.
Artist of the Year: Against Me!, Black Veil Brides, Crown The Empire, Issues, Motionless In White, New Found Glory, Of Mice & Men, Slipknot, Taking Back Sunday, Weezer
Should Win/Will Win: Although the band’s latest album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, came out before the inaugural APMAs last year, no one has done more to push the music scene forward this year than Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace. She had her own webseries, where she talked about the difficulties of transitioning, she appeared on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast to advocate for transgender population’s civil rights and to educate the influential comedian. She and her band have toured all across the country, playing to crowds, and showing and telling them that it is okay to be who they want to be. Nothing is more important tonight than giving Laura Jane Grace and Against Me! this award.