The inaugural 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. To commemorate the occasion, I thought it may be fun to 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 my selections for who I think should win and will win. Let us know what you think, and follow our twitter page for live updates of our thoughts on the broadcast.
Best Live Band- Nominees: A Day To Remember, All Time Low, Asking Alexandria, Fall Out Boy, Pierce The Veil, twenty one pilots
Should Win: Having seen them about 5 or 6 times since last Spring, I will emphatically put forth my recommendation for twenty one pilots in this category. That band is so much fun live, and despite having only two members on stage, pack more stage presence than bands with triple the bodies. Josh Dun could earn this award alone for his epic nightly backflip during “Holding On To You.”
Will Win: I think this is the first of several awards that A Day To Remember will take in on the night. They headlined the rebirth of the Skate and Surf Music Festival and put on an entertaining set despite the cold and the rain. Then they embarked on the massively successful House Party headlining tour with fellow nominees All Time Low and Pierce the Veil, as well as The Wonder Years (who are suspiciously absent from this category), and just on Saturday played a headlining spot on Warped Tour Chicago (I know that was after voting closed but still)- it would be a well-deserved honor if this is the selection.
Breakthrough Band- Nominees: The Color Morale, Crown The Empire, Issues, letlive., The Story So Far, twenty one pilots
Should Win: letlive.- The band that has probably the least chance in this category is the band that is most deserving of winning it. Simply put, there are not many better bands out there in the music scene that letlive. Their powerhouse post-hardcore/soul punk album The Blackest Beautiful was released last year- and you’d be hard pressed to find a better written record that came out in 2013. They also toured non-stop all over the world in support of the record. What more could you ask for. ll.et them win it!
Will Win: The Story So Far. Though I think twenty one pilots has a good chance of winning in this category, I will give this award to the new face of the pop-punk revival, the young guns who have conquered the Warped Tour scene. Perhaps the only band that had a bigger crowd at our Warped date than these guys was Falling In Reverse (which is a joke but don’t get me started). They are absolutely the breakout band of this year, going from a sidestage act to a main draw on the mainstage.
Best Vocalist- Nominees: Andy Biersack (Black Veil Brides), Vic Fuentes (Pierce The Veil), Kellin Quinn (Sleeping With Sirens), Oli Sykes (Bring Me The Horizon), Brendon Urie (Panic! At The Disco), Hayley Williams (Paramore)
Should Win: Hayley Williams– Putting in the best vocal performance of a career that also includes Riot! And Brand New Eyes (as well as the Zedd song “Stay The Night”), Williams proved on the bands self-titled album that Paramore could put together a diverse, rich collection of pop-rock songs and unify them with her voice. There is the grace and poise of her delivery in “Ain’t It Fun,” the bratty inflection in “Anklebiters,” or the soaring highs of Still Into You’s bridge. Basically, she crushes every note
Will Win: Kellin Quinn– Quinn will edge out Andy Biersack in the competition between two vocalists who shouldn’t have even been nominated but fan girls will vote for anyway-despite neither vocalist deserving the award in the slightest.
Best Guitarist: JB Brubaker (August Burns Red), Synyster Gates (Avenged Sevenfold), Phil Manansala (Of Mice & Men), Jack O’Shea (Bayside), Chris Rubey (The Devil Wears Prada), Jacky Vincent (Falling In Reverse)
Should Win: Chris Rubey– Those who know me know that I am not a huge fan of The Devil Wears Prada. I like the occasional song here or there, but I have never fully gotten into them. With that said, Rubey absolutely did enough to deserve the award this year. The band’s most recent record 8:18 is a downright punishing onslaught of distorted, weary guitars and slaying, sweeping riffs.
Will Win: Jack Vincent– Falling In Reverse will win their first of many, many undeserved awards here, as the fans inexplicably vote for a man who A) doesn’t even really have to play anything in some of the songs, and B) when he is asked to actually play notes, decides to just chug some open chords a few times and call it a day.
Best Bassist- Nominees: Jeremy Davis (Paramore), Zack Merrick (All Time Low), Ryan Neff (Miss May I), Jaime Preciado (Pierce The Veil), Devin “Ghost” Sola (Motionless In White), Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy)
Should Win: Jeremy Davis- Go listen to his bass work on “Ain’t It Fun” and then come back. I’ll wait. Now that you’ve rejoined us, try to tell me he doesn’t deserve this award. That bass is downright groovy, and that’s just one song on the entire album of bass jams.
Will Win: Pete Wentz- I think the name factor alone will help Wentz win the “Best Time to Grab a Sandwich during the Broadcast” award. His work on Save Rock and Roll was adequate- not the best of his career, but good enough to not hold back a great album.
Best Drummer- Nominees: Jess Bowen (The Summer Set), Josh Dun (Twenty One Pilots), Mike Fuentes (Pierce The Veil), Matt Greiner (August Burns Red), Luke Holland (The Word Alive), Ryan Seaman (Falling In Reverse)
Should Win: Josh Dun- Twenty One Pilots’ drummer may not be the most talented drummer on this list (Matt Greiner would almost certainly win a drum off with any of the other nominees), but his playing style is so effortlessly suited to the style of music that his band makes that it doesn’t seem like any other drummer could possibly play in the band. When you combine that with the fact that he is one half of the writing team for the band, and thus contributes 50% to each song made by the band, and you have a significant enough justification to give him the award.
Will Win: Ryan Seaman– Yeah, I don’t know what to tell you. Fangirls love Falling in Reverse, so even though this dude almost certainly sucks at his instrument, he’s a shoo-in for the award.
Best Song- Nominees: All Time Low feat. Vic Fuentes “A Love Like War”, Bring Me The Horizon “Shadow Moses”, Fall Out Boy “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)”, Falling In Reverse “Alone”, Paramore “Still Into You”, Sleeping With Sirens feat. Machine Gun Kelly “Alone”
Should Win: First of all, I feel it’s necessary to point out what a terrible job Alternative Press did picking finalist in this particular category- though at least they didn’t pick the Bring Me the Horizon song that drops the “C” word. While only two of the songs on this list stand out as being even particularly good, the one that is most deserving of the award is probably “Still Into You,” which in my opinion is one of the best pop songs of the past several years. “Light Em Up” is great, not just as a song, but as what it signified for the Fall Out Boy reunion, but hearing Hayley belt in the bridge of “Still Into You” is chill-inducing.
Will Win:“Alone”- Falling in Reverse. Shoutout to Sleeping With Sirens by the way for making one of the worst songs I have heard in recent memory and still having it not be the worst song named “Alone” released last year. This trainwreck of a song is so bad it’s almost uplifiting. Could you imagine waking up every day and having to realize you were Ronnie Radke? I’d want to wake up from the nightmare my life had become.
Album of the Year- Nominees: A Day To Remember • Common Courtesy, Avenged Sevenfold • Hail To The King, Black Veil Brides • Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones, Bring Me The Horizon • Sempiternal, Fall Out Boy • Save Rock And Roll, Paramore • Paramore, Sleeping With Sirens • Feel, Touché Amoré • Is Survived By, twenty one pilots • Vessel, The Wonder Years • The Greatest Generation
Should Win: I have to go with Save Rock and Roll on this one. I don’t think there has been a more important record in this scene in a long time than that Fall Out Boy masterpiece. It’s layered, it’s diverse, and it’s ultimately just a fun, rewarding listen.
Will Win: With that said, fan voting is dumb and somehow Black Veil Brides is gonna end up with this award for Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, an album title so dumb that I’m actually angry with myself for having to type it twice on this post.
Band of the Year: A Day To Remember, Avenged Sevenfold, Black Veil Brides, Bring Me The Horizon, Fall Out Boy, Of Mice & Men, Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, Pierce The Veil, Sleeping With Sirens
Should Win: I think it should be no surprise that the band who shocked the world with their reunion last February is the band that is most deserving of winning the award for Band of the Year. They quickly simply went from being on an indefinite hiatus to being the biggest pop-rock band in the world again within the span of a few months. “My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up)” became a staple of arenas and summer playlists everywhere, they sold out headlining shows EVERYWHERE, and then they went on a co-headlining tour with another member of the Band of the Year nominees Paramore, which is selling out amphitheaters nationwide. What else does Fall Out Boy have to do to win this award?
Will Win: Turn into A Day To Remember is apparently the answer to the above question. I think A Day To Remember will just beat out the band who saved Rock and Roll, and here’s why: What band had a more toxic relationship with their record label than A Day To Remember? Nobody. And yet, the band was able to stick it to the label and self-release their stellar album Common Courtesy, despite a pending lawsuit with their label. What’s more punk rock than that? If a band does upset Fall Out Boy for the award, I do hope it is A Day To Remember, and not Black Veil Brides. My crumbling sanity would not be able to handle that kind of mental anguish.