(The Recording Academy asked some of this year's first-time GRAMMY nominees to collect their thoughts and share what it feels like to be nominated for a GRAMMY.)
Wow! Could this really be happening? That was my first thought when I heard the news that Dream Theater had just been nominated for our first GRAMMY. It still makes me smile every time I think about it and the reality of receiving such an honor still hasn't set in. Being in a band who writes 20-minute-long prog-rock epics about topics that aren't exactly radio-friendly, I never would have thought that we'd ever be nominated and the thrill still hasn't worn off.
I was on a plane to California the evening the nominees were announced and as a Recording Academy member and music fan I was bummed that I was missing the telecast, as I always look forward to seeing who receives the year's honors.
I was at baggage claim when I got the call from our manager and all I wanted to do was scream out and dance in celebration. Sharing the news with my wife and kids, bandmates, family, and friends was an incredible moment and one I'll always remember.
The cool thing is that "On The Backs Of Angels" was the first song we wrote for the A Dramatic Turn Of Events album and has only been released in its almost 9-minute original form. Knowing that a song that originated as an acoustic guitar idea written in front of my fireplace at home is now among those songs nominated this year just blows me away.
Based on the nominees in our category, I'd be surprised if we won but I'm still incredibly honored and humbled by the nomination. I'm looking forward to an amazing night on Feb. 12!
— John Petrucci
I was sitting in a Japanese restaurant in San Diego with my very good friend, author Chris Epting, when my cell phone rang. It was John Petrucci. "Jordan, we got a GRAMMY nomination" were the words out of his mouth! Chris looked at me, knowing from my expression that I just heard some really important news. Receiving a GRAMMY nod is not an everyday experience and it kinda blew me away. John was very excited as well. Leading up to this point had already been an amazing whirlwind year for us with our new drummer Mike Mangini, our new album, A Dramatic Turn Of Events, and some very strong shows to support it.
Although we put a lot of care into all the music we create, we knew that this particular album was gonna be scrutinized and a really important step in our career! Receiving this nomination for the song "On The Backs Of Angels" has been so rewarding for us on many levels, as musicians who have all spent countless hours focusing on each of our instruments, as well as band members who have worked together for years, both in the studio and on the road.
Over a long period of time Dream Theater has managed to create a big name for ourselves around the world, but never have crossed over to any kind of real mainstream notoriety. Although I am always grateful to have a life filled with music, as well as the rare ability to be able to earn a living doing it, this GRAMMY nomination just gives me and my band a real-world pride and connection that is deep and meaningful.
As I write this, we are in Finland rehearsing and getting ready to embark on an extensive European tour with a break in the middle to travel back to the United States to attend the GRAMMY Awards show. For musicians who have literally spent their lives practicing, this nomination is a real encouragement for all of us!
— Jordan Rudess
(Dream Theater, consisting of lead vocalist James LaBrie, drummer Mike Mangini, bassist John Myung, guitarist John Petrucci, and keyboardist Jordan Rudess, are nominated for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for "On The Backs Of Angels" from A Dramatic Turn Of Events. Released in September 2011, the album peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200.)
Come back to GRAMMY.com tomorrow as we hear from first-time GRAMMY nominee Roseanna Vitro. Tune in to the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 12 from 8–11:30 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Meanwhile, visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Facebook and Twitter for updates and breaking GRAMMY news.