Celebrity red carpet interviews are infamous for their vanity and lack of substance. They are quick hits, designed to grease the cogs of the industrial machine from celebrities to the masses, swallowed up by the spectacle and superficiality of it all. You get a few sound bites about what someone is wearing and what they’re looking forward to on the big night. Every once in a while there is a gem of an interview that is the subject of wonderful gossip, like Julia Fox’s Human Hair Clutch Where Agnus Cloud doesn’t care about interviewer questions.
In fact, not caring about the red carpet plays really, really well.
In a pop culture overrun with social media weight-hunters and cutthroat career opportunists, treating the red carpet with a slight air of apathy is a breath of fresh air for audiences. do not seduced by the idea of fame. This earns you significant loyalty points with your fanbase, the people who really matter to support your art, no matter how whimsical.
They’re the ones who love you because you’re you – they know that, in the grand scheme of things, tonight doesn’t matter.
The classic example is Trey Parker and Matt Stone tripping on acid at the 2000 Oscars, wearing dresses once worn by Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez. The shenanigans did not tarnish their careers at all. In fact, it only adds to their tradition as the creators of the most iconic animated series of all time (and, the criminally underrated movie BASEketball).
That brings us to Billy Strings at the Grammys
Bluegrass prodigy Billy Strings was invited to the 64th Grammys to perform on the roof of the MGM Grand during a showcase for up-and-coming artists.
The 29-year-old guitarist was nominated for Best Bluegrass Album (2021’s Renewal) and Best American Roots Performance for his song “Love And Regret”.
Billy Strings didn’t bring back any material on the music industry’s biggest night, but it looks like he had a great time anyway. He was overtaken in the bluegrass category by Béla Fleck for his album my bluegrass heart, which features Billy on four tracks, alongside other bluegrass legends like Chris Thile, Jerry Douglass and Molly Tuttle. The Strings took to the stage with Béla and a huge ensemble of musicians over the winter, so it’s obviously still a clean win for fans of the genre.
Strings also performed “Hide & Seek” on the telecast ahead of a commercial break, giving the guitarist a massive look to a huge and diverse audience of music fans. The world received about 30 seconds of Billy Strings, in total, which is pretty huge considering the cultural icons who also performed at the Grammys: Nas, Bieber, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and Jon Batiste.
You can watch the entire performance on Strings’ Instagram. Jam band fans who like sabermetry will be pleased to hear that it is eight minutes long.
Billy Strings 2022 Grammys Red Carpet Interview
Before the show, Strings walked the red carpet. He was nothing but himself. Asked about his pre-show rituals, he added this quip:
“Do you have any pre-show rituals?”
“Yeah, a lot of them… You know, I don’t want to talk about it on TV, though…”
…before the hosts ended the interview and pushed him.
It’s a pretty touching moment:
Naturally, with such a response, Billy’s appearance at the Grammys inspired memes and fun takes, in the spirit of the moment. This also included a number of music fans discovering him for the first time, alongside his incredible food picking skills.
praying universe billie eilish and billy strings hook up backstage at the grammys and make a pact to someday do some kind of collab BILLyBILLie
– ride a bike 🚲⛵️ (@andyfedy) April 3, 2022
Who is Billy Strings and how did I not hear about this sound?!?! #GRAMMYs
—Millertime (@MillertimeSpot) April 4, 2022
Speaking to Variety, Strings also won the hearts of many musicians with his take on the guys in the band.
Let’s hope these Billy Strings appearances at the Grammys become annual. A certain kind of jam-centric musical world is more fun for him.
If you get the chance to see Billy Strings on tour this spring and summer, don’t miss it.