Cape Cod-bred Highly Suspect is kind of the Grammy rock category’s wild card. The newcomers didn’t expect to be nominated, nor do they think they’ll win, but they’re cool with that.
“When you get nominated you’ve already won,” says drummer Ryan Meyer, who founded the band with twin, Rich, and friend, Johnny Stevens in 2009.
“I’m grateful for that, and I’m going in expecting that Elle King will take [rock] song and Muse will take [rock] album, and I’m very happy for them.”
The band’s debut “Mister Asylum” earned them the Best Rock Album nod, while “Lydia” snagged them Best Rock Song. The Brooklyn-based trio, deemed the “U.S. answer to Royal Blood” by NME.com, shares their categories with the likes of the Alabama Shakes’ “Don’t Wanna Fight,” James Bay’s “Chaos and the The Calm,” Florence & The Machine’s “What Kind of Man” and, of course, Muse’s “Drones.”
“I think it’s amazing we’re in the same category,” continues Meyer. “Especially Muse — we’ve been huge fans forever and we all went to see them at the Boston’s [T.D.] Garden years ago. I just remember walking out of that concert without a head; it felt like it had unattached to my body.”
“We’re sitting next to them at the Grammys,” he adds. “I’ll try not to be a fan boy. I’ll try to be polite. But it’s hard.”
The 30-year-old kept mum on who would dress them for the night (later reveled in a Billboard exclusive that it will be John Varvatos), but he says the shock is starting to wear off after the band got the call that they had been nominated.
“I’m more comfortable with it now. There were so many stages: the shock and then the couple of days digesting the news while also fielding lots of calls. All of us were non-stop on every social media you could ever imagine with people coming out of the woodworks. People from high school were suddenly your best friends. We’re adjusting to it now, but it was interesting. Now we’re going through prep and doing interviews for before the show. I’m feeling more confident with it.”
And while Highly Suspect is easily labeled a “Brooklyn band,” its members still feel attached to their small town roots — the Meyer twins growing up in Yarmouth, MA, and Stevens in Dennis.
“I’ll always rep Cape Cod. That’s where my family is,” says Meyer. “But I can’t deny what Brooklyn did for us as a band. We grew up in a little bubble and then moved to a big city where it’s the hub of everything. It was a culture shock.”