The winners have been revealed at the fourth annual Heavy Music Awards, during a hugely popular live stream exclusively on Amazon Music UK’s Twitch channel.
In a show hosted live by Sophie K and Jon Mahon from the Heavy Music Awards’ London offices, twelve awards were handed out between exclusive, live performances from the studios of AfterLive Music by The Hunna, Holding Absence, Heart Of A Coward, Wargasm, Coldbones and Hawxx.
Slipknot enjoyed the greatest success on the night, taking home Best International Band and Best Album, for their acclaimed 2019 LP ‘We Are Not Your Kind’. In his acceptance video, Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan said, “It only means what it means when it’s voted by you, the fans, all round the world.”
While they may have missed out on the Best Album gong, Sheffield’s Bring Me The Horizon made HMA history by becoming the first artist to retain an award – picking up Best UK Band for the second time in as many years. Frontman Oli Sykes echoed Slipknot’s sentiment about fan participation in a video message from his home.
German heavyweights Rammstein landed the Best Live Band award, following a series of seminal stadium shows in 2019. In a collective message, the band said, “It’s always special to receive recognition for doing something you believe in, and when that recognition comes straight from the fans, it means a great deal.”
In a brand new category for 2020, Best Video, Don Broco landed their first HMA in recognition of their clip for ‘Action’. Frontman Rob Damiani was effusive in his praise of director Benjamin Roberds and producer Katie Gregg: “We’ve made six videos in total with them, and by far it’s been the best experience we’ve ever had making music videos.”
Pennsylvania’s Baroness were the recipients of the Best Album Artwork gong for ‘Gold And Grey’, with its jawdropping cover created by the band’s frontman John Dyer Baizley. On winning their first ever Heavy Music Awards, the charismatic vocalist said, “This means the world to us. It’s been an incredibly strange year, and we cannot wait to get back out on tour!”
“This is another door open for us all.”
The two Breakthrough Band awards were picked up by acts at the opposite ends of the heavy music spectrum – with Australian metalcore five-piece Polaris landing the International award, while Nova Twins – fresh from their performance at the HMAs in 2019 – were victors in the fiercely contested UK category.
Nova Twins’ Amy Love saw the significance of their win: “it’s so incredible for us, especially as women of colour, winning these rock awards, because you don’t see it that often. Let’s keep pushing forward, keep diversifying the space – there’s room for everybody.”
Love’s bandmate Georgia South added, “It feels like a win for the whole community of POC alternative fans, the LGBT community, any minority group that feels that the doors were not open for them – this is another door open for us all.”
Meanwhile, speaking from Sydney, Polaris’ Jamie Hails and Rick Schneider were humbled by the win. “This snuck up on us with everything that’s been going on, but it’s reminded us of all the fans we have out there and it really does mean a lot.”
History was also made in the Best Producer category, with Catherine Marks – who has worked with the likes of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, The Amazons and Frank Turner – becoming the first female to win the award. Accepting the award at her studio in London, Marks was quick to praise the other six finalists before adding, “This is such a shock, this is huge – thank you so much, this is such an honour. You don’t know how much this means to me. Thank you!”
In the Best Festival category, Download took the award for the second time in four years – the first time since the inaugural HMAs in 2017 – and the event’s mastermind Andy Copping was reflective in his acceptance speech. “It really means a lot to us. A very bizarre year this year, of course, with no festival taking place, but fingers crossed we’re going to be back next year, bigger and stronger than we’ve always been.”
Hugely respected metal snapper Ester Segarra became the first female to bag the Best Photographer category, taking down what is always one of the most hotly-contested awards. Speaking from Stockholm, Segarra was quick to highlight the sense of unity among the metal community, “It means a lot to have got this award this year. Let’s stand united, because united we never shall fall.”
And finally, The H – a special award recognising exceptional positive contribution to the heavy music scene – was given to Dom Frazer and Space, the husband and wife team behind Guildford’s much-loved Boileroom, a music venue paired with a vibrant creative space that has done a huge amount to empower local and national talent. Alongside her partner Space – who HMA followers may also know as the producer of IDLES’ album ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ – Frazer said, “We’d like to accept this award on behalf of all of the crews, and all the people who work tirelessly to make our cultural landscape so amazing. Keep doing what you’re doing and together we’ll get through this. This means so much. Thank you.”
The Heavy Music Awards is an entirely democratic, independent awards programme recognising the year’s best in rock and metal. For HMA20, over 600 invited industry insiders nominated their favourites to create the finalists’ shortlists, before more than 150,000 votes were cast from over 150 countries to decide the winners.
Our sincerest thanks to all the sponsors and supporters of HMA20 – Amazon Music, AfterLive Music, eOne, Moshhh, O2 Forum Kentish Town, Primordial Radio, Subfrantic, Ticketmaster, BIMM, Allianz Musical Insurance, Association of Independent Music, Believe, Dead Simple Accounting and EMP.
Heavy Music Awards 2020 – The Winners
BEST ALBUM – Slipknot ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ (Roadrunner Records / Produced by Greg Fidelman)
Presented by Amazon Music
BEST VIDEO – Don Broco ‘Action’ (Sharptone Records / Directed by Benjamin Roberds)
Presented by Moshhh
BEST FESTIVAL – Download Festival
Presented by Ticketmaster
BEST PHOTOGRAPHER – Ester Segarra
BEST PRODUCER – Catherine Marks
Presented by AfterLive Music
BEST ALBUM ARTWORK – Baroness ‘Gold and Grey’ (Abraxan Hymns / Artwork by John Dyer Baizley)
BEST UK BREAKTHROUGH BAND – Nova Twins (333 Wreckords)
Presented by Primordial Radio
BEST INTERNATIONAL BREAKTHROUGH BAND – Polaris (Sharptone Records)
Presented by Subfrantic
BEST INTERNATIONAL BAND – Slipknot (Roadrunner Records)
Presented by eOne
BEST LIVE BAND – Rammstein (Universal)
Presented by O2 Forum Kentish Town
BEST UK BAND – Bring Me The Horizon (RCA Records)
Presented by Amazon Music
THE H – Awarded for exceptional positive contribution to the heavy music scene
Dom Fraser & Space
Main photo: The Hunna at HMA20 by Tom Russell