Pics: Jake Owens, Tina Korhonen, Oliver Leonard, Mick Hutson and John McMurtrie
Last month, the world’s most famous heavy metal awards show returned for another night of chaos, debauchery and even a touch of prestige, as metal legends, modern heavyweights and the stars of tomorrow all rubbed shoulders on another night we’ll never forget. And also, that we can’t quite fully remember. Here’s our blow-by-blow account of the 2015 Metal Hammer Golden Gods, presented by Orange Amplification and in association with World Of Warships, starring the big winners, the heinous sinners, and the band that managed to break their award before they barely made it off stage. Bring Me The Horizon, we’re looking at you…
Our trusty boat, the mighty HMS Hammer, docks right by London’s O2 Arena complex, and we stumble ashore, fresh from a rattling by Napalm Death, Upon A Burning Body, Butcher Babies and Code Orange (yes, playing on a fucking boat!). It’s hard to believe the night has only just begun – but then this isn’t just any night…
Yeaahhh! It’s the 2015 Metal Hammer Golden Gods, motherfucker! And as the excitable throng of mosh-loving sailors make their way inside the complex and into the IndigO2 for the main event, we can see some pretty cool names already queuing up on the red carpet out front.
Oh look, there’s the Butcher Babies! Alright, girls, enjoy your cruise? “That boat was crazy! We’re so honoured to be invited back,”, offers Heidi. D’awww. You can come any time, mate.
Upon A Burning Body, We Are Harlot, New Years Day… the red carpet out front is brimming with metal’s young guns, and they all seem to be very excited to be here. “This is a lot different from being in the mud at Download,” offers NYD’s Ash Costello. Yeah, just a bit…
With everyone from Dani Filth and At The Gates to Winston McCall and genius metal science dude Dr Matt Taylor having made their way into the building, it’s almost time for doors to close and the big show to begin. We hear there are already some mighty big names hanging out back as well. Here goes nothing.
And here goes something! Californian crossover legends Suicidal Tendencies officially kick off the 2015 Golden Gods onstage while the IndigO2 crowd proceeds to lose its shit for 15 amazing minutes. Those boys still have it.
After a brief interlude, We Are Harlot arrive onstage to kick out those swagger-filled rock’n’ roll jams. Meanwhile, rumours run rampant that a certain legendary, poodle-haired Queen guitarist has just rocked up backstage. Could it be true?!
Our host, Mr Scott Ian of Anthrax, kicks off the awards for the evening, and it means that We Are Harlot are back on pretty sharpish – they just won Best New Band! Well played, fellas! “This proves rock’n’roll is back!” roars Danny Worsnop. We’re not arguing.
After Bring Me The Horizon arrive on stage to pick up a much-deserved Best UK Band gong, a video message from Corey Taylor sees Slipknot bag Best International Band. Our readers have excellent taste, clearly.
Uh oh. Bring Me The Horizon take a stumble out back and their award goes flying. Don’t worry, lads, we’re sure that’ll stick back on. Meanwhile, one of the biggest bands in metal right now are on stage – Babymetal have won the Breakthrough award! The place is going nuts! “We are so happy!” shouts Su-Metal with a beaming smile on her face. You just can’t stay cynical in the presence of these girls.
It’s announced that Of Mice & Men won’t be here to pick up their Best Live Band gong due to Austin’s illness (get well soon, dude!), but Kiss’s Tommy Thayer is definitely in the house to pick up the Defender Of The Faith award for his charity work. You can’t argue with that.
The good news? Brian fucking May is here! Wow! The Queen icon presents Dr Matt Taylor with the Spirit Of Hammer award, before Matt returns the favour by presenting Brian with the Riff Lord award. The bad news? Bring Me have dropped their award again. Oh, boys…
Suicidal Tendencies frontman Mike Muir picks up the Icon award from his buddy Scott and gives by far the most moving speech of the night. OK, who’s cutting onions…?
Gene Simmons is in the building! Kiss’s favourite demon picks up the Legend award, dedicating it to the fans. D’aww.
As Matt Taylor pops up backstage to quickly tell us what a “bloody weird experience” this is, Butcher Babies roll by clinking shots with UABB, right as Brian May gets his photo taken with Babymetal and Dani Filth returns in full Cradle makeup. Yeah, we suspect you’re right, Matt.
Babymetal take to the stage once again with Dragonforce backing up them, and the place goes bananas! Whatever you think of the girls, one thing is certain: their fans adore them.
Brian May is backstage, and we managed to get a word in between all the other bands’ ‘Queen selfies’. “It means a lot to me to be considered a part of this community,” he grins. What a guy. He’s soon followed out back by Uncle Gene. We know how to put together a guestlist, right?!
As an emotional tribute to Sir Christopher Lee plays onstage, Babymetal cause pandemonium backstage – pretty much every metal band and industry person ever is flocking to them.
Oli Sykes has ditched the backstage antics to go and watch melodeath legends At The Gates slam it on stage. Judging by the set, he made a solid choice.
There’s an unspoken contest going on for the unofficial Most Well Coordinated Band Uniform Award. In one corner, Upon A Burning Body’s suave, suited gangster-isms. In the other, goth punks Creeper and their skulled-up bomber jackets. We think UABB’s snappiness edges it.
More awards! After British bruisers Winterfylleth are awarded Best Underground by a terrifying-looking Dani Filth, Judas Priest axeman Richie Faulkner is given the prestigious Dimebag Shredder Award, before that 10-Second Song Guy is crowned King Of The Internet. Katy Perry cover songs will get you very far indeed…
Gn’R legend Duff McKagan presents his buddies in Faith No More with the Best Album award for the brilliant Sol Invictus, before Eagles Of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes hands the Best Independent Label award to Epitaph – the gong itself accepted by Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall. The big names keep on coming!
An incredible, nation-uniting moment via Afghanistan’s District Unknown and Martyrs Of Metal’s Travis Beard accepting the Global Metal award is followed by At The Gates being presented the Inspiration award, courtesy of the very excitable Butcher Babies. Meanwhile, goth metal sensation September Mourning has heads turning backstage by turning up looking like the Ice Queen from Narnia. Crumbs!
As a dapper Jesse Hughes and effortlessly cool Duff McKagan chinwag alongside a stoked-looking Mike Muir, a visibly content Faith No More and a decidedly drunk Danny Worsnop backstage, we swear we can see a familiar-looking ginger man sneaking into the main building. Surely not…
It is! Dave Mustaine is actually here to pick up the biggest award of the night – The Golden God! “I’m not allowed to slag off Metallica,” he jokes, much to the amusement of a now very drunk crowd. Play nice, Dave…
As Megadave reappears out back with a bottle of whisky for Hammer’s own Alexander Milas (you can definitely come next year, Dave), the music industry’s finest begin calling taxis to ferry them to tonight’s aftershow party. Meanwhile…
Killing Joke are onstage! They’re here to close tonight’s main event, and they do so with all the fire and wild-eyed madness you’d expect. What a show! What a night! What a sleep we’re ready to have now! What’s that? We have to go to the aftershow as well? Ah, alright, our’s is a pint. Roll on next year!
WINNER TAKES ALL
The full rundown of this year’s Golden Gods…
WE ARE HARLOT: BEST NEW BAND
Sponsored by: Iron Maiden Trooper Beer
Danny Worsnop: “It cost us a lot of money to rig this award! It means a lot.”
BRING ME THE HORIZON: BEST UK BAND
**Sponsored by:** Roadrunner Records
Lee Malia: “It’s a bit of a surprise. We didn’t even know we were nominated. We were in the studio and we found out we’d won. Bit of a shock, but great, innit!”
SLIPKNOT: BEST INTERNATIONAL BAND
Sponsored by: Nuclear Blast
Corey Taylor: “The UK has always felt like a second home, if not the home for Slipknot.”
BABYMETAL: BEST BREAKTHROUGH BAND
Su-Metal: “We still can’t believe we got this award, but it feels amazing. We are so happy!”
WINTERFYLLETH: BEST UNDERGROUND BAND
Chris Naughton: “Cheers, thank you very much! Thanks to all you guys for voting for us.”
OF MICE & MEN: BEST LIVE BAND
**Sponsored by: **PRG
Scott Ian: “They can’t be here because Austin is resting up [after his op]. I’m sure this will help and mean a lot to them.”
RICHIE FAULKNER: DIMEBAG DARRELL ‘SHREDDER’ AWARD
“The fans have voted, that’s incredible. Being nominated for the Dimebag award itself is just an honour.”
10 SECOND SONG GUY: KING OF THE INTERNET
**Sponsored by: **TeamRock+
“Thank you all for this magnificent award. I am so happy that there is so much stuff on the internet highlighting metal music, and I’m just a part of that.”
EPITAPH RECORDS: BEST INDEPENDENT LABEL
Winston McCall, Parkway Drive: “It’s weird looking up to Epitaph as a punk kid, then getting signed to them, then collecting an award for them. That’s a crazy chain of events.”
**FAITH NO MORE - SOL INVICTUS: BEST ALBUM **
Sponsored by: Spinefarm Records
Mike: “It’s a surprise because it’s only been out a few months, but we really appreciate it.”
Billy: “My testosterone is higher these days, so I’m appreciating it more.”
GENE SIMMONS: LEGEND
“What a strange trip it has been. The idea you could start a band wearing more make-up than your mommy and still be here 40 years later is an amazing thing.”
TOMMY THAYER: DEFENDER OF THE FAITH
“For 12 years I’ve had the privilege of playing guitar for the greatest fans in the world.”
BRIAN MAY: RIFF LORD
Sponsored by: Century Media
“I’m very proud to be here in the capacity of Riff Lord. After following in the footsteps of my good friend Tony Iommi, this is a huge honour.”
DISTRICT UNKNOWN/MARTYRS OF METAL: GLOBAL METAL
Sponsored by: World Of Warships Action Stations
Yusof Ahmad Shah: “Metal is everywhere. Would you imagine that it would find its way to Afghanistan? But it did!”
AT THE GATES: INSPIRATION
Sponsored by: Universal Strategic Marketing
“It’s more like we are still inspired rather than inspiring. That’s it: you get inspired and you inspire other people.”
MIKE MUIR, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES: METAL ICON
Sponsored by: The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
“Always believe, follow your heart, never fucking give up.”
DR MATT TAYLOR: SPIRIT OF HAMMER
Sponsored by: Jagermeister Ice Cold Shot
“I’m overwhelmed. I just met the guys from Napalm Death! This is the music I grew up on, the first albums I bought, the first gigs I went to.”
DAVE MUSTAINE: GOLDEN GOD
Sponsored by: Orange Amplification
“There are certain things in life that make you feel appreciated, and to come from your peers and to come from you guys, [this award] has really touched my heart.”