The 2017 Alternative Press Music Awards will be held tonight in Cleveland, Ohio. In past years, the event has tried to wear two hats, combining elements of both an awards show and a concert. This year, however, the APMAs will turn its focus to the former.
“We’re actually making an experience for the viewing audience [at home], and we’re making an experience for the in-house audience, as a kind of making-of experience,” AP founder Mike Shea tells ABC Radio. “It has really evolved the show to a different level than where we’ve been before.”
The 2017 APMAs will be hosted by Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides. He takes over for All Time Low‘s Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat, who hosted the last two shows.
“[Gaskarth and Barakat] kinda treated the show more as a roast, that was more their style,” says Shea. “Andy…wants to be classier about it. But he wants to show a lot of people out there that he’s got a sense of humor.”
Performers this year include Korn, The Pretty Reckless, Pierce the Veil, Halestorm‘s Lzzy Hale and Nothing More. Against Me!‘s Laura Jane Grace will perform with Life of Agony‘s Mina Caputo, and Grace will receive the Icon Award, which Shea describes as “the biggest award of the night.”
“I think that’s gonna be a very powerful moment,” he says.
Meanwhile, Korn will receive the Vanguard Award for continuing to “re-invent itself and keep influencing generations of new bands out there.”
The APMAs will also acknowledge the death of a huge alternative icon, Chris Cornell.
“I know of one artist right out of the box that is gonna be offering a tribute to Soundgarden and Chris Cornell,” says Shea.
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