The Lumineers: My Grammy Ritual

Dualtone Records

Gearing up for the Grammys on Sunday (Feb. 10)? So are these excited nominees and performers.

As a new band on an indie label, The Lumineers were “really shocked” to hear about their two recent Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Americana Album, according to the rootsy trio’s cellist-vocalist Neyla Pekarek. “We’re always in a bubble,” she notes. “They say it takes ten years to be an overnight success – we feel that way sometimes.” Still, there were hints along the way that made it less of a surprise. “We were asked to play the official nominations concert in Nashville,” adds Pekarek.

“We had to cancel shows in the middle of a tour to do it, so we had a feeling it might happen.” Pekarek notes The  Lumineers –  who became one of 2012’s surprise success stories – are particularly proud to be recognized in the Americana category. “Being alongside Mumford and the Avett Brothers means a lot,” she says. “They’re people who’ve opened doors for bands like us, and helped folk music have a resurgence.” Below, Pekarek breaks down just how she and her Lumineers bandmates will be coping with music’s biggest night out.

What’s the first thing you’ll do when you wake up on Grammy day?

Hopefully we’ll be able to sleep in a little bit and relax. We’re just happy to be there, but it’s a high stress situation: we’re probably not going to do a lot of red carpet – we’re not so good at talking about ourselves.

Do you have a ritual planned to get ready for the ceremony?

We’re very new at the whole awards-show thing, so the five of us will need a little bit of space beforehand. If we can just all be together alone for a few moments, that would be ideal.

Do you have a good-luck charm?

Not literally. But we’ve had a lot of good luck this year, so we hope it sticks around!

Are you going to tweet during the show?

I’m sure our management will encourage it. We’re not terribly tech savvy – we literally just got smart phones – but I think we’ll probably send out one or two tweets. Our friends will be tuning in on the Internet, so they’ll want to see what is happening.

Who are you afraid you might forget to thank if you win an award?

I hope we don’t forget anybody. We’re not going to plan anything in terms of a speech, however, so we’re going to be flying by the seat of our pants. We’re under impression our shot is pretty long, so hopefully we won’t have to worry about it!

Who are you taking to the ceremony?

I know our drummer is bringing his parents, and I’ve got my best friends coming with me – I was able to bring all three of them.

Who do you hope to meet backstage?

I have been trying desperately to meet Jack White for a while. If I run into him, I’ll be quite happy, but I’m sure I won’t say anything intelligent! I really respect him as a musician, and how he’s found the perfect way to be enormous while maintaining integrity and a sense of mystery.

How will you celebrate?

With lots of close friends and family. We’ll have a great night, whether we win or not – and we have the next day off, so we don’t have to worry about working the next day!

Do you have a must-do when you’re in L.A. for the Grammys?

I really like going to museums – The Getty is really neat, and The George C. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is really cool, too. The last time we went a year and a half ago, our van got broken into, but it will always have a special place in my heart.

Celebratory cocktail of choice?

Our drink of choice tends towards whiskey, but maybe we’ll go for something bubbly – or get all Guns ‘N Roses with it and have some Jack Daniels!

What’s the party not to miss?

I don’t know if we’re cool enough to go to afterparties…

What are you wearing to the Grammys?

I have an appointment with this really cool company, ModCloth, that gave me some sweet threads when we played “Saturday Night Live.” Hopefully I’ll find something I’m comfortable in – that’s important. One time, this stylist brought me all these tight black dresses that made me look like I was a CEO of a company or something; I’d never wear that kind of thing on TV.

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