Sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in a dressing room in New York City, the members of Boygenius — Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus — cannot seem to stop smiling at one another. It could be because they just finished a rehearsal for their performance on Saturday Night Live this weekend (Nov. 11). Or it could be that they just earned a bunch of 2024 Grammy nominations.
On Friday (Nov. 10), the trio found out that they were nominated for a whopping six awards at the 2024 Grammy Awards, including nods for both album and record of the year for the record and “Not Strong Enough,” respectively. Bridgers, earning a seventh nomination for her work with SZA on the song “Ghost in the Machine,” ties Victoria Monét and engineer Serban Ghenea as the second-most nominated artist at the annual ceremony, with SZA leading at nine nominations.
“It feels like I’m in a simultaneous come-up and come-down from a high,” Dacus tells Billboard, looking to her bandmates with a smile and a confounded expression. The group posted a photo of themselves on Instagram, where all three hug one another after finding out about their album of the year nomination. In their dressing room, Bridgers, Baker and Dacus regularly reach around to grab each other’s hands, still processing the news.
Below, Billboard chats with Boygenius about their six nominations, their preparations for SNL, what it means to be nominated alongside rock greats like the Rolling Stones and the Foo Fighters, and why LGBTQ+ representation at the Grammys matters — but not nearly as much as LGBTQ+ rights.
Before we even get into the Grammys of it all, how have SNL rehearsals with Timothée Chalamet been going so far?
Lucy Dacus: Pretty good, we have another one tonight.
Phoebe Bridgers: It’s scary, it’s like The Imp of the Perverse.
Julien Baker: Yeah, it’s all really live.
Bridgers: You’re like, “I could do something that people will see across the nation.” Well, actually, that’s guaranteed. But I could do something bad, like trying to drive your car into the median.
Well, congratulations on the Grammys nominations! How are each of you doing after finding out?
Baker: I was like, “If it happens, we’ll get one, maybe.” But no, we got six.
Dacus: Well, it’s seven if you count the sound engineering one [best engineered album, non-classical].
Bridgers: I mean, it’s not our names, but the people who helped make our collective Boygenius project. But yes, we are over-caffeinated, f—ed-up, and I’m gonna take a nap after this.
Baker: You know when you get so excited that you just have to go to sleep? It’s like when a fuse bursts and then there’s just no power. It’s a power surge, for sure.
You’re nominated for record and album of the year alongside artists like Taylor Swift, SZA and Olivia Rodrigo, while also being nominated in the rock categories with icons like The Rolling Stones and the Foo Fighters. What does being in that kind of company mean for the three of you?
Bridgers: Pretty dope. I think we’re gonna have to fight Dave Grohl in the parking lot.
Baker: Yo, we should do that. We should challenge him to beef.
Dacus: Hey, I’ve seen in-person how hard he hits the drums; I’m not gonna fight Dave Grohl. His arms are something else. Like, he’s got the muscle and he’s scrappy.
For Lucy and Julien, these are your first-ever nominations at the Grammys—
Baker: And last! [Laughs] No, this is a thing that is completely not able to be conceptualized. Like, this is a fake dream, almost. You’re like, “One day, I’m gonna hit the big time.” And then we play The Wiltern, and it’s like, “Okay, cool, that seems pretty good and achievable.” And then we got nominated for a Grammy, and I’m like, “That’s actually what people fake aspire to.”
Dacus: Yeah, I feel like I need a whole new bucket list.
Bridgers: It is pretty sick, to have a dream when you’re f—ing 15 that you achieve, and then you go, “What weird sh– can I do next?”
I also want to congratulate you three on leading the pack of LGBTQ+ nominees this year, alongside artists like Victoria Monét, Miley Cyrus and Brandy Clark. What does that mean for you, as a group, to see that level of representation in the nominations?
Baker: It’s cool, because when you’re saying “this class of people,” or “this demographic of folks” … it’s like, if there’s enough people that fit that category within the organization, it stops becoming a novelty.
Bridgers: Yeah, or even just as much of a commodity.
Baker: Exactly, it allows all of those people to be individuated more.
Dacus: It would be so sick if the way all queer people were treated got more normal too. Like, we have a friend that, during Pride Month, said, “It’s cool to see the rainbow on this Shell gas station sign. Why am I still getting looked at funny as a trans woman walking around?” Like, it’s cool that there’s more queer people getting nominated for Grammys, but it would also be super cool if more queer people had their full rights and were treated like people.
These nominations come after a huge year for Boygenius, between putting out the record and the massive tour you just wrapped up. Where do you feel these nominations rank among the other cool things you’ve gotten to do this year?
Dacus: Honestly? I don’t know yet because it just happened. [Laughs]
Bridgers: We haven’t fully processed, and Julien keeps pointing out that sh– keeps happening to us, where you are then confronted with each other or other people being like, “How sick is that?!” Like, I haven’t even had a single private thought about how sick this is yet.
Baker: Right, “Tell us how special this is!” And I’m sitting here like, “Dude, I don’t know!”
Bridgers: But it’s been really cool. We all got to FaceTime special people in our lives.
Baker: Yeah, we FaceTimed Catherine [Marks], our producer, and texted with people who worked on the record. I will say, that felt really nice, because it’s not just a momentary thing. All of the shows we’ve done always feel so sick in the moment, and I’m very much the one who’s like, “I’m just ready to play the gig.” But it’s cool to have so many people who are attached to the physical work, to the master we created, getting acknowledged.
Dacus: For sure, and I’d even say that, even when it’s something like a photo shoot that’s the three of us, we get sick of our own faces. But to have this event that overtly recognizes everyone behind the scenes — like with the engineering award the album was nominated for — that feels even more special.
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