For the first time since the release of m b v, My Bloody Valentine’s first album in 21 years, frontman Kevin Shields has opened up about the album’s recording process and release method, its critical and commercial success, and releases he has planned for the future, including a new EP and remasters of Loveless and Isnt Anything. Pitchfork published their extensive interview with Shields this morning; here are some of the highlights:
The critical reception
I thought the whole idea that this album could’ve been made a month after Loveless was completely wrong. I find it fascinating how people see it in three parts, and that the first bits a continuation from Loveless, the second goes off into something different, and the end is going into the future. But the irony of that is that the first track [“She Found Now”] was the last to be recorded, and it was the only one that was recorded completely from scratch, in 2012.
To be really honest, if were lucky, maybe people will eventually see it for what it really is: another really good record in the context of our other two records. When taken altogether, it’s the end of something, in a way. Moving forward, I still have an urge to create music that has the power and punch of the Who, and yet another part of me wants to make a pure-music record, where the musicality comes before the attitude and the energy.
The decision to release the album unexpectedly on the band’s website sans a major label
The whole point of this record was to put it out and thats that, because it was unusual in the sense that it was started and then stopped and then started. I didnt want to go on about it very much. I just wanted people to take it for what it was, so to give it its most genuine chance was for me to not be very involved in that process.
Theres probably about three more [songs] that will come out sometime. The record could have been a much more novelty record, in a sense, if I put some of the more chord-based songs on it. I think the album will make more sense in a few years– that sounds pretentious, but it will– and in order to have that impending feeling, I had to lose the song that was melodically very nice and pretty. It would have dragged the record toward a much more mid-paced, comfortable direction, and I felt less enthusiasm for that. But that song will be finished someday, because its worth finishing. Theres another one thats more rhythmic-based, but again it just didnt feel right. And theres another one that was similar to [“She Found Now”] which didn’t make it, but someday it will.
The next step is to make an EP of all-new material. Im also going to re-master Loveless and Isnt Anything and all the EPs in analog to make pure analog cuts, which has never happened before. And I hate to say this because we havent set it up yet, but we want to do a site where everyone who bought a record would be able to stream various other things we put up, like an old recording of when I first experimented with pitch-bending back in 81. People could get a clearer version of how we wound up where we did. It seems more mysterious based on the records that were released because it seems like we went from a Cramps/Birthday Party band, to a noisy Jesus and Mary Chain indie pop band, to what we became in 88. But if you hear what we did before that, you can see how we were just playing around. Its not what it seems.
But the main plan for next year is to make a new record.
Shields also discussed the commercial success of the record, whether he was fearful of tarnishing the band’s reputation by releasing another album, and his unexpected kinship with Daft Punk, among other topics. Read the entire interview here.
Kevin Shields and My Bloody Valentine are currently touring in support of the release. In fact, later this month they’ll finally return to America.
My Bloody Valentine 2013 Tour Dates:
08/11 Helsinki, FI @ Flow Festival
08/16 Austin, TX @ Austin Music Hall
08/17 Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre
08/19 Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
08/21 Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theater
08/23 San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
08/25 Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest
08/30 Laois, IE @ Electric Picnic
09/03 – Brussels, BE @ Ancienne Belgique
09/04 – Eindhoven, NL @ Effenaar
09/05 Cologne, DE @ Live Music Hall
09/07 Berlin, DE @ Berlin Festival
09/08 Munich, DE @ Townhalle
09/14 – Portmeirion, UK @ Festival No. 6
10/30 – Luxembourg @ Rockhal
11/03 Lille, FR @ Aeronef