My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields: ‘We wanted to sound like a band killing their songs’May 28, 2021
The band have released only one album since 1991 classic Loveless, yet their influence remains undimmed. Their frontman discusses destroying buildings with noise, losing his mojo – and preparing new music
In early 1988, My Bloody Valentine decided that they were, as their de facto leader, Kevin Shields, puts it today, “finished”. You can see how they might have come to that conclusion. They had started life in the early 80s as a Dublin post-punk band, relocated to Berlin at the suggestion of the Virgin Prunes’ Gavin Friday and become a gothy proposition inspired by the Birthday Party and the Cramps, then moved to London and transformed into what Shields calls “a conceptual band”, their childlike record sleeves concealing songs about necrophilia and incest.
The problem was, no one had got the joke; the general consensus, as Shields sighs today, was “that we were this shit Jesus and Mary Chain copyist band”. Following the departure of their lead singer, Dave Conway, they had adopted a jangly 12-string guitar style, to negligible response.