Kevin Shields - My Bloody Valentine

My Bloody Valentine

When creating My Bloody Valentine's album Loveless, Shields became a relentless perfectionist. Shields attributed the time involved to both their lack of resources (money to get their guitars in shape was one example noted) and simply not recording when there was no inspiration to guide them. So many mistook the main guitar track for ten to fifteen layered guitars. Most tracks ultimately were done in one or two takes with one or two main guitar tracks. The most notable exception is "To Here Knows When" which took months to create and even longer to mix. He went through 18 recording engineers before finishing Loveless. Other eccentricities included not allowing the engineers to hear him or Bilinda Butcher singing while recording. These drawn out, expensive sessions allegedly drove Creation Records bankrupt, although Shields has refuted this claim saying many other bands on the label at the time were also to blame. Shields has commented that the extent of the contribution of the engineers was to get him tea and other gopher chores.

After Loveless, My Bloody Valentine signed on with the major label Island Records. Island ended up empty handed after financing the band for several years (finally spending approximately £500,000 according to Shields). Island cut off finances in 1997; however, Shields was still legally tied to the label until 2001 when the contract was finally terminated. In the meantime, Shields wrote many songs but never released them. The only work to come out of this period was two covers: We Have All the Time in the World (Louis Armstrong) on the 1993 Peace Together compilation; and a Wire cover on the 1996 tribute album Whore.

Shields expressed interest in a reunion and releasing a new album with My Bloody Valentine. In an interview with Magnet in 2007 he said, "We are 100% going to make another My Bloody Valentine record unless we die or something. I'd feel really bad if I didn't make another record. Like, shit, people only got the first two chapters, but the last bit is the best bit. It's just that it's taken me such an oddly long time for that to happen." In November 2007 Shields announced that the band had reunited and that a new album which the band had started recording in 1996 was "3/4 finished."

This reunion came to fruition starting in June 2008 with two live rehearsal shows at the ICA before a five-night stand at the Roundhouse in Camden. The band played a number of festivals, including the Roskilde Festival, Bestival, and the Electric Picnic. They had curated and performed at the 2008 All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Monticello, New York in September before playing a brief tour across the United States and Canada.

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