Kevin Shields of
My Bloody Valentine
Interview on AOL, February 7, 1997
OnlineHost: Tonight we're talking to Kevin Shields, main man behind My Bloody Valentine, about the band, music and whatever you'd care to ask.
Question: I guess the obvious question is, when can we hear some new material?
Kevin: Definitely sometime this year or I'm dead...
Question: Hi Kevin! What kind of music have you been listening to lately?
Kevin: Burt Bacharach.. the beatles.. and Jungle music... drum and bass... and Soundgarden
Question: does Kevin believe in god?
Kevin: Yes... completely... nondenominational I'm certainly a lapsed catholic but I believe in God despite Catholicism or Christianity... or any other religion (including Buddhism) :-)
Question: Kevin, I heard that you've obtained four new members. Any truth to this?
Kevin: No unfortunately...
Question: what kind of noise can we expect mbv to be making in the future?
Kevin: That's a hard question.. um............ More extreme and more melodic... it's a really boring answer but it's true a lot more intertwined, a lot of keychanges the guitar sounds are far weirder than with the old records
Question: Kevin-not to pry, but what are the recent delays?
Kevin: Mental illness
Question: Why are the lyrics so hidden?
Kevin: The always seem perfectly clear and loud... but the grammar is always quite fractured, but it all makes sense when you know the whole thing. That's why people think they don't understand the lyrics, because they don't think that THAT word could follow the previous word...
Question: I always think of your music as
extremely sexual and sensual (I'm not necessarily talking about lyrics). Do you intend it to come across this way?
Kevin: It's all done by intuition and feeling... That's pretty much what we were like at the time... especially on the first record (being sensual and sexual)...
Question: does kevin go to clubs?
Kevin: Very occassionally... I should go more because Colm's not around any more and he used to go to clubs all the time
Question: You don't seem to be interested in the glamorous side of rock stardom, but in your last set of live shows it was obvious that you were into the gig as a real spectacle. How important is that to you?
Kevin: I think we would be into the glamourous side of rock stardom if we ever felt like rock stars... but basically, we always did everything ourself and the music business isn't very glamourous when you know exactly what's going on... when you know as much as the executive and the managers
Question: Is belinda still a part of MBV?
Kevin: Yes, definitely... it wouldn't be us if she wasn't in the band
Question: I saw you at the Glasgow Barrowlands
on the Rollercoaster tour. What was the idea of the sonic holocaust at the end of the set?
Kevin: Well, that was basically our favourite part of the gig, always because we basically, when we did it, we would get kind of hypnotised and basically the audience would as well and at the end, when it was over, it felt like something different had happened.
Question: I would just like to know if you have ever thought of or had the opportunity to create a soundtrack (film or video game)?
Kevin: Well, film would be brilliant... it's weird... this industry, if you're there and happening the people have confidence in you but in the end people always go with something a bit more current It's the only thing I know I could do.
Question: Sometimes, I get the impression that you might listen to "minimalist" composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Is this true, or is it just me?
Kevin: After Loveless, a friend of mine called johnny said did you sample Steve Reich and I said who is steve reich? so he gave me a tape of Steve Reich and Terry Riley and I loved Steve Reich. So probably yeah, from the minute I hear it it sounded like I'd heard tons before.
Question: Kevin, on "Incidental Peace" how much input was yours and how much was Skylab?
Kevin: All of the kind of soft, music sort of stuff was mine (I think) and the first sort of minute was me by myself so you can work it out from there... when the voices come in and all the stuff that doesn't sound like an orchestra that's lost it's way isn't mine
Question: Are there any artists today that you find particularly ground-breaking?
Question: Do you still speak to Colm? or play with him ever?
Kevin: Yes and yes...
Question: What are your opinions on Snowpony and Porcupine Tree?
Kevin: I saw Snowpony live the other night and I thought the first song was really good and I don't know who Porcupine Tree are (!)
Question: Have Creation lost it nowadays?
Kevin: NO, not at all... I like Oasis, the Boo
Radleys who else? primal Scream and others...
Question: if Oasis ever asked you to support them in one of their stadium-rock soirees would you sell yourselves and become corporate rock whores?
Kevin: No but only because... we'd play with anyone in a stadium if they allowed us to be as loud as they were... if they allowed us the freedom to use the PA the way we would in one of our own gigs.
Question: are you happy making music all by yourself or would you rather work with others, if you found the right people
Kevin: yeah.. I'd rather work with others in the next few years, but i'm finishing this record by myself... music wise I am going to try and make a semi-international band. Basically, because around May I'm going to try and put a band together or WILL put a band together
Question: Why are you called My Bloody Valentine?
Kevin: Cos Dave, our singer from 84-87 suggested it and a couple of years later we discovered it was a really really crap terrible Canadian film
Question: what is your favourite film?
Kevin: It's impossible to answer... there isn't one. The last film I liked a lot was Wings of Desire
Question: recently you remixed the band archive, how did you get in with these guys?
Kevin: I was asked to by somebody who worked with them, basically and I got to speak to one of the band and they seemed pretty interesting people I enjoyed the work ... I did it at Island studios. It's in a basement ... it's really lo-tech
Question: Can we expect a single within the next couple of months?
Kevin: The truth is you can't expect anything but, I really am dead if I don't get my record out this year Nobody's threatening me, BTW I just have to.
Question: Kevin, please tell us if you are receiving our questions pertaining to your time and place of birth, because we can't work out if you are or not.
Kevin: 21st of May 1963 in Queens New York don't know what time :-)
Question: Kevin, what are your relationships with
american artists, like Bob Mould and J Mascis?
Kevin: I like them they're friends. J was over recently. He recorded some stuff with me and that was good fun
Kevin: it's going to be on his new album
Question: Who's your favourite Spice Girl and why? (NB This is not a joke)
Kevin: You know the blonde one? she's not my favourite... you know the one who was in the papers for not having a good figure but... she does Goygo Ryu karate (it's from Okinawa) and that's the toughest sort of karate that exists and she's probably pretty cool cos she's a black belt in that but my favourite one's the one with the dark hair the one that everyone calls posh (she's looks a bit like an alien though)
Question: Kevin, there are a lot of "guitar geeks" that would like to know how what kind of guitar setup you have. What are a few of your favorite effects to use live?
Kevin: Jaguar jazzmaster.. and ... any good analogue kind of style. Non modern influenced pedals...
Question: Kevin, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Kevin: Talking to my chinchillas.. and spending a few hours in the hypnogogic state every day...
Question: so is it true that Debbie is a cab driver?
Kevin: No, not any more... she's in Snowpony
Question: What is one thing that you wish you could do better?
Kevin: Self discipline
Question: What is your favorite album that you have created?
Question: are you happy?
Kevin: sometimes... Sometimes every day? well, every day, sometimes
Question: What do you think of Jimi's band Rollerskate Skinny?
Kevin: They kicked him out of the band but he's got a new band called Lotus Crown and they're really good
Question: do you think `the cherry kerrs' is a stupid name for a band?
Kevin: No more stupid than My Bloody Valentine
Question: What do you mean by semi-international?
Kevin: Well, probably because I only have access to the US and England and Ireland because I know people in those countries Britain (not England) sorry...
Question: How do you feel about the press saying that you created shoegaze or dreampop?
Kevin: Don't blame us for what the press creates!
Question: Will you be playing any concerts soon? Any one time shows?
Kevin: Not before a record comes out... if all goes well we should tour (and be in America) sometime this year
Question: Boxers or briefs
Kevin: Boxers, definitely not patterned silk.
Question: There was a rumor going around that you recently saw a UFO.. Is this true, and what if so, what do you think it was?
Kevin: We all did.. but it seemed more like a big germ in the sky you know the ways germs seem to amble about (only this one was in the sky)... it was either a UFO or... (no other theory) we came to the conclusion that if it was a satellite catching light and the atmosphere making it shimmer, it might be that
Question: Why are you doing this chat today? Anything to promote? Or are you just touching base with your fans?
Kevin: Basically, I've never done this before so when Louise suggested it it seemed like a good idea...
Question: what was you favorite record last year, 1996?
Kevin: Some Burt Bacharach re-release...
Question: What inspires you to write the music you write? I'd assume that it's not outside pressures, or money pressures.
Kevin: I'm not moved or inspired by negative influences like money pressures or threats not that I've had many (threats, that is) just enjoying it... when it really is enjoyable everything happens really quickly.