TD Archive: My Bloody Valentine's Bilinda Butcher Interviewed
on the first night of the band's UK tour, My Bloody Valentine mainman Kevin Shields with MBV, or how the strain has affected their relationship with the group. Decamping to Europe on the advice of former Virgin Prune Gavin Friday , the nascent Valentines – now incorporating guitarist Bilinda Butcher. Taking advice from Virgin Prunes' frontman Gavin Friday, they moved to the Netherlands. Kevin managed to get a job herding cows for a couple of months. As Shields sees it, the arrival of Googe and Butcher – while two years apart – initiated “It was quite a spooky place,” remembers Bilinda Butcher. Not surprising, then, that two of their members – guitarist singer Kevin Shields and his girlfriend singer guitarist Bilinda Butcher have tinnitus.
Basically, Creation was out of their minds on drugs. No one was prepared to front us the money to get our act together or give us the money to get equipment. Between having nowhere to live and having no real equipment, we were actually getting somewhere with an audience.
When we made Loveless, no money had arrived. We thought we had proven ourselves; at that point, it was the whole music scene that came after us. People were into the whole juxtaposition of the kind of gentleness with the extreme violent side of the music.
Creation founder Alan McGee is kind of an unusual character. Our relationship with Creation was mostly through label manager Dick Green.My Bloody Valentine's Evolving Sound
McGee was really excited by us, but he was never around. We were his biggest bet. Instead of us including him and bringing him in, we just sort of pushed him away.
We were all homeless until after Loveless got made.
Kevin Shields - Wikipedia
The way I saw it—because I was the producer and kind of in charge of everything—I was a bit of a tyrant. I would just really be strict. It got to the point where I lived with these songs for more than a year, and the melodies were only in my head.
And then I started working with Primal Scream, and hanging around with those guys is so different from the world that I was in, they don't have that precious thing. They don't care who they have to bring in, they don't go, 'It has to be all me', they just make good records and play good gigs, end of story. That is their strength, their lack of ego. The ego is in that they're a good band, it doesn't go past that. And with the sound track Brian was in charge, I wasn't in charge.
Accordingly, he expresses much curiosity about the current domestic scene, heaping praise on everything from Gemma Hayes' album "proper melodies" to Shimmy Marcus's Aidan Walsh documentary, a staple on the Primal Scream tour bus. Walsh, it turns out, directed the embryonic My Bloody Valentine's first video at a time when his CV consisted solely of a short film on the Community Games.
Shields reckons the Master Of The Universe's role as grandfather of Temple Bar has been largely unrecorded - he has vivid memories of Walsh marshalling dust-covered squat-punks in the construction of south-side rehearsal studios.
Shields initial forays into music were in tandem with drummer Colm 0' Ciosoig in a short-lived band called The Complex. Here's where we encounter some curious cross-pollinations: Liam used to have trouble 'cos he was always a bit of a tearaway kid, his parents didn't really want him hanging out, being in a band, and I remember him saying, 'They just don't understand this is my life. When he was in a band with us, that was one thing, but always at a drop of a hat he'd be singing away doing Elvis.
Then when Hothouse Flowers came out it made complete sense because that's who he was, he was a guy who just loved that kind of singing rather than the post-punk thing. At the time they had precious few peers aside from local avant-garde mavericks such as Stano, although Shields is at pains to point out the influence, and later on the stewardship, of the Virgin Prunes.
There wasn't a drummer, really chaotic, and at the time I was a bit scared of them. But it was that performance that stood out for me. He gave us this big list of names of contacts all over Europe, and that got us our first gig in Holland and from there we went to Berlin. Gavin basically saved our lives performance-wise because if we didn't have that list of contacts The Virgin Prunes were the thing that made us; it was that mentality of, 'Don't buy into that English thing of demo-ing and getting a record deal'.
A really good thing.
Not your Bloody Valentine - My Bloody Valentine - angelfirenm.info
But by three crucial developments had come to pass: And live, the 'holocaust' open-ended improvisational section of 'You Made Me Realise' was overpowering in its volume and intensity, combining free jazz implosion, industrial overload and Neil Young meets No Wave brinkmanship. The interesting thing was taking something that was like reality and messing with it to the point where it was so loud, basically people would imagine all sorts of things happening.
It wasn't just making noise with guitars; it was like an out-of-body thing. We just liked the fact that we could see a change in the audience at a certain point, and it always happened, every night. They were always very happy afterward, most of them. About a third of the audience would resent it, and two thirds would like it. On one British tour we actually had to hire a top security guy that ran one of those big security firms to be with us to interface with security at the venues, because the effects of this noise could also, provoke the people who worked at the venue and they'd usually freak, there'd be a lot of threats, a lot of aggression, and taking it out very personally' shadowy on the audience because of this noise.
And I realised it was quite weird, but we actually had to protect the audience. It wasn't intellectual, because the intellectual concept would sound stupid: It felt psychedelic, but only in the sense, the sense that the inner mind has its own reality.
It also had purgative properties. When U2 were on tour in Australia at the end of the Rattle n Hum campaign, The Edge, then going through the disintegration of his first marriage, was apparently heard playing MBV at deafening volume in his hotel room most nights. Was Shields aware of that? That was kinda nice, 'cos I used to go to the Dandelion Market to see U2, I saw their final gig there.
At the time they were equal on a level of popularity. There were great pirate radio stations, a lot of weird advantages in Ireland, and when I moved to London it wasn't the same.
And then you'd buy the record and wonder where all the cool effects were gone. So much has been written about My Bloody Valentine's album, there's scant need to add to the accolades here.
Suffice to say, over the last ten years it has become regarded as a sort of twin ,sister to Nevermind, and one of a holy trinity of Irish records - the others being Van's Astral Weeks and U2's Boy - that manage to evoke a part-imagined past through impressionistic, shifting perspectives. The most striking thing about Loveless now is not that it sounds utterly contemporary, if not timeless largely due to Shields relentless pursuit of real 'new' soundsbut how rich it is in melody. Clock the nagging hooks of 'When You Sleep' and 'Sometimes'- this was not art snob fodder.
We got dropped months later, so it didn't feel like that.
Not your Bloody Valentine - My Bloody Valentine
It's weird because in this country it was pretty much ignored, it got really overshadowed by the Manchester thing. Screamadelica was the big record of the time - that record is so much of that era, it kind of helped bring a lot of people together of different tastes. The whole dance music world at that time was made up of all sorts of people before it became separated, it brought together people who were into electro in the 70s and 80s with people who were into house.
For me, I don't like that drug, it seems to I felt robbed somehow, afterwards, like it took something away in a way worse than any other thing apart from heroin. He plays guitar the way that nobody else in the world plays guitar," adding that Primal Scream considered Shields to be "part of the family, very much so.
Shields became involved with the score after being contacted by the film's music co-ordinator Brian Reitzell while in Tokyo, Japan. During summerReitzell and Shields began impromptu jam sessions in London where the duo "adopted a late-night recording schedule", resulting in the single " City Girl ".
In November, Shields announced plans to release My Bloody Valentine's third album online before the end of the year,  before announcing during a warm-up show at Electric Brixton in London on 27 January that the album "might be out in two or three days.
EVOL and Sister Shields records and produces largely in mono an approach influenced by Brian Wilson 's production on The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and veteran pop producer Phil Spector.
My Bloody Valentine: barbed wire and aliens in the garden
His sound uses "texture more than technique to create vivid soundscapes". Together with the tremolo manipulation and distortionhe created a technique known as "glide guitar". It filters unwanted sounds and actually protects my ears. It becomes your first line of defence against audible stress. You just deal with it as you go along. It'll keep on happening until people reorganise the organisations.