Kevin Shields Says My Bloody Valentine “Banned” From Mercury Prize, Speaks Out Against Award
This week, the shortlist was announced for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize, which honors the best British album of the past year. Savages, David Bowie, Disclosure, Arctic Monkeys, James Blake, and many more were among the nominees. But noticeably missing was My Bloody Valentine‘s mbv, the band’s first album in 22 years.
In an interview with The Guardian, Kevin Shields spoke out against the Mercury Prize and explained why, he believes, mbv was not even considered. Shields says the record was “banned” because it was released independently, free of a label or digital distribution through corporate channels like iTunes or Amazon. (The digital release of mbv went through theband’s own website.) As The Guardian notes, the Mercury Prize’s website requires an album to have “a digital and physical distribution deal in place in the UK” to qualify.
“To be as independent as we are is… virtually illegal,” Shields told The Guardian. He went on:
Our album’s not a real album because it’s independent. The corporate-ness has got to such a point where we’ve essentially been told that we don’t exist. So, technically, that album doesn’t exist. OK? It’s not allowed to exist according to the Mercury prize… God help [whoever wins]… There are sinister forces at work.
Shields nonetheless told The Guardian he did not regret mbv‘s release route and would “recommend it to anyone in our kind of position.” The album will be on iTunes eventually, “just to see what happens.” Meanwhile, the Mercury winner will be announced October 30.