Kevin Shields is a total dick. A visionary and a technical genius, yes. But a complete dick. There, I said it.
He always has been. This is why audiophiles find endless satisfaction and a womb-like, crushing comfort in the My Bloody Valentine catalog, and an equal fascination with the near-hermitage of the band's soft-spoken tyrant. Kevin Shields pioneered an entirely new approach to not only guitar playing and production, but to bending sound, man. Kevin Shields rarely gives interviews. Kevin Shields floats above the shoegaze mountain with a Kubrickian, borderline-unhealthy perfectionism. Kevin Shields resists conventional production cycles. Kevin Shields isn't human.
But here's the thing: Kevin Shields is a liar. Straight up. Creating music at a glacial pace is one thing. Creating music at a glacial pace (and that doesn't even do it justice--Loveless, MBV's last proper long-player, is bloody old enough to buy a drink in the States) while saying repeatedly in the decades between releases that the next opus is just around the bend--always just around the bend--is an entirely other thing. Remember when Shields told VICE in 2007 that the long-awaited follow up to Loveless would drop within the year? Remember, just weeks ago, when Shields said he'll be releasing the new record by the end of this year? Does anyone honestly think this is going to happen? I highly, highly doubt it. I'll believe it when I hear it, I guess. Should Shields finally be good to his word, troll me. Whatever.
Anyway, to further solidify his stature as noise's most lovable arrogant, consider an excerpt from a four-hour interview--likely the longest he's ever spoken, indeed ever will speak, on record about MBV--for Beautiful Noise, a long-gestating documentary featuring interviews with some of the unlikely founders of the shoegaze persuasion.
“In an interview when Loveless came out [in 1991]," Shields explains, "I said it will be years before anyone is talking about this record on the level that I’m hearing it. Everyone was like, ‘That’s really arrogant!’ And yet in retrospective, it wasn’t that I was right, but I wasn’t wrong either.”
Here's the clip, via Wired:
Get over yourself, man. And I'm only saying this because--wait for it--Shields and MBV continue to leave an indelible impression on what I hold sacrosanct when it comes to rock and pop music, to production and so much more. I know I'm not alone, here.
So, in conclusion: Just shut up and release the damn thing when it's done, Kevin. The world will be waiting--and willing, if I can hazard the guess, to actually buy the thing. But until then, just shut up, already.
Reach Brian at email@example.com. @thebanderson