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Encyclopedia > Kevin Shields

Kevin Shields (born Queens, New York City, USA on May 21, 1963) is a singer, guitarist, and producer who fronted the London-based band My Bloody Valentine in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He has also played for Primal Scream since 1997, played and produced with Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis on Dinosaur's Hand It Over (with Bilinda Butcher) and J Mascis + The Fog's More Light, and recently contributed music to the motion picture Lost in Translation. Queens is geographically the largest of the five boroughs of New York City in the United States, and the most ethnically diverse county in the U.S. It is coterminous with Queens County in the State of New York and is located on western Long Island. ... May 21 is the 141st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (142nd in leap years). ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. ... My Bloody Valentine were an Irish-British shoegazing band best known for their creative use of guitar distortion, tremolo, and digital reverb. ... The 1980s refers to the years of 1980 to 1989. ... Germans dancing on the Berlin Wall in late 1989, the symbol of the cold war divide falls down as the world unites in the 1990s. ... Primal Scream (temporarily abbreviated to PRML SCRM for the XTRMNTR album) are a rock group formed in Glasgow, Scotland, headed by former Jesus & Mary Chain drummer Bobby Gillespie. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Dinosaur Jr are an American alternative rock band. ... J Mascis. ... Bilinda Jayne Butcher (born September 16, 1961 in London) was the vocalist and guitarist with My Bloody Valentine. ... J Mascis. ... Lost in Translation is a film released in the United States on October 3, 2003. ...


Although holding a USA passport, Shields spent his adolescence in Dublin, Ireland after moving there with his family as a nine-year-old. WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 53. ...

Contents

Technique

Shields' unique guitar sounds lies in his approach to playing the instrument. Using Fender Jaguars and Jazzmasters, he manipulates the tremolo arm while strumming chords. The effect is of chords being constantly bent in and out of tune, a style of playing only possible smoothly and easily on Jaguars and Jazzmasters due to their unique floating tremolo systems (a similar effect can be achieved using any guitar and a digitech whammy pedal). He combines this playing technique with excessive playing volumes (to produce better sustain), open tunings, modulation effects (tremolo pedals), and reverb effects. He has explained that he used far fewer effects pedals and overdubs than the music press made out and that many of his guitar parts are "just a guitar plugged into an amp." Reverse reverb from a Yamaha SPX 90 was a starting point for many tracks early on when they initially signed to Creation Records. As time went on, no one effect or idea dominated as he experimented using everything and anything available in a studio. For example, "Only Shallow"'s unique sound was created by enclosing a microphone between two speakers. Also synthysizers, samples, and sampled guitars played a larger role on the "Tremolo" EP and "Loveless" album. The Fender Jaguar guitar was introduced in 1962. ... 1962 Fender Jazzmaster Sunburst The Fender Jazzmaster electric guitar was introduced in 1958 and was designed as a more upmarket instrument than the Fender Stratocaster, which itself was introduced in 1954 as a higher-priced product than the companys Telecaster series. ... A tremolo arm, tremolo bar, vibrato bar , twang bar or whammy bar is a lever attached to the bridge and/or the tailpiece of an electric guitar or archtop guitar to enable the player to quickly vary the tension and sometimes the length of the strings temporarily, changing the pitch...


Many have tried to replicate the guitar sounds found on Loveless, with some bands coming close. Shields even had trouble reproducing the sounds himself, as his live guitar sounds varied greatly from those on the record.


My Bloody Valentine

When creating My Bloody Valentine's album Loveless, Shields became a relentless perfectionist according to some reports. 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 tooks months to create and even longer to mix. He went through 14 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 nearly drove Creation Records bankrupt. Shields has commented that the extent of the contribution of the engineers was to get him tea and other gopher chores. The plethora of engineers coming and going is indicative of the fact that no one engineer contributed to the sound of the album; it was alll dreamed up by Kevin Shields and the band. Loveless is an album by the Irish-British band My Bloody Valentine, released on November 4, 1991 (see 1991 in music) on Creation Records in the UK and on November 5 on Sire Records in the U.S. It is widely considered to be My Bloody Valentines magnum opus... Loveless is an album by the Irish-British band My Bloody Valentine, released on November 4, 1991 (see 1991 in music) on Creation Records in the UK and on November 5 on Sire Records in the U.S. It is widely considered to be My Bloody Valentines magnum opus... Bilinda Jayne Butcher (born September 16, 1961 in London) was the vocalist and guitarist with My Bloody Valentine. ... At least two different record labels called Creation Records have existed. ...


After Loveless Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher, the then "remaining" members of My Bloody Valentine, signed the band to major label Island Records. Island ended up empty handed after years of financing the band (amounting to £500,000), forcing them to terminate the contract in 2001. In the meantime Shields wrote some songs but never released them. Island Records is an American record label, owned by Universal Music Group and is operated through The Island Def Jam Music Group. ... This article is about the year 2001. ...


Solo work

Shields has done remixes and recording/mixing for over 20 other artists and these tracks give a fascinating look at Shields ideas about rhythm and sound in general taking him away sometimes from the 4 minute pop song. After having worked with and remixed Primal Scream, he joined them on tour and contributed some guitar work on their 2000 record, XTRMNTR. He also contributed (uncredited) guitar to the Manic Street Preachers' 2001 album Know Your Enemy on the track 'Freedom Of Speech Won't Feed My Children'. He contributed some solo tracks for the 2003 Sofia Coppola film Lost in Translation. In 2005, he appeared at London's Meltdown Festival with Patti Smith, providing accompaniment to her reading of her book The Coral Sea (a tribute to her friend photographer Robert Mapplethorpe). (This is available for streaming at http://www.inkoma.com/pages/my_bloody_valentine.html .) He co-wrote, performed on, and produced Le Volume Courbe's debut album. He has remixed two songs for The Go! Team, "Ladyflash" and "Huddle Formation", which can be found on the "Ladyflash" single. The band has also expressed their desire for Shields to produce their second album [1]. He has also remixed two songs by Bow Wow Wow, which are to appear in the soundtrack for the Sofia Coppola film Marie Antoinette [2]. Primal Scream (temporarily abbreviated to PRML SCRM for the XTRMNTR album) are a rock group formed in Glasgow, Scotland, headed by former Jesus & Mary Chain drummer Bobby Gillespie. ... XTRMNTR is a 2000 album by Primal Scream. ... Manic Street Preachers (often known colloquially as The Manics) are a Welsh rock band often associated with the Britpop scene, and were one of the biggest bands in Britain for a period in the late 1990s. ... Know Your Enemy is a hardcore punk band from the New York City area. ... Sofia Coppola Sofia Carmina Coppola (born May 14, 1971) is an American director, actress, producer, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. ... Lost in Translation is a film released in the United States on October 3, 2003. ... Meltdown is an annual music festival held at the Royal Festival Hall, part of Londons South Bank Centre. ... Patricia Lee (Patti) Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American musician, singer, and poet. ... Le Volume Courbe is a folk-inspired band with Charlotte Marionneau as the sole member with occasional additions. ... I Killed My Best Friend is the 2005 debut album from Le Volume Courbe. ... The Go! Team playing at Accelerator The Big One in Stockholm, 2004 For the 1980s band of the same name, see The Go Team The Go! Team are a Brighton, United Kingdom-based six piece band (with two drummers) whose songs are a mixture of action theme songs, cheerleader chants... Bow Wow Wow album cover photo, a re-creation of The Luncheon on the Grass by Édouard Manet Bow Wow Wow was a 1980s New Wave band organized by Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren in 1980 whose music is described as having an African-derived drum sound.[1] McLaren persuaded... Marie Antoinette is the soundtrack to the 2006 Sofia Coppola film of the same name. ... Sofia Coppola Sofia Carmina Coppola (born May 14, 1971) is an American director, actress, producer, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. ... Marie-Antoinette is a 2006 film written and directed by Sofia Coppola about the life of Marie Antoinette, the Austrian archduchess who married into the French royal family in 1770, but was imprisoned and beheaded when the monarchy was overthrown in the French Revolution twenty years later. ...


Shields has a younger brother, Jimi Shields, who has been a contributor to the bands Rollerskate Skinny and Lotus Crown. The brother of famous shoegazing musician Kevin Shields, Jimi Shields was a member of the bands Lotus Crown, Rollerskate Skinny and still plays in the Wounded Knees with Mecrcury Rev flautist Suzanne Thorpe. ... Rollerskate Skinny was an Irish band that enjoyed its greatest success during the 1990s. ...


External link

  • Unofficial website about Shields and his work
My Bloody Valentine
Kevin Shields | Colm O'Ciosoig | Bilinda Butcher | Debbie Googe
Albums
Isn't Anything | Loveless
EPs
This Is Your Bloody Valentine  | Geek!  | The New Record by My Bloody Valentine  | Sunny Sundae Smile 
Strawberry Wine  | Ecstasy  | You Made Me Realise  | Feed Me with Your Kiss  | Glider  | Tremolo
Compilations
Ecstasy and Wine
Labels
Creation Records | Island Records | Sire Records
Related articles
Shoegazing | List of songs by My Bloody Valentine
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A My Bloody Valentine reunion tour is said to be in the early stages of planning. My Bloody Valentine were an Irish-British shoegazing band best known for their creative use of guitar distortion, tremolo, and digital reverb. ... Colm OCiosoig (born October 31, 1964 in Dublin, Ireland) was the drummer and founding member (along with Kevin Shields) of seminal Irish Shoegazing group My Bloody Valentine. ... Bilinda Jayne Butcher (born September 16, 1961 in London) was the vocalist and guitarist with My Bloody Valentine. ... Debbie Googe (born 1962[1] in England[2]) was the bassist for Irish/British Shoegazing band My Bloody Valentine. ... Isnt Anything is the official debut album by My Bloody Valentine, released in 1988 after years of issuing either EPs or mini-LPs. ... Loveless is an album by the Irish-British band My Bloody Valentine, released on November 4, 1991 (see 1991 in music) on Creation Records in the UK and on November 5 on Sire Records in the U.S. It is widely considered to be My Bloody Valentines magnum opus... This Is Your Bloody Valentine is the debut release by the band My Bloody Valentine. ... Geek! is the second EP by My Bloody Valentine. ... Tracklisting Lovelee Sweet Darlene By The Danger In Your Eyes Another Rainy Saturday Were So Beautiful ... Tracklisting Sunny Sundae Smile Sylvies Head Paint A Rainbow Kiss The Eclipse ... Stawberry Wine is a song written and performed by Ryan Adams. ... Ecstasy is an EP by My Bloody Valentine, released in an edition of 3,000 copies in November 1987. ... You Made Me Realise is a 1988 EP by My Bloody Valentine. ... Feed Me with Your Kiss is a 1988 EP by the band My Bloody Valentine. ... Glider is an EP by the British band My Bloody Valentine, released in the UK in 1990 on Creation Records in the UK and was the bands first release on the Sire Records label in the US. Soon would be included the following year as the closing track on... Tremolo is an EP by the Irish/British shoegazing band My Bloody Valentine, released in February 1991 on Creation Records. ... Ecstasy and Wine is an EP by Irish shoegazing band My Bloody Valentine in 1988. ... At least two different record labels called Creation Records have existed. ... Island Records is an American record label, owned by Universal Music Group and is operated through The Island Def Jam Music Group. ... Sire Records Company is an American record label, owned by Warner Music Group and distributed through Warner Bros. ... Shoegazing (also known as shoegaze) is a style of alternative rock that emerged in southern England in the late 1980s. ... . This is an incomplete list of songs that the band My Bloody Valentine has written or otherwise performed. ...


 
 

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