Kevin Shields

From Academic Kids

Kevin Shields is an Irish rock and roll guitarist and producer based in Britain, who played in the London-based shoegazer band My Bloody Valentine in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He was born in Queens, New York City on May 21, 1963 and raised in Dublin, Ireland after moving there with his family when he was a child.

He has played in Primal Scream since 1997, and also contributed music to the motion picture "Lost In Translation".

When creating My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, Shields became a relentless perfectionist. While recording the album, Shields went through 14 recording engineers before finishing. Eccentricities exhibited in the recording of Loveless included not allowing the engineers to hear him or Bilinda Butcher singing while recording. The length and expense of the sessions nearly drove Creation Records bankrupt.

Shields' unique guitar sounds come from his approach to playing guitar. Using Fender Jaguars and Jazzmasters, he manipulates the tremolo arm while strumming chords, which he claims contributes a lot to the overall sound of My Bloody Valentine. He combines this playing technique with excessive playing volumes (to produce better sustain), modulation effects (tremolo pedals), and reverb effects (specifically, reverse reverb). Many have tried to replicate the guitar sounds found on My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, with some bands coming close. Kevin Shields even had trouble producing the sounds on Loveless, as his live guitar sounds varied greatly from those on the record.

After the Loveless record Kevin Sheilds and Belinda Butcher the then "remaining" members of My Bloody Valentine signed the band to major label Island Records and did nothing. Island Records paid their bills until the contract was ended (in 2001) leaving Island Records with not even a note after years and thousands of dollars (500,000 British pounds). In the meanwhile Kevin wrote some songs but never released. He also did some remixes and does remixes as well as recording/mixing other artists. After having worked with and remixed Primal Scream Kevin joined them on tour and has contributed some guitars on their latest albums.

Shields has a younger brother, Jimi Shields, who fronted the British band Lotus Crown.


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