Skip To Content

    Happy My Bloody Valentine Day!

    In honor of Valentine's Day, here are some fun facts about Irish rock legends My Bloody Valentine. I want to shoegaze longingly into Kevin Shields' eyes.

    • My Bloody Valentine is an influential Irish rock band founded by guitarist Kevin Shields and drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig in 1983. Their core touring members are Shields, Ó Cíosóig, Bilinda Butcher and Debbie Googe. My Bloody Valentine is credited with creating the "shoegaze" genre, although their swirling guitars and wall of psychedelia production has gone on to influence artists as diverse as Radiohead and Phish.

    • My Bloody Valentine was named after a slasher film from 1981, although they almost named themselves The Burning Peacocks.

    • Kevin Shields was born in Queens, New York to Irish immigrant parents. His family relocated to Dublin when he was 10. Shields is the primary creative force behind My Bloody Valentine.

    • My Bloody Valentine has only recorded 2 full length albums. The second of their albums, Loveless, was released in 1991 and is considered one of the best albums of the '90s, if not all time.

    • My Bloody Valentine's label at the time, Creation Records, was hoping Loveless would be recorded in 5 days. It took more than 2 years. The massive production time was largely due to Shields' unorthodox behavior. Over 18 engineers worked on the album, most of whom were dismissed by Shields after a few days following "creative differences."

    • Shields was so antagonistic to the various producers and engineers that he hung a curtain in the recording studio between the control room and the vocal booth. Engineers were not allowed to watch or listen to the recording sessions. They could only press record and cue up new tapes based solely on the vocal meters, alerting Shields as to when a new tape was ready by waving through the curtain.

    • Shields would show up to recording sessions for Loveless with no lyrics prepared. He would record them in the studio, then give the tape to co-vocalist Butcher. Butcher would then transcribe the tape, often having no idea what Shields was singing and making educated guesses.

    • Creation Records claims that Loveless cost £250,000 ($400,675) and was responsible for their bankruptcy. Creation executive Dick Green suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of the grueling production schedule and would call Shields in tears, begging him to finish the album. Green's hair reportedly turned white as a result of the stress surrounding Loveless.

    • Shields suffers from permanent hearing damage after he fell asleep listening to a rough mix of Loveless. He was only asleep for 2 hours.

    • Loveless was edited with equipment that had previously been used to cut together diologue for movies in the '70s. The aging computer threw the album out of synch. Shields was able to realign it using only his memory.

    • Loveless was met with critical acclaim upon its release in 1991, but failed to sell very well. Island Records signed My Bloody Valentine following the release of Loveless and sank nearly $800,000 into the band over the course of the next decade. Shields never made another album. Although he reportedly submitted over 60 hours of audio to Island, none of it has seen the light of day. Shields says that he went "crazy" during this period, fueling comparisons Brian Wilson and Syd Barrett.

    • My Bloody Valentine is considered one of the loudest live bands in the world. Shields insists that free ear plugs are handed out before every live show so that no audience members become afflicted, as he is, with tinnitus. During a recent My Bloody Valentine show at the Roundhouse in London, the band was so loud that, according to Shields, "things were rattling and shaking, and dust and plaster were falling down."

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form