The frontman of Irish shoegaze outfit My Bloody Valentine, Kevin Shields, has come out slamming the Mercury Prize, saying that his band’s record latest record, mbv, was “banned” from the competition because it was distributed independently instead of through the bigwigs like Apple and Amazon.
Shields all but said the contest was only about corporate sponsorship, telling The Guardian, “We’re banned by them, and do you know why? Because we’re not on Amazon or iTunes. That’s one of the qualifying criteria. You have to have major distribution or be on iTunes or Amazon.”
My Bloody Valentine released mbv, their first album in 22 years, back in February, selling the digital version only through their website and forgoing even the distribution of an indie label, which Shields believes led to the snub from the prize:
“It’s interesting to learn that to be as independent as we are is… virtually illegal. It’s not a real record. 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.”
Technically, he may be right, with the official rules of the Mercury Prize stating that to qualify, an album must have “a digital and physical distribution deal in place in the UK”. But Shields says the alt rock legends wouldn’t want to be nominated for the award anyway, stating that all previous winners have suffered for it. “Seriously, there are sinister forces at work.”
The Mercury Prize shortlist was announced this week, with David Bowie and Arctic Monkeys the frontrunners according to the bookies, followed by Laura Marling, Foals, Disclosure and James Blake. Rudimental, Jake Bugg, Laura Mvula, Villagers, Jon Hopkins and Savages round out the list of nominees.
The Mercury Prize ceremony takes place at the Roundhouse in London on 30th October.
(via The Guardian)