When the shortlist for the UK’s Mercury Prize came out this week, a couple of people noticed a conspicuous absence on the list: shoegaze icons My Bloody Valentine, who released their first album in 22 years back in February. In an interview with the Guardian released earlier today, bandleader Kevin Shields revealed that he’s none too happy about the snub.
“We’re banned by them,” Shields said in the interview. “Do you know why? Because we’re not on Amazon and iTunes. That’s one of the qualifying criteria. You have to have major distribution or be on Amazon and iTunes.” When My Bloody Valentine released their album mbv earlier this year, they made the digital edition of the album available exclusively on their website. This may have actually made them ineligible for the Mercury Prize, whose rules state that an artist must have “a digital and physical distribution deal in the UK.”
“So, technically, the album doesn’t exist,” Shields continued. “It isn’t allowed to exist, according to the Mercury Prize.”
Awards show snubs aren’t keeping My Bloody Valentine down, though; the band just finished a slew of festival dates and are planning a more extensive tour of the United States for the fall and winter of this year.