My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields hid new music in a flash drive inside his signature Fender Blender pedal

Kevin Shields performs with My Bloody Valentine in 2013 (left), a hidden thumb drive in Shields' new signature Fender Blender pedal containing new music
(Image credit: Gaelle Beri/Redferns/Getty Images, Mosley/The Gear Page)

Any fan of Kevin Shields, the pioneering but ever-mysterious electric guitar player for My Bloody Valentine, will know all too well just how rare a treat it is to hear new music from him. 

For those less familiar with the pace of his creative output, mbv – the most recent album from My Bloody Valentine – arrived in 2013, 22 years after their previous LP, the shoegaze landmark, Loveless. That, for reference, is five years longer than the famously long gap between Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusion albums and their Slash-less follow-up, Chinese Democracy

Bottom line is, new music from Shields is a notable occurrence, which is why our eyes and ears perked up when a user of The Gear Page forum, posting under the name Mosley, revealed that Shields had in fact hidden a flash drive containing an unreleased track inside the pedal itself. 

Shields offers no clues to the track's contents other than a brief note next to the drive that reads, “For intended effect, please play at 80db and above on speakers.“

The interior of Kevin Shields' new signature Fender Blender pedal, featuring a surprise hard drive with new music

(Image credit: Mosley/The Gear Page)

Unfortunately, as of press time, it appears that no enterprising early owner of the Shields Blender has yet uploaded the hidden instrumental to YouTube, though it's admittedly nice to be reminded of a time when virtually all the world's recorded music wasn't accessible at your fingertips. 

Philosophical ramblings aside, the Shields Blender is based on Fender's cult classic Blender pedal, which was also favored by Shields' fellow '90s alt-rock guitar hero, Billy Corgan.

The Shields Blender is armed with its predecessor's volume, sustain, tone and blend knobs, and its footswitch-activated Tone Boost circuit. Additionally, it features an Octave footswitch, an octave-up push button, and a footswitch-activated reactive sag circuit, which Fender says “uses dynamic sensing circuitry to create imploding fuzz tones.”

In an age where companies keep finding new ways to squeeze more sounds and functionality into smaller boxes, the Shields Blender is a bit of a throwback that takes up a healthy portion of pedalboard real estate. 

The Fender Shields Blender is available now – in a limited run of 700 units – for a relatively steep $499.

It can only be purchased from Reverb (in the US) and Andertons (in the UK).

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.