My Bloody Valentine’s shows were so loud they feared destroying venues: “Chunks were falling out of the ceiling”

Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine performs as part of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Fields on April 19, 2009 in Indio, California.
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

With their dense layers of Jazzmaster tremolo glides and reverse reverb, My Bloody Valentine changed the sound of guitar playing forever. But their insistence on notoriously loud volume levels meant the shoegaze trailblazers were also afraid of changing venues forever.

In a new interview with the Guardian, MBV mastermind Kevin Shields detailed the problems the band faced as a result of running a wall of amps at full blast – among them, the risk of the venue not existing at the end of their set.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.