‘Sinister Forces’

While the pundits pore over the Mercury Music Prize nominations and ponder who will win it, My Bloody Valentine frontman Kevin Shields has been bemoaning the fact his act doesn’t even qualify.

The leader of the early ’80s shoegazers, who’ve enjoyed a renaissance since the recent release of their first album in 22 years, told The Guardian “there are sinister forces at work.”

“We’re banned by them, and do you know why?” he told the UK daily. “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.”

Although indie albums do qualify and have won the prize in the past, the terms and conditions of the Mercury say qualifying albums will have “a digital and physical distribution deal in place in the UK.”

My Bloody Valentine, which self-released its album, sold the digital version of mbv through the band’s website.

Apparently that isn’t considered to be “a digital distribution deal.”

“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,” he added. “So, technically, that album doesn’t exist. OK? It’s not allowed to exist according to the Mercury prize”.

The artists who did qualify for the Mercury shortlist include David Bowie and Arctic Monkeys, the bookies’ favourites for the 2013 prize.

Also nominated are DisclosureFoalsJake BuggJames BlakeJon HopkinsLaura MarlingLaura MvulaRudimentalSavages and Villagers

“God help whoever wins,” Shields told the Guardian. He said every act who has ever won the Mercury has “suffered” in the aftermath.

“Seriously,” Shields continued, “there are sinister forces at work.” 

The winner of the award will be unveiled Oct. 30.