Kevin Shields accuses Mercury Prize organisers of ‘banning’ My Bloody Valentine

Frontman says the group were left off the shortlist because they bypassed record labels, Amazon and iTunes

My Bloody Valentine‘s Kevin Shields has claimed that the band’s album ‘mbv’, their first in 22 years, was left off the Mercury shortlist because the group didn’t have a major distribution deal.

“Isn’t Mercury a phone company or something, anyway? What’s that got to do with music?” Shields told 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.”

In order to qualify for the Mercury Music Prize, artists must have a “digital and physical distribution deal in place”, according to the terms and conditions of the prize. My Bloody Valentine put out the album themselves.

“It’s interesting to learn that to be as independent as we are is… virtually illegal,” he said. “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.”

Arctic Monkeys, Disclosure, Laura Marling and Jon Hopkins are just some of the artists nominated for this year’s prize, which will be announced on October 30. Click here to read the full list of nominees.