"It's a bit more expansive, I suppose," he says.

Once they've got those songs recorded, the band will stop dealing with the past and start with a clean slate, Shields says. What that will entail, though, he again has no idea. As much time as he's spent listening to music since last writing for MBV, he's hard-pressed to say what will influence the band's future.

The one common thread he has found in the hours and hours of music he has recorded since Loveless is in classic American popular music, such as the songwriting of pre-'60s musical craftsmen like George Gershwin, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. That, and the tapes of old blues that Primal Scream singer Bobby Gillespie would play after gigs.

Hopefully a new album will give My Bloody Valentine an excuse to shoot a new press photo.
Hopefully a new album will give My Bloody Valentine an excuse to shoot a new press photo.

"That style of folk-blues music, I would say, is weirdly enough like Loveless," Shields says. "That style of songwriting, where you have the verses and then the instrumental breaks. I suppose, if I were to say there's any kind of music in the world that feels really natural to me, it's that kind. Not just folk-blues, but folk music in general.

"I go through phases where I'm really into something for a few months or a year, then I don't really listen to it for years," he continues. "I couldn't really say anything in particular [that will influence future MBV music]. The smallest things have the biggest influences on me sometimes. I'll see something on television, or hear something, and I'll just have this moment of realization that stays with me forever. And it really is something that happens in a few seconds and has a massive impact."

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