Changing the audience

Still curious what the band was doing exactly during "Realize," and where all that melody came from, I press him about it. "There was no melody!," he exclaims. "Every melody everyone had  was in their head." The group played "all the strings on the bass at the same time and then me with this whammy pedal able to go two octaves lower and then bring it up and down like that. And then with various distortion pedals I could change the texture of the noise whenever I wanted so it wasn't just like one sound, it was just sort of moving along somehow. It was the best part of the night always and each night it was an experiment to see how long it would take for the audience to turn from like one state to another. A certain percentage of the audience would start sticking their fingers up at us or they would put their hands up in the air with their eyes closed, or do somethig physical. I pretty much would always go on as long as it took to change the audience."

"When it was clear that the audience was changed, totally–even if it was one person left with their fingers in the air or in their ears, we would wait for them to give into it, " Kevin explains. "Sometimes it would take forty minutes for that one individual to give up. When the audience was fully and utterly done, we had the signal process where I would look at Debbie and we'd go back to the final parts of the song."

— from "33 1/2: Loveless", by Mike McGonigal, a book-long essay on the album Loveless by My Bloody Valentine

Kevin Shields (of My Bloody Valentine) goes on to explain that they had to stop "experiments" like this because of accumulated hearing damage. Although I'm pretty sure they did it when I saw them just a few years ago …

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