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Bloc Party Interview

By | Published March 1, 2016

You’ve been touring for a while and you went to Australia recently?

Yeah we went to Australia around Christmas and New Year’s. It was really cool, one of our favourite places to tour.

Best date with the NME tour?

Manchester. It was the favourite show that we’ve done with the new line up in the last few months. Set list worked well and the crowd were up for it as it was a Saturday night.

What’s the new set up like with the new band members?

We did a couple of shows in the US last august and then Europe and Australia. So about 30 shows by now maybe. It came together pretty quickly in the first place. All gelled quite well.

What’s it like for the new guys (Justin on Bass and Louise on Drums) playing songs with you guys that they probably heard on the radio 5-10 years ago?

I’ve been in that position before with the band “Ash” a few years ago when we weren’t doing Bloc Party. I personally really enjoyed it. It took a lot of the other stresses and pressures away from being too involved in it all. They were like “these are the songs, play them”… it’s just good fun.
Some of our stuff is fairly complicated and there is a lot of content for them to learn so they do have a lot to learn I suppose.

Did all 4 of you write the new album together?

No, it was mostly Kele and I. Justin came on board towards the end and was involved for a couple song so he played on the record; but we met Louise when we had already finished recording.
Since we’ve been touring we’ve been trying to write stuff during sound check. I find it quite difficult to write then but it’s the only time we have to do so. Works for some people… I even heard that “The Bends” by Radiohead was recorded during sound check which I’m slightly sceptical of, but who knows.

So the new album Where did the name and ideology come from?

That side of things came mostly from Kele. He knew the name from the offset and all the lyrical content comes from hi so it’s probably the most personal album lyrically that we’ve done.

What was your approach for the new album? Did it feel like a big move from the last one?

It didn’t really feel that long for me. We released an album in 2013 and started working on this album in 2014 so there wasn’t actually massive gap. In this day and age people update their Twitters and social media and we’ve never really done that, so from the outside it may seem like a lot of inactivity.

What sort of influences are you listening to now or what influenced the album?

When we started writing the record I was listening to a lot more electronic music, I was finding it more stimulating and inspirational; even as a guitar player I liked to be able to take things from electronic music and transfer them into what we do. I remember liking the Major Laser album last year but when we tour we have very little time to listen to new music; it’s really noisy and there’s always someone sound checking so when you’re not doing that I like to step back from music a bit.