The Courier-Mail

Ready to Party

MU­SIC Bloc Party’s Kele Ok­ereke says two mem­bers had to leave or the band would have been no more, writes Cameron Adams

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If you have a prob­lem with Bloc Party con­tin­u­ing af­ter re­plac­ing two orig­i­nal mem­bers, you may pre­fer it to the al­ter­na­tive.

The UK band’s front­man Kele Ok­ereke says it was ei­ther a new Bloc Party line-up or no more Bloc Party

“If things hadn’t changed we wouldn’t be mak­ing any more mu­sic,” Ok­ereke says flatly.

He and gui­tarist Rus­sell Lis­sack are the last men stand­ing in what Ok­ereke calls the “Bloc Party re­boot”.

Drum­mer Matt Tong left the band af­ter tour­ing Bloc Party’s Four al­bum in 2013. In March this year, bassist Gor­don Noakes tweeted he’d also ex­ited, con­cen­trat­ing on his new band Young Le­gion­naire.

Ok­ereke ad­mits tour­ing Four saw ten­sions within the fourpiece come to a head — they went on a hia­tus soonn af­ter, and Ok­ereke re­leased his s sec­ond solo al­bum last year.

“At the start of 2013, 13, when we were tour­ingng Four, I had kinda had d enough of this vibe,” he says. “I felt like if things ngs didn’t change it was the point for me to step away and do some­thing ing else with my life. But things did change, I feel bet­ter for it.”

Ok­ereke says he and Lis­sack planned to keep Bloc Party go­ing, with two new mem­bers mak­ing up the rhythm sec­tion.

“I knew at the end of us tour­ing Four that I wanted to make another (Bloc Party) record, with Rus­sell. It felt like fi­nally this big weight had been lifted from us as a band, we needed to make a record.

“Ob­vi­ously ev­ery­one is aware of the line-up sit­u­a­tion, this stuff is just com­ing to light now but we dealt with this two years ago. We had our figh fights and our con con­ver­sa­tions two years ago ago. It was a mu­tual dec de­ci­sion, to be hon­est. I kne knew two years ago this is wh where I wanted to be.”

T The singer is care­ful wh when asked if there were any bat­tles to keep the Blo Bloc Party name.

““How do I say this

“If things hadn’t

changed we wouldn’t be mak­ing

any more mu­sic”

KELE OK­EREKE ON TOUGH MEA­SURES tact­fully? Rus­sell and I are Bloc Party and al­ways have been. We write all the mu­sic. I wasn’t an­tic­i­pat­ing there was go­ing to be an is­sue with the name, it’s kind of a fact.”

Ok­ereke and Lis­sack are now fin­ish­ing the fifth Bloc Party al­bum.

“We recorded the al­bum with some peo­ple, we’ve been re­hears­ing with other peo­ple. It’s been an on­go­ing process.”

While he’s tight-lipped about the new mem­bers, they’ll be re­vealed when they do their first shows with the new line-up in LA on Au­gust 22 and 23.

Ok­ereke isn’t sure if the al­bum will come out this year (“I’m not the most busi­ness­minded per­son”) but says the new-look band have recorded 15 songs to choose from.

“It def­i­nitely feels like we’ve moved into a dif­fer­ent place in terms of record­ing and ar­rang­ing. It’s us but it feels like it’s us in a way that we haven’t ever been be­fore. It’s been very in­ter­est­ing watch­ing Rus­sell play the guitar, he’s us­ing his in­stru­ment in a way I’ve never seen any­one use it. I’m ex­cited to get in front of peo­ple. When we go in and lis­ten to the new songs they feel like they’re com­ing from a dif­fer­ent place. That’s a good feel­ing to have.” SEE BLOC PARTY, FALLS FES­TI­VAL, BY­RON BAY, BE­TWEEN DE­CEM­BER 28 AND JAN­UARY 3. TICKET BAL­LOT CLOSES TO­MOR­ROW. ANY LEFTOVER TICK­ETS ON SALE AU­GUST 26

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