Saturday, April 9, 2011

Interview with Russell Lissack of Bloc Party: Part 4

Here it is everyone, the last one. I will always be grateful to Russell for doing this for me.

Bloc Party
have been on hiatus for a year and a half next week. Rumors say (from you actually through a member of AND who saw you DJ) that you'll be back in the studio together in August. It seems that the hiatus has lasted longer than originally intended. Are the plans for August still in motion or are Bloc Party fans going to have to wait even longer for material?

There's nothing concrete planned yet. I'm not sure about the others, but i'm busy until the end of August, so September would be the earliest we'd all start writing together, but that still depends on everyone else's plans.
I've written quite a few songs, and met with Kele a couple of times to jam, so there's plenty of ideas floating around.

The last single Bloc Party released was 'One More Chance' obviously a huge difference your first single 'She's Hearing Voices'. Bloc Party has slowly became more focused on electric music it seems, how exactly did this occur, what brought about this drastic change?

I wouldn't say it was a drastic change, more a natural evolution. Kele and I have always been into all genres of music, and love dance music as much as we love guitar based music. As teenagers we didn't have the access to musical technology that being a professional musician provides you. And things have moved on a lot since we started, now you can record an album on your iPad for example. So if we were starting out now, we'd be a completely different band i'm sure.

It's probably too early to ask this, but we are all dying to know, what should we expect from the fourth album? We know that you've written stuff on the road, will this be a return to the basics for Bloc, the same direction you've slowly been going in, or something entirely new?

Well yes, you have answered your own question there. We wrote a lot of songs on the last tour, but i'm not sure if we'll use any of those.

Now that I'm done talking about new material, let's talk about some old work, will we ever get to hear the early The Angel Range / Union demos that have been sought after for nearly 6 years? Songs like Life of the Party and Teen Crisis? Do you still have an old CD of them lying around somewhere?

I might have one somewhere at my old family house... it would possibly even be on cassette. I don't really have time to sit and listen through endless unlabeled cd's and tapes unfortunately. I don't know if our former record label would keep things like that on file.
If there was enough interest, i'm sure the label would like to put out a collection someday, but realistically at this moment in time, i'd imagine there's about 7 people who'd like to hear those demos.

Even more recent are the "A Weekend in the City" b-sides. Many fans believe that the b-sides of the album are better than the actual a-sides and wish that these songs were played more often live. You have played The Once and Future King on occasion (which I consider myself lucky to hear) but overall these songs seem to be forgotten. Some of Bloc Party's best work is believed to be these songs, The Present came in as the third best Bloc Party song on the fan forum Always New Depths. Can you tell us how the band feels about the b-sides and why it appears that they get the cold shoulder so often, and your opinion on them versus songs on the actual album?

I'm sure i've said this before, but when you're playing a live show, you're performing to people who've paid to see something, they have expectations, and the majority of people want to hear the songs that they know. We have 3 album's, and i don't know how many singles, so there's already a lot to condense into one evening.
There's no personal vendetta against b-sides (i really enjoy playing Future King), so we try to drop them in when we can. I don't think anyone can remember how to play songs that we've never really performed live though! And on a few occasions when we've dropped a b-side in, it's really killed the atmosphere in the crowd, so it's quite hard to deal with when you're performing.
I've always wanted to do a b-sides show, or a fan show with requests, something of that ilk but it never seemed to pan out. Though we did a Silent Alarm show in Australia with B-sides, so we're not complete jerks :)

1 comment:

  1. Nice work on all the Russell interviews, really good read and some intersting information. A request show would be intense!

    All the best,

    a grateful ANDer.