straight from the sonic grocery store to your hungry ears…


You were labeled in a French magazine as ‘post-post-punk’! What does that mean and do you agree?

I guess it’s just a step-on from ‘post-punk’. I was never that happy with being called ‘post-punk’ because to me it implies a backward-looking band, a band looking to the music made after punk, to music made only around 1980-82. And there’s so much more to us than those kind of sounds. So at least it’s an attempt to see us as something beyond that.

We all know you can be serious about making music yet you don’t seem to take yourselves too seriously. How do you balance musicality and entertainment (your own or the audience)?

I think we do take ourselves fairly seriously, but it’s important not to lose yourself inside the rock myth and imagine yourself as something you’re not. I think we’ve got to a point where we can go onstage, play to the edge of our abilities and enjoy it all the more. It’s not a surefire recipe for brilliant entertainment but with us people seem to enjoy it more when we enjoy it. If I’m climbing on the drum riser, whacking my guitar against the amp and Kele and Russell are trading riffs head-to-head, it’s probably a good show. But it really comes through confidence and familiarity with what we’re playing.

You’re touring extensively at the moment, how are you finding life on the road?

Pretty good just now. It still feels like quite a novelty, and we are all finding we’re enjoying the band we are and the people we are when we’re together, which is very reassuring. We tease each other mercilessly, but it’s so sweet and heartfelt that I’d be worried if we stopped teasing each other now! But we’re a good gang together, we’ve almost got to the point where we see it as all-for-one and one-for-all, a real adventure.

MTV is currently supporting Bloc Party with generous airplay, how do you feel about that?

It’s an endorsement of what we do. There’s never been a moment where we felt frustrated with airplay, everything has always felt like a bonus, exceeding our expectations. And the audiences are swelling, yeah. People do at least put their money where their mouths are and stump up because they’re curious or because they’ve read about or seen us. It’s one big industrialized grapevine and it’s great when you feel it’s working for you because I can imagine it doesn’t always.

What are your plans for the near future?

Straight away we are doing some filming for the next video, ‘Helicopter’, then a day of rehearsal and then it’s the Reading festival. After that we’ve got a little bit of holiday and before long we’ll be playing a few dates in North America

Jo Whitby

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