Incendiary speak to Bloc Party

"Read books, listen to your parents and watch your manners. "

 

Bloc Party are seen as possibly the most promising band around at present. Incendiary took some time out with Gordon Moakes and asked him what made the band tick.

 

IN: Bloc Party seem to have a peculiar dynamic musically; its as if you all deliberately eschew any traditional or obvious stance as regards your songs' recording and playing. Are you deliberately trying to be obtuse, or does it just happen that way?

 

GM: We don't plan to be obtuse... in a way it's the opposite, we plan to make things as simple as they can be. But we are certainly all motivated from a point of view of not wanting anything to be cliched or familiar or predictable... so I think this might be what you're picking up on.

 

IN: Your music also has a very strong, almost jagged, rhythmical quality. Is that something you look for and work with the most when thinking something up?

 

GM: Yeah, we do look for rhythmic qualities in the songs. The rhythms are always important... mostly the song cannot come together unless it has a strong beat underpinning it, and that's whatever kind of song it is: hard, slow, atmospheric, dancey. Whatever.

 

IN: The live gig at London Calling was a belter, very poppy, very chatty; you reminded me of the Teardrop Explodes at one point. What floats around the bands' subconscious when you are playing live?

 

GM: Hmm... well if I knew that it wouldn't be subconscious I guess. But consciously we always have a sense of enjoying the occasion, of giving something tangible to an audience, and of making it sound fierce.

 

IN: Are there any other points of reference or inspiration for the band other than music? The reason I ask this is that your music seems to conjure up a lot of possibilities, or strands of thought. Or have I gone overboard again?

 

GM: I think more in a suggestive way than anything too overt. At times you want to conjure up something that you haven't heard expressed in a musical way up to that point... and we do believe that we can do something that no one else can quite do musically. So sometimes you do draw from things outside music - artistic, literary, filmic ideas even. But nothing that I could explicitally describe to you.

 

IN: Anything you feel we should be reading, or listening to, or watching?

 

GM: Read books, listen to your parents and watch your manners.

 

IN: Time for the bog standard question, Im afraid, Gordon. What are Bloc Party up to next year? I know its not long after London Calling and the Interpol shows, but are you over in Holland again?

 

GM: We're going to be touring for loads of the year. I'm not sure exactly when we're back in Holland but it'll be spring I think.