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Interview:
British Band All About The (Bloc) Party
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK



After its 2005 debut, “Silent Alarm,” made some noise on both sides of the Atlantic, British modern rockers Bloc Party faced some increased expectations for its successor, “A Weekend in the City.”

And frontman

Kele Okereke says the quartet’s own standards were as formidable as any put upon the band from the outside.

“The only pressure that we felt as a band is to make something that, as a band, we were excited by,” explains Okereke, 25, who co-founded the band in 2002, using several names — including Superheroes of BMX, Diet and Union — before settling on Bloc Party in September 2003.

“It wasn’t like the success of ‘Silent Alarm’ was an albatross around our necks. We really didn’t pay that much attention to the idea of the commercial success that we achieved. It was really just about pleasing ourselves, really. That’s how it should be.”

But, Okereke quickly adds, “That’s not to say that we don’t enjoy (the success). It’s a great feeling to know that you’re reaching people.”

Okereke says that one of the goals for “A Weekend in the City” was for the album to have a theme, or “a sense of center” that he felt “Silent Alarm” lacked. He came up with the new album’s title in the middle of 2005, and that, he says, gave him the hook to hang his new songs on.

“I was obsessed with the idea of trying to discuss how people relate to leisure now,” Okereke explains. “I wanted to try and capture this idea of people working all week in the city, just to then experience leisure in the city.

“The irony, I think, is that a lot of modern leisure activities are industrially controlled, and even when people aren’t working they’re still adhering to a certain commodity exchange principle that’s dictated by commerce and big business. It’s felt to me like there was a lot there to write about.”



Bloc Party, Albert Hammond Jr. and Sebastian Grainger, perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (March 24th) at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak. Tickets are $27.50. Call (248) 399-2980 or visit www.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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