Bloc Party's Back and Refreshed With Four
Hailing from London, the band is closing out its 2012 comeback tour here in the Valley. The buzz kings benefited from the early 2000s "rock is back" craze, but it stuck around, outlasting the hype and incorporating soul, post-rock, and pop influences on increasingly diverse records before splitting in 2009. The band reunited this year for its fourth album, not-so-coincidentally titled Four in August.
Up on the Sun spoke with drummer Matt Tong about the mature split and reunion of the band, how remixes have become cynical, and how Wikipedia can lie to us all.
Up on the Sun: Bloc Party's sound has always been different, sort of a cross between The Cure or Radiohead. Do you believe that there is any connection between those bands?
Matt Tong: It's kind of hard to tell where our inspiration draws in from. In all honesty, we weren't always that great on communicating about musical ideas with each other. It often felt like we were all coming from a different place. It was kind of understood passively. It didn't really matter where we were drawing inspiration from because it all added up to be a pretty interesting sound, or what we considered a pretty interesting sound to be.
I like all kinds of music, but me as a drummer -- I'm kind of more influenced by the '60s and such. One of my favorite drummers happens to be Keith Moon, [so] I've always wanted to bring that kind of chaos and energy to the albums. In fact the other guys don't listen to The Who. Some do say we sounded like The Cure, but I've never really got it. There may be a few qualities that seem the same, but I don't know. However, people may make that assumption with our bass player Gordon Moakes; you're going to get that post-punk vibe [playing bass the way he does]. But then [lead singer] Kele was always going on about R&B. We just have a whole array of different tastes.
Me personally, I'm kind of less interested in the whole remix thing. I kind of feel like it is messing with the creators [of original songs]. It's become just more of this kind of promotional thing. Apparently everyone needs to have a remix so that it can get played in the club or something.
I think earlier on in our career, things were a bit different. Remixes weren't really making such a huge effect upon our musical inventions. It was all more about learning. But I do think that the whole idea of remixing things has become a bit cynical. It's a new factory line or something. I think it's the danger of that -- an artist will come out with a break out hit, and a remix is immediately made. But then the danger of "which one becomes the more popular one" becomes a threat. I find it a bit arbitrary.