we have just finished mixing our new record. i am very proud of it. it is the best thing that we have ever done and finishing this record has taken us on quite a journey.
there have been babies, breakdowns, tantrums and hospitalisations but its finally here. we started making this record in NY in the winter of 2011. we didn’t want to let the world know so we told a lie that got out of hand but it made us laugh in the process, which brought us closer together.
we could have come clean from the get go but to be honest we had no idea if anything was going to come out of these sessions. there was a big question mark over whether bloc party were ever going to make another record again. we were exhausted and bored and distant from one another. so in 2010 we all did our own thing, gordon had a baby, russell joined ash, matt built a studio in his basement with his bare hands and i moved to new york to finish a book that i had been writing for the last 3 years.
after my solo record i wanted to have a year without music in a different part of the world. i had four records with me, led zeppelin 4, deftones white pony, nicki minaj’s mix tape beam me up scotty and al green’s greatest hits and that was enough. i just wanted to drift and watch the world from a distance and i truly had intended to switch off but then 2011 happened; in terms of global history, the most dramatic year i have experienced in my entire life. it became impossible to switch off from the world when it seemed history was rewriting itself day after day. so i did what i always try to do to make sense of the world, i started writing lyrics and something became clear to me, i needed to put my band back together, i missed my friends. even though i had made a record by myself i missed the way that my band worked, how little improvisations and suggestions would then go on to spark other ideas in me like wildfire. being in bloc party always forced me to think on my feet.
it turns out that everyone had been feeling the same way so we arranged to decamp to NY and start writing our fourth record and in that time it became clear to us that the only reason to be in this band was to make the sort of music that only the four of us could make.
in the past we have tried to hide the passion with which we perform, tried to obscure it, manipulate it so it didn’t resemble us anymore. we have learnt a lot from those years but we feel with this record we have to move forward, we have to challenge ourselves by not relying on protools or the invisible grid that seems to be mapping out all of popular music these days. we have to push ourselves to the limit of our abilities or else there is no point in carrying on.
in the past there has been so much written about what our records have meant, so much context and back story but i am adamant that this time these songs will stand on their own. this record is the sound of four people in a room, loving what they do and doing it to the best of their ability. it is the sound that only the four of us could make and i am prouder of it than any record we have ever made.
and just in case you were wondering, the name of this record is four