Bloc Party's Kele Okereke Talks New Album & His First Love: Rock 'n' Roll

By Zach Bourque/Special to LAist

Fresh off a global string of music festivals, including L.A.'s own HARD Summer, UK indie rock heroes Bloc Party are back in the mix with their fourth studio album, aptly titled Four and set to release August 21.

The album is the band's first in four years, a time in which the band set everything aside and concentrated on their solo work. Frontman Kele Okereke focused his efforts on a series of heavily electronic skewed solo releases, including The Boxer, which proved successful worldwide.

Speaking in regards to his newly adopted digital recording process, Okereke noted that "it was quite a fulfilling time for me. Very liberating. You can do whatever you want to a piece of music; you're able to manipulate or play with it in ways that are only limited by your imagination."

But like the torrid third act of a Hugh Grant romantic comedy, Okereke just couldn't stay away from his first love of rock and roll.

"I was kind of missing the spontaneity of live musicians, how you'd have a riff or an idea for a drum beat and you jam and jam and things would spark off other ideas," said Okereke. "I knew towards the end of 2010 that I was missing being in a band."

The reunion proved less of a hurdle than one may (or may not) have anticipated.

"I think that first meeting was slightly weird at the start, but having some time apart completely heightened our situation," Okereke said. "It was instinctive when we got back together. Nothing had changed at all."

Working in sharp contrast to the computer engineered music of his solo career, Okereke and the band got back to basics with the recording of Four.

"Making The Boxer was a somewhat colder process," said Okereke. "I knew there was another way of doing things, so that’s why this record sounds very, very raw. It's about everything coming together when we were rehearsing; no studio magic trickery, just us in a room together."

With a cheeky world tour complimenting the band's latest release, it doesn't take a psychic to see that Bloc Party is in for a busy 2012/2013. But what's next for the group? Okereke waxed poetic about what the future will bring: "You just need to document where you are right now. Right now, I have no idea, but that's the exciting part. We're gonna go off, and we're going to tour the world for a year and see new places and hear new music, and we're going to be inspired again. I'm just trying to keep myself receptive to the universe to whatever comes my way."

Four is available on iTunes and at fine retailers everywhere August 21.