Bloc Party

Bloc Party

Laura Foster on 17 March 2005

Hot on the success of their debut album 'Silent Alarm', bassist Gordon Moakes and drummer Matt Tong take time out from tearing up the charts and touring out of their skins to speak to Virtual Festivals.

VF: Congratulations on the success of Silent Alarm. How does it feel?
Matt: It feels pretty good. We're all a little surprised actually, how well it's gone, so I guess we're kind of shocked, but delighted at the same. The last thing you think about when you're plugging away in North London toilet venues is having gold albums. So it's a big surprise. The attention's been quite overwhelming, but we'll get used to that in time, I think.

VF: Has the band dynamic changed at all as your recognition has grown?
Gordon: Not radically. You find these kind of relationships do change anyway over time. There's always a slight family dynamic, here's big brother today, or someone else gets a bit sulky, or somebody's not feeling so well, you adapt constantly to that. So I think we're just growing and learning more about each other, when to look out for each other and when to give each other a bit of space.

VF: Any fighting yet?
Gordon: No fighting as yet. We've had the odd sharp comment, but that's nothing new. It seems ok, given the kind of stress that potentially we could be under. I think it would be different if things weren't going as well as you were hoping rather than the other way around. That's when you would start getting a bit tense about stuff.

VF: Having recently completed the NME Tour with Kaiser Chiefs, The Futureheads and The Killers, how do you feel you guys compare to other bands in terms of behaviour?
Gordon: Well, I think we're kind of rather boringly well behaved as a band, apart from the odd kinda drunken escapade. Most of the bands on that tour were pretty likeminded in that sense. There was nothing ridiculous at all about our antics, we were all quite sensible. There's new wave of sensible bands.
It's always been a bit of a myth that all bands do is go completely haywire at any given opportunity. When you actually do come across a band like that, and I've met maybe one or two, it's so unbelievable that you just can't take them seriously.

VF: Do you want to name names?
Gordon: Although I must admit we haven't really spent that much time in the company of The Bravery, from what I can tell they make quite an effort to show how much they drink. They come stumbling into rooms, carrying bottles of stuff as if to say 'look at us'. If you have any real knowledge about what it's like to be in a band you know that like you can't behave like that, you have to work so hard.

VF: What's been your most bizarre experience to date?
Matt: Probably getting a request from my landlord to get a signed album for his daughter. I have absolutely no idea how he knew we were in a band. He sent me a note in the mail. I don't know if I can exploit this to my advantage yet, I'm investigating the possibilities.
Gordon: Russell got kidnapped at a gig in Liverpool. Russell had access to some whiskey which is not a good thing for him. He was later seen wandering the streets in a daze, and we all went to get a bit of food after the gig. He was accosted by some girls who were quite taken with him. Russ was leaning in this car window, talking to them, and Matt thought it would be quite funny to up him into the window of the car... and they drove off with his legs in the air! Russ managed to convince them to drop him off and he scrambled away. With Russell and Matt, you don't put anything past them to be honest. They're just like big kids with access to alcohol.

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