The band Bloc Party made a huge splash onto the indie rock scene in 2005 with the debut of their first album, Silent Alarm, attaining a level of critical and commercial acclaim many aspire to. Now, the band has become an essential staple of many a hipster’s music library. Their sound is infectious, combining elements of dance rock and post-punk to create a style all their own.
For the first time, the band will be playing Miami at the Absolut X party tonight (Thursday, May 16) at Soho Studios from 9 to midnight. The event, which is free and open to the public with RSVP, will include a live set by the band, art created during the night by Augustina Woodgate and cocktails by Regent Cocktail Club mixologist John Lermayer.
We caught up with Bloc Party lead singer Kele Okereke to learn more about the band before tonight’s performance.
With Bloc Party’s debut album Silent Alarm, your band quickly rose to fame in a short period of time. How did that feel?
It felt great, but you know, we had nothing to compare it to. [The album Silent Alarm] was our first record. We assumed that this was how it was for every band and then we saw quickly that this was not how it was for every band.
How do you think the band’s sound has evolved over the years?
It feels like so much has changed. We have changed as people. We have been doing this for 10 years now. The things that we want to say are different. Overall, I feel we have kind of calmed down a little. I think we know what it is we want to say and we know how we want to say it.
What is inspiring you and your music at the moment?
A lot of things. [Minimalist composer Steve Reich’s work] Music for 18 Musicians, pirate radio, [rapper and member of the band A Tribe Called Quest] Phife Dawg, the moon, being 30.
What has been your favorite moment as a member of Bloc Party?
I know it sounds corny but everyday, I feel pride. Whether it’s the shows we play or the people we meet, I still feel like I can’t quite believe this is happening to me, that this is my life.
What’s your personal favorite Bloc Party album?
At the moment, I think A Weekend in the City is my favorite album. It has recently started to take on a different kind of significance for me. After it was done, I couldn’t really listen to it for so long. It felt like so much of it was coming from a dark place. I kind of locked it away. I heard a song from that album called On in a store a few months back and I didn’t recognize it. It made me go back and listen to [the album again]. It sounded kind of alien but familiar. Now I hear a playfulness in the music, I can hear how curious we were when we made it, the sounds of us being young in a studio, putting it all together. It was a fun time.
If you could be listening to any album right now, what would it be?
I don’t have so much patience for records these days, I saw [Swedish electronic band] the Knife in London recently and it reminded me how much I liked [their most recent album] Shaking the Habitual.
Have you visited Miami before?
Yes, I was here for a week over New Year’s. I like Miami. I think my favorite thing about it is the shop window displays. I like how the lady mannequins have rather well-endowed chests and [butts], you never really see that anywhere else in the world. I remember thinking that this was cool.