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Back To The Bloc
Between solo records, fooling the press and penning his first novel, it’s a wonder that Kele Okereke had the time to reform Bloc Party, who with their fourth album, have just cemented their status as one of Britain’s finest guitar bands. With the record in question riding high in the charts, the frontman opens up to Celina Murphy about splitting up, getting back together and everything in between.
Celina Murphy, 13 Sep 2012
In a rare moment, he stumbles over his words. “I don’t know if that’s making sense…”
Oddly enough, it is. It’s something that often strikes me when I’m trying to figure out whether I love or hate a particular song. The emotions are so similar, it can be hard to figure out which is which.
“Yeah, and I think they’re completely necessary,” he agrees. “I think to experience joy, you have to experience sadness and to experience love, you have to experience the opposite. It’s something that you can’t insulate against and we try to as human beings all the time.”
Okereke himself is a true paradox; a renaissance man, definitely (his book of short stories is due to hit shops some time next year), but one who carries that all-too-rare mix of humour and earnestness, a serious-minded individual who also likes to watch Celebrity Big Brother. His blog at IamKele.com could be anyone’s; a video he posted of a fan’s reaction to Kristen Stewart’s infidelity (if you dare, type Twilight fan crying into YouTube) suggests that he’s just as bemused by the concept of fame as we are.
“That was something that somebody sent to me and I had quite a strange reaction whilst watching it,” he says. “One of the most troubling things about it was the idea that as a celebrity or someone in the public eye, you have such an effect on people. That girl in the video, it was as if she was grieving, it was as if she herself had been cuckolded by Kristen Stewart and I just thought that relationship was slightly frightening. I’ve always maintained that when you create something, when you write a song, it’s not yours any more, of course it’s other people’s.
“I understand that, because to be honest I don’t really want to know how the music’s affecting people. To be honest, I kind of don’t care… I’m doing this because I need to get it out of me and watching that video, it was just a little bit frightening to see the effect you can have on complete strangers.”