Bloc Party took break to avoid ‘poisonous headspace’

But Kele Okereke insists that relations within the band 'never really got out of hand'

Kele Okereke has revealed that Bloc Party took a break between albums to avoid slipping into a “poisonous headspace”.

The band followed their 2008 album ‘Intimacy’ with the release of a one-off single called ‘One More Chance’ in August 2009. However, they opted not to record a full album straight away and Okereke released his debut solo LP, ‘The Boxer’, the following June.

Explaining the decision to go on hiatus, Okereke told the BBC that “six years of non-stop touring” had “just ground us down a little bit”. He also insisted that the break proved beneficial to the band in the long run, saying: “I think if we’d made another record after ‘Intimacy’ it would have been quite a poisonous headspace for us all. Having time out was the best thing we could have done.”

However, Okereke denied that relations within the band had become fractious while promoting ‘Intimacy’, saying: “I think in any collaborative venture, there are going to be times when you don’t all see eye to eye with the people you’re involved with. We’re quite lucky in the band in that we’re all quite reasonable people. Things never really got out of hand.”

Bloc Party regrouped for songwriting sessions at the end of 2011, a situation which Okereke described as “slightly nervewracking”, but instantly productive. He explained: “If you haven’t interacted with human beings for a while you don’t know how it’s going to feel. [But] it all came back very naturally.”

Having entered the recording studio with producer Alex Newport earlier this year (2012), Bloc Party are now preparing to release new album ‘Four’ on August 20. Last month (July 10), they premiered the album’s lead single ‘Octopus’ – scroll down to watch the video. After fulfilling live commitments abroad, the band will begin an eight-date UK tour at Newcastle’s O2 Academy on October 12.