SAN DIEGO — If Bloc Party were an actual block party, you might say they were broadening their guest list.
"This time around we've been more open-ended about our ideas, seeing them going in different ways," bassist Gordon Moakes said of the British dance rockers' second studio album (see "The Bloc Party CD Avalanche Continues — And A New LP Is Slated For '06"). "The first record was songs we'd been playing a certain way for a number of years. With this stuff, we've taken it heavier in places, more electronic in places, just wider-sounding."
Bloc Party have been writing new music since before their debut, Silent Alarm, even hit shelves, so the band entered the studio this summer with no shortage of confidence.
"It was about not limiting ourselves and being quite conscious about saying, 'OK, we're known for those kinds of songs, but it's not necessary to keep doing them,' " Moakes explained.
To aid them in that effort, Bloc Party enlisted former Compulsion guitarist Garrett "Jackknife" Lee, who has produced albums for Snow Patrol, Kasabian, Editors and Aqualung.
"He's definitely got an ear for what works in a rock way, and he's into the other stuff we're into too," Moakes said. "We were fairly confident in the song structures going in, but he did shape it more and give more structure to the songs."
Moakes declined to reveal the tentative album title, but he discussed a few tracks, including "Song for Clay" (inspired by the main character in the Bret Easton Ellis novel "Less Than Zero"), "Sunday" (which features Moakes playing drums) and "Waiting for the 7:18" (about waiting for a train). The band's been opening with "7:18" on its current swing through the U.S., which included a stop at San Diego's Street Scene (see "Kanye Previews New Song; Lupe, MCR Are M.I.A. At Injury-Plagued Street Scene").
"We're still mixing, and some of the arrangements we're not entirely excited [about], so we'll pick the first single after that," Moakes said.
Bloc Party are also still sequencing the record, a step the band takes quite seriously.
"It's not just about the first track and last track — we imagine it as a vinyl record, what ends side A and side B," Moakes said. "If anyone has the first record on vinyl, I think you'll see it works well."
A release date has yet to be determined, but Moakes expects the album to hit stores in the fall.