'Bringing the party'

Russell Lissack, lead guitarist of Bloc Party

Russell Lissack, lead guitarist of Bloc Party

First published in Sound Advice by

VODKA and apple juice is on Russell Lissack’s rider for his special DJ appearance tomorrow night (Saturday, January 23) at the Forum.

The Bloc Party lead guitarist swops indie rock for electronica pop for one night only at the University of Hertfordshire venue. “I haven’t got anything planned,” states Russell. “But I'll be bringing the party!"

Outside the Bloc Party publicity bubble, the musician, who admits Michael J Fox’s role as “Marty” McFly in the film Back To The Future, inspired him to become a musician, is involved in other projects.

He has joined forces with New York singer, Milena Mepris, to produce an “apocalyptic dance-rock project” called Pin Me Down.

Propoganda club night at the Forum, University of Hertfordshire, 9pm. Tickets under a fiver, telephone 01707 285000 or online at www.forumhertfordshire.co.uk

ON THE SPOT WITH RUSSELL LISSACK

What will the audience see at your Propaganda performance at The Forum this weekend?
I tend to take each night as it comes, but either way I'll be bringing the party!

How did Bloc Party meet?
I knew Kele as we had the same friends when we were teenagers. We met Gordon from an advert in a music paper, and then Matt was from friends of friends.

Can you tell me about Pin Me Down?
Pin Me Down is a project I'm working on with my friend Milena Mepris who lives in New York. There should be some more news on that very soon!

What’s been the reaction to your recent performances?
We finished our UK tour last year, and it was really fun... aside from being blighted with several showstopping fire alarms!

How do you warm up before a performance?
It used to be a lot of drinking before a show to get over the stage fright, but I seem to have got a lot better with that as the years have gone by.

Who inspired you to become a musician?
Strangely enough, it was Michael J Fox, for his role in Back to the Future!

How many instruments do you play in Bloc Party?
I play guitars, keyboards, glockenspiel, probably a few other random things too... and I've been learning the drums - though I don't think Matt has to worry... yet!

How long did it take you to master the guitar and the synth?
Well, I've been playing the guitar since I was about 16, but there's always more to learn. My synth skills are pretty basic, but I can do enough to convey the melodies in my head.

Can you tell me about the instruments you own?
At home I have three guitars, a bass, two keyboards, a small drum kit, and a laptop, which is probably what I do most of my work on these days.

Is there a new Bloc Party album soon? Can you tell us about it?
We wrote a lot of songs on tour last year, but its too early to describe anything until its recorded.

How do you write your songs… does it start from sound or an emotion?
It can vary, it can start from a sound, a melody, a drum beat, something I've heard. There's no set route for writing, there's always a different point of origin.

What’s your favourite Bloc Party/Pin Me Down song you have worked on?
It changes all the time. At the moment, obviously its the most current thing I'm working, on as that's the most exciting to me, which is a PMD track.

What do you think about the music industry at the moment?
Its all internet and twitter these days innit?

What do you think it is about east London that breeds creativity?
Does it? I've never taken much notice of where musicians come from, it doesn't matter to me. London is a big city, where a lot of music and industry is based, so it would make sense for a large amount of musicians to come from here, but I don't think there's a particular area that matters. I moved away from east London when I was 18!

What’s on Russell Lissack's rider?
Vodka and apple juice - a polish classic.

If you were king for the day what would you make law and what would you banish?
If I was king for a day... I'd play with the corgis.

What was the first album you ever bought?
I'm pretty sure it was MC Hammer on cassette.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
Felix da Housecat

What electrical item couldn’t you live without?
At the moment it'd be my laptop, as its both a musical studio and my sole form of communication with a lot of people.

When is the last time you cried?
Watching a film, but I'm not saying what!

What was your favourite lesson at school?
None, I didn't enjoy school. Probably something like Art where i could talk to my friends. Actually we had a swimming pool, that was really cool but we didn't get to use it that often.

What did you learn at school outside the classroom?
Everything!

Where are you most happy?
At my house, its my studio, my kitchen, my relaxation and my home.

What’s your favourite colour?
I'm quite into Blenheim today.

How would your friends describe you?
Jerkface? Idiot boy? Better than I imagine?

What’s next for you?
Pin Me Down.

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