British singer Kele Okereke has been dropped as the frontman of Bloc Party and his bandmates are making plans to audition for a new singer, according to guitarist Russell Lissack.
The group announced a hiatus in 2009 to allow Okereke time to work on his solo album, The Boxer, which was released last year (10).
Speculation over the future of Bloc Party emerged in April (11) when Lissack confirmed plans to begin work on a new album, while Okereke claimed not to have been informed.
The star spoke out earlier this month (Sep11) admitting he is unsure if he's still a part of the line-up, saying, "I hope I haven't been fired. I don't really know what's going on, because we haven't really spoken recently and I'm a bit too scared to ask."
Lissack has now opened up about the band's plans, admitting they are tired of waiting for Okereke to rejoin them and are looking to hire a new singer.
He tells NME, "It's not really a secret because Kele's been pretty busy doing solo stuff and it looks like he's going to be doing that a bit longer. The other three of us wanted to meet up and make music. We were talking about just doing an instrumental thing, but now we might get a singer as well, to properly put some music out and play some shows.
"Because it's the three of us, I guess there'd be some degree of expectation from people to at least play the songs we wrote. I don't think any of us (including Kele) would object to that."
However, Lissack is adamant there is no rift with Okereke, adding, "We've still got the same management and stuff, so he might have known, he might not. He's doing his own thing and we wanted to play together, so it wasn't like we were going behind his back. I haven't spoken to Kele for a couple of months, I guess since the festivals when I was doing stuff with Ash. But there's no bad vibes."