Interview: Albert Hammond Jr. talks addiction, the state of The Strokes with Rolling Stone

by Eric Van Dril · 22 comments

> at Zilker Park on October 8, 2010 in Austin, Texas.Rolling Stone spoke with Albert recently in an in-depth Q&A about his addiction, the current state of The Strokes and his new record. It hit the web today.

The talk about the seriousness of the Albert’s drug abuse is once again prominently featured — it’s as scary as ever — but he also talked about The Strokes more than he has in other Q&As he’s done. Here is the last part of the Q&A.

The Strokes really means something to people. But it’s surprising you haven’t done a real U.S. tour in years. Why?
Just to lay low. [Laughs.] Um, it’s not against the fans. It’s not against them. I mean, we feel that way about each other and the songs, so it’s amazing to hear that fans feel the same way. I don’t think that’ll go away. I think it will only make it better when everything starts, you know?

Angles was the last record for RCA, so now you can do whatever you want.
Yeah, I mean, I guess so. In so many ways, yeah. I think we’re still playing with that idea.

What do you think the future of the Strokes is?
You’re asking the wrong guy, man. [Laughs.]

But you’re in the band!
I’d ask the captain of the ship.

But you guys are still an active band, right?
Yeah. I mean I wouldn’t be sitting here in an office filled with Strokes stuff if we weren’t an active band [Laughs]. Who do you think pays for this? We’ve passed the point of like anger or breakups. We know fans love us and we love them and we are gonna be there with interesting and cool music. I can’t imagine how much time that takes, I’m not even suggesting that it’s gonna take long or it’s not. I think in the long run that might even be a big attraction for people who like us. I feel like, enjoy it, cause at some point it won’t exist anymore.

I think the ultimate thing would be is if I could open up for the band. That would be really cool. I think people would enjoy that. I haven’t even brought that up to the guys. I mean there is no, there’s no dates. I’m just booking this American thing. I can’t think further and I don’t want to like give any weird positive or negative feed on it, besides the obvious positive that we haven’t gone anywhere.

So the Strokes might tour again?

Yeah, yeah. People like watching us live. I just think when that machine starts up, it’s a Titanic you know, so it moves slowly so you just, you want to be pointing in the right direction, and when you’ve done something for 12 years in a certain way, you need to reprogram everything. And that takes time to eventually get around and figure out, and since we realized that we actually have a little bit of time and a little bit of wiggle room. Julian can foresee his stuff with Cult [Records], which makes him creatively very happy, which means he’s going to write cool songs. But other people spend time with their kids and do music and Fab is doing some amazing artwork. And I get to do this and it’s just wonderful. You get a little bit of everything. Talking about it, I feel like such a lucky asshole.

 

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt October 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm

“Angles was the last record for RCA”

2 Valentina October 28, 2013 at 4:42 pm

He seems so happy! I think they’re going through a great moment, that’s all that matters. If I try to put myself on their shoes, I imagine I wouldn’t try to force anything. Maybe that’s the key.

3 WHATHEFUCKWHASTHAT October 28, 2013 at 5:03 pm

@Matt

I know!! :s

4 Nick October 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Sounds like they’re just laying low doing their own thing but everything is good and at some point they’ll get together and release something.

5 Kinger October 28, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I don’t consider this hiatus anymore. I did before but now this compresses it. Having him say that The Strokes will tour in the future is a pretty visual sign that they will return with a new album. This is good news Eric! Thank you man!

6 squirrel October 28, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Aw, this interview is so positive. I’m happy, guys!

“I just think when that machine starts up, it’s a Titanic you know” — haha oh Albert, what an unfortunate metaphor! :D

7 wolfman October 28, 2013 at 7:57 pm

adam green mumbling all the time with some guy http://vimeo.com/64565469

8 Sarah October 29, 2013 at 6:03 am

Tha’t so great to hear him talk about the Strokes this way.

I really hope they continue to do more albums, they’re our generation band.

I mean if you can make songs like “One Way Trigger” , when individually you can bring so much good solo’s , participate to shaping the music industry and contributing to contemporenaous art, you’re not allowed to stop.

Come on guys, you can’t let us down, we need your music…life is so short.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrZSfMiVC88

9 squirrel October 29, 2013 at 8:12 am

@wolfman, That was cute. =)

10 Gibson October 29, 2013 at 10:46 am

Kinda gives me hope

11 just sharing this October 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm

From Morrissey’s Autobiography…

“A lengthy handwritten letter arrives from Julian who sings with the band the Strokes. He is angry and apologetic at a recent NME interview in which he is quoted as calling me ‘a faggot’. Julian writes that no such comment was ever made, and nor would it ever be made, and that the writer had simply faked an entire paragraph.”

12 Dom October 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm

^ ^
Can I ask you where you got the book?
Anywhere in North America?

13 just sharing this October 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm

@Dom – No, I bought it in the UK. Try Amazon.co.uk, maybe?

14 SAS October 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm

What do you think the future of the Strokes is?
You’re asking the wrong guy, man. [Laughs.]

But you’re in the band!
I’d ask the captain of the ship.

I read from this that Albert is very much up for more TS but that it is Julian who is reluctant to commit and ultimately he is the one who needs to make the decision – anyone else get that vibe?

@just sharing – what’s the Morrissey’s book read like? Saw it today in Waterstones and was tempted but some autobiogs make better reading than others..

15 squirrel October 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm

@SAS,

Hmm, I get what you mean but at the same time this — “Julian can foresee his stuff with Cult [Records], which makes him creatively very happy, which means he’s going to write cool songs ” — makes it sound like he’s been active and writing new music, possibly also for The Strokes since that was what the original question was about? And then he goes — “But other people spend time with their kids and do music and Fab is doing some amazing artwork” — “BUT”… the resistance is elsewhere? Idk.

I just assumed it meant the media blackout idea was Julian’s so Albert is not ‘allowed’ to speak unless Julian calls it off himself, but who knows…

16 Kinger October 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm

@squirrel

To me, my interpretation of the media blackout is that some of these guys are fathers and want to play the role in becoming a good example for their families. If they toured CM, then Nick or Julian couldn’t be with their kids. For Fab, Niko and Albert. They want to do what they want currently. Albert releasing an EP. Fab creating beautiful artwork.

They just wanted some free time for their social lives. Do their own thing y’know? Das’ all.

17 squirrel October 29, 2013 at 8:37 pm

@Kinger,
Yeah, I agree with you on the lack of touring, but when I said media blackout I was thinking about the whole no interviews, no ‘actual’ music videos, no public appearances (radio/tv), no talking about the band’s future (or present!), etc. thing.

18 Will October 30, 2013 at 2:03 am

I don’t understand the negativity about Julian being the captain of the ship? That’s how the made the two greatest rock albums of the last decade. Then they started being very democratic about and then they made angles and comedown machine.. good albums but no is this it or room on fire, so i think the most positive thing here is the sentence ” Julian can foresee his stuff with Cult [Records], which makes him creatively very happy, which means he’s going to write cool songs” :)

19 Jon October 30, 2013 at 6:04 am

Sad that the comments on rollingstone are more on target then the hero worship that goes on here…
Good good for Albert though, his solo work has been by far the best -IMO

20 muthastone October 30, 2013 at 7:19 am

if we don’t hear anything by the end of 2014 about an album being made, then i can see it being panic time.

but

they all seem to be in a good space right now. it’s when julian is ready. the better the new album is, the better it is for cult records (julian’s business).

we have had 2 albums in the past 3 years from these guys.

21 Annie 1251 October 31, 2013 at 3:14 am

@Jon
For every negative comment after the article there were plenty of positive ones. But I suppose all of us take what we want from interviews/articles-

here’s a couple that I liked-

Macke77 Luis • 2 days ago −
Give all of their later LPs another chance. There is some great music on each one.

I think we hold the Strokes to an unreasonable standard. They’ve already achieved perfect; I’ll be happy as long as they continue to make good music.
1 •Reply•Share ›

The Strokes’s music radiates positive energy. It leaves you feeling great and upbeat about life. Barely Legal is the best song ever written about the self destructive vitality of youth. The Strokes music is so amazingly simple on the surface that it’s easy to miss the deeper meaning underneath the veneer. Their music is not for the art house hipsters who try so hard to be unique. The Strokes laugh at self importance.

Is This It is one of the best LPs of all time. The reason the Strokes don’t get the respect they deserve from the media is because of jealousy. Critics hear ITI and bash it because they know they can never create anything as great as that LP. The Strokes receive as much or more criticism as weak pop groups like Nickelback and Maroon 5 because they are so good it threatens the egos of hipster wannabes. Some people are pathetic. They can’t stand it when anyone does anything great.

Red Polygon • 3 days ago −
“I think our charm was the music.”
Opinions always vary on a band’s output, but whatever came afterward (and I found a lot of exciting moments on ‘Angles’, which I liked a lot more than the press led me to believe I would), I am grateful for that bolt from the blue that was their arrival.
14 •Reply•Share

22 squirrel October 31, 2013 at 3:56 am

@Annie 1251

“The Strokes music is so amazingly simple on the surface that it’s easy to miss the deeper meaning underneath the veneer. ”
“The Strokes laugh at self importance.”

Ooh, love those 2 sentences! If anything sums up The Strokes’ music & attitude towards the industry, it’s that imo.

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