Interview: Nick Valensi Talks About ‘Angles’, Rallying The Troops

by Eric Van Dril · 10 comments

There are a lot of different things I find fascinating about Angles.

The evolution of all five members is one of those things, specifically how each decided to stop relying on Julian. I’m not sure how that will impact the sound of The Strokes, but I’m pretty certain — with the band’s musical tastes and Julian still in the fold — that it won’t decrease the quality.

Another thing that fascinates me is what was going through Nick’s mind as every member worked on, and released,  a solo album. With Julian absent from the In Avatar video, it seems like Nick was the driving force of those sessions. That’s just my opinion, but with a recent interview Nick gave to MySpace, it seems as if the solo records were a source of great frustration as Nick waited for The Strokes to work out their cliche rock ‘n’ roll band bullshit and recapture the Is This It magic.

Related, here are a few excerpts from that MySpace interview (sent to me via Marchelle)…

Do you foresee yourself writing more songs for the Strokes from here on out?

I always worked on other people’s songs and, to be honest, I still think that’s my strong suit—arranging and coming up with parts, coming up with directions for other people’s ideas. I still think that’s what I’m good at. In those five years off, no one in the band was writing songs for the band and I found myself trying to rally the troops several times. So I really felt like the best way for me to get my band back on track was to send them demos that I made. I thought that might excite them.. but it didn’t. At the very least, I got some of my music on the record.

What did it take for the Strokes to put aside their differences and finally get back together?

It took time.  Maybe everyone needed money or something. ‘We gotta pay our mortgage so may as well get this going again.’ The mood was and continues to be light and fun and playful, with mild undertones of hostility and resentment which is just the way of this band. When we hang out and when we work on stuff, it’s great but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t elements of hostility there. Undertones of hostility and resentment.

Where do the Strokes go from here?

We’ll see. At this point it’s out of my hands. I really just want to make another album really fast after this one. I just wanna kind of focus on new music for the future and just getting something out.

I really want to just get in a room with the band and share ideas . We really haven’t done that yet. I’ve been trying to rally the troops again. I don’t know exactly when we’re gonna do that. I’ve got a lot of ideas and Julian was telling me he’s got a lot of ideas.. So hopefully we’ll do that soon and it won’t be another five years before the next album comes out.

So if Nick comes out with a solo album, do you think The Strokes make Angles? Before reading this interview, did you view him as the savior of The Strokes? What about now?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 carla January 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I still consider Nikolai my patron saint :)

2 thevigilanteoflove January 24, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I am so happy that all of this is actually taking place. I can’t remember being this excited for anything in my eighteen short years of existence. ALSO, according to Wikipedia and some other sources, the first single, “Under Cover Of Darkness,” will be released on February 9! Sixteen days until a new Strokes song. It’s unreal.

3 kylma January 25, 2011 at 3:22 am

É realmente Nick você foi, eu não diria salvação mais sim a motivação que os Strokes faltava.

4 Brian Wallace January 25, 2011 at 6:30 am

I appreciate the band members’ honesty in all of this. I think if you read any of the things Julian or, right here, Nick said, you can tell that they still are close but there’s an uncurrent of tension.

And while tension and bitter feelings can tear a band apart, it can also help a band produce some of their best work. Name a great rock band that didn’t have tensions in it and STILL don’t have tensions in it. Beatles? Stones? The Smiths? Sex Pistols? U2? Queen? Aerosmith? Nirvana? Blur? Red Hot Chili Peppers? Led Zeppelin? ALL of those bands had members who didn’t get along at one point or another and the active ones STILL have members that sometimes don’t get along.

From great drama comes great art.

Thank you,

Brian Wallace

5 Steph January 25, 2011 at 8:45 am

I hope you’re right Brian. We all knew that they still had some tensions, but seriously, he used “resentment” and “hostility” a little too much in those answers. Scary. I would love it if the album booklet thingy (that’s what those are called, right?) would tell who wrote each song…I can’t wait to hear what all of the different contributions sound like fused together. It’s gotta be so strange and cool for all the members that are not Julian to hear their music or lyrics being played by the band.

6 patrick January 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm

This sounds terrible. im dreading this album more and more. Not positive at all, not at all.

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