I’ve been ignoring some of the Albert Hammond Jr. interviews that have been floating around the Internet — the ones that ask the same questions over and over — in the hope that something of substance would pop up.
Yesterday, one did.
The Talks did an unbelievable interview with Albert, one that I found to be suspenseful as I read it. It starts out light, talking about Albert’s path into the Strokes, before turning dark and diving into his addiction. The following three paragraphs really affected me, and I think it will do the same for you.
How did that (drug use) affect your bandmates?
What everyone tells me is that the friendship came before the band. Everyone just told me as a friend, “I don’t want to see you like this. Forget the band.” Such a big part of me is being in this band, it’s huge, but life isn’t all about what you do. I feel like our culture says, “You are what you make,” but I don’t believe that. So I think everyone was just more concerned that I was going to kill myself.
How close did you get?
I wasn’t going to kill myself on purpose, but you reach a point where you really just don’t see it and you just don’t care. It could have happened so easily so many times. I don’t even know how I kept on waking up. First you are at least measuring it. But by the end you are so shaky you are just mixing and pouring and sometimes you feel it. You push it in and you know it is too much and then your body goes into some kind of shake and you get extreme fear, like, “That’s it, I have done it, I have done too much. I am going to fall down.”
Would experiences like those scare you into cutting back for a little while?
No, that’s what’s crazy to me now. It does not scare you to stop or even make you consider. You are looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking, “I’ve done too much,” and you’re trying to stay focused to not black out. Then when it’s over you are like, “Okay cool,” and 15 minutes later you go back and do it again.