Read: Albert talks to ‘NME’ about his new EP, the Strokes

by Eric Van Dril · 240 comments

Albert is featured in an article in the NME, which you can read here — thanks Thom, Wolfsie and Cassidy. It’s pretty blurry in that link, however, so go here for a rough translation. Thanks for the translation, Maya.

Albert doesn’t offer very much insight as to the current state of the Strokes and the their thought process behind ‘Comedown Machine’. He said: “At some point we will do something and we will speak about it wholly and it will feel good. It just feels too one-sided or weird or not fun when it’s not coming as a group effort, but everything’s great, [Me and Julian Casablancas are] really good friends,” according to the translation.

NME led with a Strokes update, but then provides actual information about the things many of us Strokes fans can really sink our teeth into. Albert’s new EP will be released in September on Julian’s Cult label, and Albert calls it “the most aggressive stuff I’ve ever written. Two of the songs are really aggressive and I’m excited to play them live. Overall I feel like it’s the best stuff I’ve ever written by far,” according to the translation.

On why the EP is five songs, and not an entire album…

“I recorded a track with Gus Olberg, my producer. I showed it to Julian and he was like ‘Cool, let’s put out a single.’ I said, ‘I have one more,’ so we tried that too and before I knew it we were in danger of having a whole album. The idea was just to put something out sooner, because an album as a process is much, much bigger and we didn’t want to wait that long.” Sound-wise, the theme is variety. “Every song is a little different, but the common thread is my guitar playing,” says Hammond. “I have a solo in every one, which is really exciting. When my mom heard one of them, she was like ‘Oh wow, is that you playing?’ She meant it in a positive way!

The thing, to me, that stands out about this article is the following quote because of the context…

Albert says he doesn’t know if there will be a fall album to follow. “I just feel that the album and touring cycle is just so…” he trails off. “I figure things out with Julian, and we can do things pretty fast. Waiting five months to put something out that you’ve just spent five months doing is feeling a little old.”

The reason this intrigues me is because The Strokes are free agents now, open to sign with whomever they please. They could go the Radiohead route, where they release their stuff online and a physical version of the album months later.

They could also try to do something even more radical, like become the musical version of Louis CK. CK has become the equivalent to an indie rock band in the comedy world. He released his concert video on his website for $5, and he also chose to play non-Ticketmaster theaters in order to keep ticket prices low.

The Strokes don’t have a Radiohead-type track record where they openly buck the system. They have become very self-sufficient in recent years, however; Albert has a music studio in upstate New York and Julian has his own label.

It’ll be very interesting to see The Strokes’ next move.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 the modern age August 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm

@Anthony, All of the things you mentioned ^ depend on the opinion of the listener.

2 Anthony August 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm

@The modern age- I disagree, sory. Unfortunately, you can have a wrong opinion of something, an opinion that is untrue. This is something people struggle with also, particularly with music. Nearly everyone would agree with the statement “Sharknado is a bad movie” Just because you love sharknado and think it’s the best movie ever, unfortunately, doesn’t make it true. That would make you wrong. People say “it’s just up to opinion” in regards to music, when in reality there is intrinsically good and bad music, just like there are undoubtedly good and bad movies, etc. Tell me with certainty, opinions aside, that a song like “You’re so right” is of the same quality as “The End Has No End.” You can’, because it’s just not. It’s not as if all songs are of equal quality and it’s up to the masses to determine what is good and what isn’t. Not all music is equal, just like The Godfather is a better movie than Sharknado.

3 squirrel August 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm


Taste is incredibly subjective, and thank heavens for that. For instance, 50/5o was almost unanimously praised in almost all reviews I read. I also don’t think this — “Alex Turner has never written anything so difficult to listen to” — is necessarily a positive thing or an indication of great talent, and it’s definitely not something *I* look for in a songwriter.

I also completely disagree with the concept of “inherently and/or objectively correct opinions”; almost every notion of good quality/bad quality (as well as aesthetics in general) are dictated by society in a particular moment in time. Society evolves & so do these opinions and concepts — proof of this is that countless pieces of art, music, film, etc. were discarded as utterly useless in a given era & eventually considered masterpieces later. Anyone who wasn’t raised in the wild & belongs to some sort of society isn’t immune to its influence, and that *will* dictate one’s idea of good & bad (quality-wise). To deny that is at best naïve and at worst presumptuous imo.

4 Gibson August 21, 2013 at 1:28 pm

In this situation, the opinion of the listener is what really counts. I’m Pretty sure there is no scientific method to classify a good or bad song. Its all up to the listeners taste

5 good August 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm

so its coming out oct. 8? let’s buy it. SUPPORT CULT.

but anyway reviews are pointless, everyone hear has heard it, no reason to spend time writing about it. I mean opinions are going to be different, it’s music, it’s more of a feeling than words. We all have our own perceptions and feelings towards the music.

6 Andres August 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm

01 Cooker Ship
02 Strange Tidings
03 Carnal Cruise
04 Rude Customer
05 St. Justice

7 the modern age August 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm

@Anthony, An opinion cannot be either true or untrue.

I’m excited for AHJ and I’m exited he’s releasing it through Cult. If he does end up touring I’m going to try and go see him.

8 coconuts August 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm

so you can find out why he was so grumpy haha j/k 🙂

9 heather August 21, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I wasn’t disappointed in the least with Two Kinds of Happiness. In fact, it’s one of the best songs on Angles in my opinion. I love the chorus, especially when the guitars kick in. My favorite part of the song.

10 the modern age August 21, 2013 at 5:23 pm

@heather, I agree 🙂 I think it’s beautiful and the layering he used is nice. I like working out the rhythms for myself.
@coconut, lol! I’d like another chance to say hi when he’s hopefully not in a hurry 🙂 I liked Yours to Keep a lot so I’m interested in what this EP is going to sound like. I particularly like that he mentioned a lot of guitar solos. He’s a fantastic at playing rhythm guitar with TS, but it would be fun to see him in the spot light as well.

11 squirrel August 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm – Quite possibly the best video on YouTube, y/y? 🙂

12 the modern age August 21, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Squirrel, LOVE it!

13 Gibson August 21, 2013 at 5:58 pm

I will wake up in the morning smiling thanks to that video. Thank you squirrel. Thank you

14 The Strokes unofficial August 21, 2013 at 9:50 pm

hahahah chill guys chill!! just because he said the next song is glass I’ll leave this little video of him playing it live 😉

15 squirrel August 22, 2013 at 4:33 am

@tma, @Gibson, @TS unofficial — Haha such a great little video, isn’t it?! I always watch it when I need cheering up. And I love that keyboard-only performance of Glass!

Here’s another great video – – it’s really fun trying to guess each song based on a few chords only!

16 the modern age August 22, 2013 at 6:51 am

All these posts are making me so happy! I love that Glass video so much.

17 Matt August 22, 2013 at 8:32 am

One of my favorites,

I never knew Har Mar Superstar was onstage either.

18 JRO August 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Anyone else going to the show tonight?

19 Gibson August 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm

I loved the Ask me Anything part.

20 TuPapi August 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm

In terms of the songwriting, I’m hearing more of the pro-Julian comments than ever… Is this mostly bc of the bands silence and hindered group dynamic (which could be mostly due to shared songwriting) or does Julians recent work echo loud enough to remind you who’s boss? (ie instant crush; phrazes)??

I’m curious to hear your responses.

21 Sarah August 22, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Happy Birthday to Julian:
Life’s complicated, thankfully there is music to accompany it…

22 Gibson August 22, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I say Julian was and still is the boss. Not only does is show on instant crush and Phrazes, but on Is this It and Room on Fire

23 LillySu August 22, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Where do you hear those comments? If it’s so, I’m more than happy. He deserves it. Instant Crush has surely launched his name in some new circles. RAM is wildly popular and I suppose a lot of DP fans heard name Julian Casablancas for the first time. I guess some of them checked his/TS music and hopefully liked it. I think that if someone liked RAM there is a big chance he’ll like at least Phrazes & Comedown Machine.

Thing that makes me happy is a constant growth of YT views of TS videos, most of all YOLO’s. Now it’s over 21 million.

24 Wolfsie August 22, 2013 at 11:43 pm

So, who went last nite to see Albert? Please give us the details!!

25 squirrel August 23, 2013 at 5:27 am

Do you mean here or in general? As far as I’m concerned, I’ve always been pro-Julian so no change there since 2001. 🙂
Completely agree with LillySu. I also think that when he was younger he used to have this asshole-ish image everyone associated him with (and the band in general, to a lesser extent) — especially at the height of the hype, because of his drinking & subsequent behaviour, the privileged upbringing thing everyone obsessed about, plain jealousy, etc. — which has now almost completely faded, so maybe that’s also why we hear more favourable things about him now? I don’t know.

I’m also really interested!! @JRO (and everyone else who was also there), please tell us how it went!

26 squirrel August 23, 2013 at 5:32 am

By the way, I created this Jules-inspired mixtape or playlist or whatever; it’s basically a bunch of music he’s mentioned throughout the years in interviews and whatnot, stuff he used to like / is into now, inspirations and influences, that sort of thing. I figured it was a cute way of celebrating the man’s b-day. 🙂 So, in case you’re interested, here it is –

Oh, and happy birthday Jules!

27 the modern age August 23, 2013 at 7:43 am

Please read guys… it’s about Sam.

If anyone is interested or hasn’t read it, here is a link to the 2nd edition of Sam’s book The Origin of Inspiration. Sam, Jeanette and Julian promoted this so much- and for good reason. I was there, I talked to him about it, and I’ve read it. It’s amazing. And Julian’s forward is so genuine. He says in the forward that reading this book is like listening to Sam talk- and it’s true, I could tell from watching the film. No matter your intended interpretation, I HIGHLY recommend it. Here ya go… (support The Strand) I’m working through it for the second time so, forgive me, but I’m excited to share this with people I hope will enjoy it too 🙂

One more thing about Sam, I really enjoyed the film and so did Annie. The director said it’s going to be on You Tube at some point so look out for it 🙂 Eric, maybe you can make a post about it since it has so much to do with Julian, but idk. Whatever you want, but like I said, I’m just happy about it.

He also posts a lot of great things on FB so He’s one of the nicest people I think I’ve ever met.

28 the modern age August 23, 2013 at 7:51 am

Tu Papi, I love your question, and there have been a lot of great posts about it. I won’t retype what y’all said b/c I could write a book about this. But I will say, IMO Julian should have a large amount of influence on the band. I prefer his music, although I appreciate the others’ as well. I think they’re ALL evolving, and I think that’s what they all want. I also think they’ve learned from Julian, b/c if they hadn’t CM wouldn’t be as fantastic as it is, but I also think that at this point the ALL want to work together. That’s just my opinion.

Also, I also don’t see this blackout lasting much longer. I think after Albert tours something else will happen; however if it’s another year, it’s another year. Idk. Albert says things with TS move slowly, like a big ship, and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing if that’s what they need. You can’t rush that kind of magic. Like their music, it’ll be in some form we don’t expect, and I’m excited to see what that is.

29 the modern age August 23, 2013 at 7:51 am

Happy birthday Julian!

30 squirrel August 23, 2013 at 7:53 am

I already bought the book (from Strand), received it on Monday & will start reading it this weekend!
Can’t wait to watch the short film and would love a post about it! 🙂

31 the modern age August 23, 2013 at 8:05 am

@squirrel, I LOVE your tumblr post (followed, btw). Thank you for making that, and thanks for sharing it.

I’m happy to hear about your recent purchase 🙂 I put it all over FB today. I can’t help it! I’m enjoying it so much and I’m a sap, so there 😛

32 Anthony C August 23, 2013 at 8:16 am

Was at the show last night…was great. Fab DJ’d, Albert rocked and sounded awesome. I’ll give more details in a bit.

33 squirrel August 23, 2013 at 8:20 am

@the modern age
Thanks!! Hope you enjoy it, I’m listening to it now & it’s a fun and eclectic collection of songs. Julian sure has an interesting taste. 🙂 And followed you back!

Yeah, I’d been meaning to buy the book since JC started promoting it, but it was that super awesome post of yours (and annie 1251’s, iirc) that finally made me do it! And I’m so glad I waited for the 2nd edition, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten the 2 new essays + Julian’s foreword.

34 the modern age August 23, 2013 at 8:27 am

@squirrel, cool! I can’t wait to put it together. I’m glad you liked the post- I wish I’d talked more about Sam in it, I was just in complete shock. But I’m glad it was enough to make you interested.

35 the modern age August 23, 2013 at 8:28 am

My blog is beyond lame, so sorry 🙂 Idkhtf it all works 1/2 the time.

36 squirrel August 23, 2013 at 9:19 am

@the modern age
Not lame at all, love it! 🙂

Two more awesome things: a YouTube video I found of Albert’s performance yesterday – (one of my fave songs of his!) & someone on Twitter told me – “fab was there & so was binki. asked binki about a possible second little joy and album and it might happen!” (how fantastic would that be?!).

37 the modern age August 23, 2013 at 10:14 am

@squirrel, Thanks 🙂 I wanted a blog to use for other things like artwork, but I never got into it. This is just so easy to play on.

AWESOME about more possible LJ!! I’ve gotten into them recently and really enjoy their music. Binki has a really nice voice. Thanks for the video too.

38 Gibson August 23, 2013 at 11:31 am

Just purchased my copy (from The Strand). It will be interesting reading a piece of work written by a man who had a impact on such a important JC

39 the modern age August 23, 2013 at 11:52 am

@Gibson, 🙂

40 LillySu August 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Glad Albert sounds awesome. Hope for silence auction to get enough money for the cause. That’s the most important.

Happy Birthday Julian!

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