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.