Read: Two Interviews With Albert Hammond Jr.

by Eric Van Dril · 10 comments

Albert on the Venison show, which he says will be much warmer than Bonnaroo (How can you watch The Strokes? Click here.) this weekend…

“We’ve played much hotter than that,” he says. “We did a secret show in England at this bar and it was so hot that the walls were sweating. Everyone in the venue looked like they jumped in a pool. People were passing out. You needed an umbrella it was raining that much from the ceiling. My whole suit was covered… but you can’t really take that off.”


And then Albert on his drug use, how it was portrayed in the media and the consequences set forth by his bandmates if he didn’t go to rehab…

“I read that Q interview and I thought it was just the funniest thing,” he says. “It’s hilarious. It’s like reading a script about a caricature of yourself.”

He may have been inclined to laugh it off but his bandmates weren’t of the same viewpoint. According to Valensi, it got to the stage where Hammond was spending most of his day in a stupor, too out if it to work, or too hungover to care.

A few weeks into the recording, The Strokes delivered an ultimatum: pull yourself together or deal with the consequences (the consequences, it was intimated, would not be to his liking). Hammond Jr packed his stuff and left for rehab the next morning.

“It’s kind of complex, man,” he says of the period. “Obviously I have an addictive personality. Or if I didn’t, I definitely woke something that was dormant in my body. I think it’s a cycle — you are unhappy and then you have this stuff that takes the edge off your insecurities and your fears.

“Before long, it starts to get the better of you. It’s a vicious circle. The two things — your insecurities and your addiction — almost join together and create a very strong force that is ultimately very negative.”


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 heather June 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm

It just wouldn’t be the same Strokes without Albert. I’m glad he was able to get himself together.

2 Carlos V June 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm


3 Getting In Gear June 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I think not only is he getting himself together, but he is mastering the interview. He seems to be doing most of them and he is getting better and better. He has a sly sense of humor and that translates great for The Strokes.

I think The Strokes are back on track and well on their way to being awesome for the NEXT ten years.

He’s a good spokesperson, too. Now. He stunk there for a while.

Everything seems like it is coming together for The Strokes. They were a little slow out of the gate at first but they are looking good now in every sense, including INTERVIEWS.

GOOD JOB, ALBERT. (do you think they read this? )

4 Sarah June 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm

]@GIG They’ll surely never see it, it’s great to write it regardless 😉

5 annie June 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm

These were nice interviews – thanks for posting! I like that some of the hysteria has calmed down in the media – or what they were saying to them has. He didn’t quite convince me that they aren’t just doing it for the contract/ financial ties but Albert really does seem to have gained some perspective on the situation and i’m glad he can manage to withold any band bashing. It’s still so weird that he and Nikolai have pretty much become the spokespeople for the band. It jsut has to be down to the writing credits or something because I think those two wrote least for Angles so they must have some thing between them that they’d take up the bulk of the press work to make up for it. Fab seems to have had a lot of writing credit, alongside obviously Julian. I find it hard to get over the almost total silence from Fab.
Anyway, i’m still holding out for Julian’s “amazing vision”!

6 annie June 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Also, sad as it is I was a little excited that Albert tweeted about Julian’s Buddy Holly cover, just because it was sweet.

7 Jim June 10, 2011 at 6:12 pm

@annie That’s a good point, that Albert and Nikolai didn’t write as much so they have to deal with the press’s bullshit.

8 Eric Van Dril June 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm

@Annie — I think there’s something to your theory about the writing credits. Although Fab not being involved in any interviews is kind of puzzling. Maybe his role within the band was vital.

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