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.”