The Strokes oral history everybody should read

by Eric Van Dril · 47 comments

Today, Vulture published an excerpt from Lizzie Goodman’s Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City, 2001–2011. It’s an oral history of The Strokes, beginning in 2002.

Check out the full oral history here. And buy the book!

Here’s a sample.

Albert Hammond Jr.: Ryan [Adams] would always come and wake me at two in the morning and have drugs, so I’d just do the drugs and kind of numb out. I knew I would shoot up drugs from a very young age. I’d been wanting to do heroin since I was 14 years old.

Albert Hammond Jr.: I remember Julian threatening to beat Ryan [Adams] up if he hung out with me, as a protective thing. He’d heard that Ryan would come and give me heroin, so he was just like, “If you come to my apartment again with heroin, I’m going to kick your ass.” I hadn’t really been doing it in baggie form until Ryan showed up. He was definitely a bad influence.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 QBridges May 15, 2017 at 8:20 pm

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2 Pete Meinthbathroom May 16, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Great excerpt. Really gets some never heard or not so well-known perspectives and stories from that time. I do plan on buying the book.

3 wilson May 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Great post!

4 Fonze May 16, 2017 at 3:43 pm

I couldn’t find the link or where to purchase the book. any help.

5 Dillon May 16, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Really fascinating article. Very bittersweet thought.

6 Dillon May 16, 2017 at 4:50 pm


7 Annie 1251 May 16, 2017 at 6:10 pm

@ Fonze & anyone interested

I tried to buy it from The Strand -but the site kept saying it was not available.
The author is doing a book signing there on May 23.

I bought a copy in advance from Amazon –

Here is a great book review from them here:

8 Brian Wallace May 17, 2017 at 11:47 am

That excerpt is really sad. It’s almost like they are speaking of a band who had to stop because a member died. Like Nirvana.

Also, and I have to be careful when I say this, but certain people with addictions are not the most honest people. Meaning, I don’t buy Ryan Adam’s “Who ME?!?!? I would NEVER have given someone heroin!” attitude for a second.


9 Miguel May 17, 2017 at 1:32 pm

It’s funny how Ryan Adams says he doesn’t do drugs socially and before that he tells a story about how once they were all smoking pot and he probably did some cocaine too…It’s a great read tho

10 dom May 18, 2017 at 2:18 pm

Much cooler to me that they never got mainstream and huge.

11 Mike P May 19, 2017 at 12:40 am

Funny thing is, they did get huge. Just way after the fact. They are at their most popular right now. The Angles festival shows followed by the scattered dates after Comedown Machine have actually helped them. I guess overexposure hurts sometimes! They just played their biggest shows ever in South America. But no, they’ve never sold a ton of records. Seem to be a band everyone knows and downloads, though.

12 Mourad May 19, 2017 at 7:53 am

I do agree with Mike, The Strokes have come to be one of the most (un?)famous acts of the present era. The headlining of major festivals speaks for itself.
That being said, I really wonder if they can have this much of attention and success on their own tour (if ever they’re doing it again).

13 gS May 19, 2017 at 9:33 am

Great insight into what really went on. It’s like they defeated themselves. They never really wanted to own the hype. The hype is part of making it big, and they pushed back on all marketing opportunities. They were they real deal, and not just hype. In the end, they “made it” without the help of the hype, however it’s like they wanted to be bigger, but yet acted like they didn’t. I think in the end they only have themselves to blame for their perceived short comings. The Strokes will always be too cool for anything, and I’m not mad.

14 Miguel May 19, 2017 at 10:21 am

I agree I think there is no band in they’re position right now, they’re huge enough to headline big festivals and shit but they still maintain the cool of a more underground act because they don’t really appear on mainstream channels that much, not like Jack White or the Foo Fighters, and for me that makes them even cooler…They choose where they want to go with their sound in each release and their shows are crazy even tho there’s not much going on with the lights on stage… they don’t need that because their songs speak for themselves and the fans feel that. They will alway be the coolest band in my book.

15 AutomaticStop May 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Plenty of time for them to make another masterpiece and save rock again, or at least become the top rock band in the world. They are in a good position for that! Just need to come together to make inspired music, and hope that’s enough to make a major impact. With RoF, they made an album that should’ve been a huge hit, a record everyone should know, that can be played from start to finish anytime. But it never had the impact it should’ve. Maybe they could’ve sold out a bit more to promote it, but can’t hold that against them. If ROF didn’t cause that impact, nothing they could’ve done after was going to get it done. It’s a problem of the world, not the Strokes, a problem with music today and what audiences want. But hey, they just played to 90,000 in Argentina, they are in a good place to come back better than ever! Look forward to that.

16 Joseph A May 19, 2017 at 5:11 pm

They make better music than most bands out there. They’re making money. Albert’s clean. Seems like everything turned out ok.

17 Sean May 21, 2017 at 4:24 pm has an interview with beardo where he confirms voidz 2 will be out this year or early next year, his interview starts at around the 4 minute mark. Get hyped

18 yeah May 22, 2017 at 12:36 am

you know I was really hoping that it would come out this summer, I hope the new strokes album comes out this summer.

This is actually a really important time in their careers. If they want to continue to headline the biggest festivals this next album has to be good, like reallly good, reallly good.

and voidz 2 is going to decide if julian can keep his solo career with the voidz. Tyranny flopped in sales and they also had to cancel their tour. It was bad. this next album is going to see if the voidz can do it.

like people are really going to see if julian casablancas was just hype or if he can actually do something amazing, people are still going to argue if the strokes are hype or actually amazing. These next two projects by julian are going to define the direction hes headed in.

Will he become a flop? or is he the catchy indie rock genius we thought he was. wtf is going to happen with the next strokes album and voidz album? what will they sound like ? where is the band going? this article almost made strokes seem like a thing of the past.

19 Yung Zone May 22, 2017 at 7:14 am

so beardo says we’ll get voidz 2 in the next six months. i fucking hope so. on that schedule we’ll get confirmation/promo starting by the end of the summer at the latest

20 Pete MeInTheBathroom May 26, 2017 at 7:14 am

If anyone is interested, the talk this book’s author, Lizzy Goodman, did with LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, journalist Rob Scheffield, and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s guitarist Nick Zinner at NYC’s Strand Bookstore this past Tuesday is available here:

I was able to attend and it was a really fun and candid discussion about that era and the origin and process of making the book. If you are on this site and reading this comment, you will dig the discussion and book.

Also fun and to note, Ryan Gentles, Aziz Ansari, and Seth Meyers were in attendance just as viewers in the small, 200/or so max capacity, room along with a few other notable music journalists and Lower East Side celebrities of the time.

21 Joseph A May 27, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Anyone else seeing Nick Cave in Asheville next month?

22 chicadoro May 31, 2017 at 10:00 am

@Joseph A
Wish I could, but way busy with work and other obligations. Tell us about it, if you go and are inclined.

23 Joseph A May 31, 2017 at 11:56 am

@chicadoro I will tell everyone about it.

Hey, everyone!

JC+The Voidz are releasing a single through adultswim’s Singles Program

24 Yung Zone June 1, 2017 at 8:05 am

i think its gonna be one a week over a whole year though so it could be soon but it could be a long time before jc’s turn come sup.

anybody got a schedule of how adult swims gonna release the songs?

25 Joseph A June 1, 2017 at 7:26 pm
26 Jon June 2, 2017 at 5:35 am
27 Miguel June 2, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Who else is diggin the new Arcade Fire track? Such an awesome melody!

28 LillySu June 5, 2017 at 11:45 am

I digg it. I deeply loved early AF, then started to loose interest during Suburbs and they lost me during their work with James Murphy. This could be nice again.

29 Has this been it? June 7, 2017 at 1:19 pm

New Growlers’ song on Cult

30 SpruceBringsteen June 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm

The new phoenix is lit!

31 machupicchu June 8, 2017 at 8:22 pm

phoenix – telefono is so strokesque

32 LeavingIt June 9, 2017 at 11:24 pm

I am 100% sure that JCasablancas VEVO YT site is not legitimately associated with JC, TS, or Cult. But it was a fun little “trailer”.

Re the Vulture article– God, if you really want to read something depressing, read the comments that followed. Why all the Strokes hate? A flash in the pan??? No talented musicians except Julian? Spoiled rich kids who never worked a day? Who ARE these people??? There were only one or two people who had any words of support.

33 Oh Shit Bacon June 17, 2017 at 4:25 am

New QOTSA, new Arcade Fire, new Phoenix, new National, new LCD Soundsystem, new Radiohead, new Beach House, new War of Drugs, new Alt-J, new Perfume Genius, new Pains of Being Pure at Heart, new Killers…..

But no new Strokes 🙁

The world needs a new Strokes, at least my world.

34 thundermaier June 19, 2017 at 12:08 am
35 Yung Zone June 19, 2017 at 7:17 am

i read half the book and its aight nothing that interesting so far

36 Thundermaier June 19, 2017 at 6:59 pm

a newer song. chegg it

37 Thundermaier June 19, 2017 at 7:13 pm
38 Jon June 26, 2017 at 11:39 am
Sounds like a Voidz track

39 for what it's worth July 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm

“Holy shit 39… I wonder if this is the one that does the trick”

“I mean I’m gonna check anyway but”

Just wanted to leave a comment before anything big goes down. It could be any day now when even just a sign of life could alter the current mindset which seems stagnant now. At this point, the more waiting, the better. Everything will sink in better. Anybody with me?

40 Casanegras July 7, 2017 at 3:31 am

good one! Exactly how it feels right now… 🙂

41 Jason July 7, 2017 at 9:08 am

Yup, agreed! Sorry to those who think these new comments are news…

42 Ted July 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm

No news is good news !
Nick said that they were putting some final touches on things when they were in South America. Recording in secret things, ep or full Lp, that’s what i’m trying to guess nowadays.

43 Thundermaier July 13, 2017 at 1:56 am
44 Jon July 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Does anyone know which track Julian contributes to on Shabazz Palaces new albums

45 lessie July 15, 2017 at 7:04 am

Dear Jon,

did some research to find out what you were talking about.
this what I came up with:

Regarding your collaborators, the press notes say “appearing here in body or in spirit.” Did you work with Julian Casablancas or is he one of the “in spirit” ones?
We like each other and we’ve been circling around each other for a while. He took Shabazz on tour with the Voidz. He’s always been a supporter. I love what he does and his s— too, even back since the Strokes. We wanted to work together. We tried to do it, but it didn’t work out because of timing and this and that. We wanted to be together in the studio. He sent the stuff back, we jammed on it for a little while, but it didn’t make it onto the album. Not because it wasn’t good, we just didn’t get the chance to get it right. We were emailing back and forth and he was like, “Man, my dream would be to have you sing instead of me on this thing.” I ended up doing some singing on it and that’s why I called the song “Julian’s Dream.”

46 Jon July 15, 2017 at 9:25 am

Ah thanks for info I did think that song would be the collaboration because of the name reference but didn’t seem obvious when listening, but that all makes sense now.

47 Miguel July 20, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Hey guys! Here’s a a podcast with Fab and David Cross haven’t watched it yet but seems like fun

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