Nikolai and Julian Play Soccer Together In A Very Optimistic Strokes Interview

by Eric Van Dril · 28 comments

Little known fact: Julian plays soccer holding a mic stand and wearing his shades.

At this point in The Strokes’ press tour there have been a host of negative stories/interviews and rightfully so. The band nearly broke up, after all.

Shortlist has published a new interview that, in my mind, balances out the super-negative Pitchfork story. The Strokes seem optimistic about the future, but still, every Strokes piece needs to start with talking about how bad things were…

Still, did any of you get frustrated over the long wait?

Nick Valensi: Yeah, there were definitely points of frustration for me. Other members of the band said they weren’t into working just yet, and I couldn’t really relate to that.

NF: There was a lot of stopping and starting. In 2007, Fab, Nick and I went into the studio a few times to try to get the ball rolling again. But after the third time when Albert wasn’t there, or someone else wasn’t there, it was clear a longer break was necessary.

AH: [Laughs] I had no idea.

Still, as the band fought and Julian removed himself, the band breaking up never seemed all that close to happening in the eyes of the five Strokes.

Was there a time when you thought The Strokes were over?

NF: Yeah, because time was getting on and we’re getting older.

NV: It did seem like a possibility. I definitely had that thought cross my mind and it was unsettling to say the least. But I confronted that thought. I was very open about it. I spoke to everyone and they were very reassuring.

JC: I never thought of it in those terms. I would never do anything to break up the band.

Did you still hang out and remain friends during the time away?

NV: Fab and I probably hang out the most. We are really, really, really close friends. We’ve hung out almost every day during that five-year period.

AH: We’d all see each other every couple of months. We started slowly doing the communication which led to us needing to be away from each other to let it all sink in. You can’t force that. We had to build a new foundation – The Strokes 2.0.

Ah, The Strokes 2.0… I like that. The Strokes 2.0 apparently play soccer together…

But you did see each other?

NF: Julian and I used to play sports together as kids, and in 2008 we played in a soccer league for a while. Not field soccer – four-on-four [five-a-side] stuff.

JC: We were in division three, which was the worst, but we were champions. We got a trophy. It’s in Livonia – the restaurant. The bar’s run by our goalie. He was awesome.

NF: It’s a bunch of people who aren’t that good, but they have passion. They’re violent. I bruised a rib and was out for three weeks.

The article goes on and talk about rock star excess, getting recognized by the fan girls and lavish purchases. And then Shortlist ends with getting our hopes up and starting this whole process over again…

Finally, are you going to leave it as long before the next Strokes album?

JC: I think we’re going to start working on stuff as soon as possible. We were supposed to already, but it took longer than expected to master the album. I didn’t want to work on Strokes No 5 until Strokes No 4 was done.

NF: Personally, I don’t ever want to stop making new albums. If we take another break, and I really hope we don’t, it won’t be something in my control.

NV: There’s material in the works. We have a lot of music stockpiled so, in terms of content, we’re in a good place right now. If I had it my way, we’d have another album out by the end of this year.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kimdiy March 16, 2011 at 9:49 am

I must say after reading the abundance of interviews the past week or so, Nick V. is like the most excitable and positive about making more music…so I say let’s go with Nick’s plan and have a new album out by Christmas. That way, the Strokes can be nominated for multiple awards in one year with two different albums. hahaha that’d be a first right?

2 Ema March 16, 2011 at 10:18 am

Soooo great. They seem to have great time together, Julian is SMILING (still can’t believe it) and these things about a fifth album… Even if I don’t think it’ll be out this year, it’s so great to know there will be one. The band is now they’re priority right ?
I hope Spin interview will be as good as this one !

3 Nick March 16, 2011 at 10:20 am

i say let’s have it Valensi’s way. haha new record out by the end of 2011 would be badass! also i say let Valensi keep contributing, he’s credited with the best songs on the record. Julian has his Life is Simple in the Moonlight though which is lovely.

4 Kimdiy March 16, 2011 at 10:27 am

I like how Julian doesn’t shy away from giving himself credit: “What’s your favourite song on the album?” JC: Life is Simple in the Moonlight.
But hey, that’s just being honest cuz who wouldn’t pick their own song?

5 Cory March 16, 2011 at 10:29 am

“If I had it my way, we’d have another album out by the end of this year.”

Cool! Let’s just make it sound different then Angles this time, eh?

6 thevigilanteoflove March 16, 2011 at 10:57 am

*I posted this in the last thread, and I was hoping I could still get an answer if anybody knows. I’m using the Reptilia video as an example in class, and I need some clarification. If you don’t or just don’t care that’s fine, but any help is appreciated.*

Okay. This comment is totally unrelated to this post at all, but I’ve looked everywhere else I can think of for the answer already? What type of shoes is Julian wearing in the Reptilia video at 2:10?

I am writing a paper for a music in American culture course, and I am discussing The Strokes and the impact that their look and music had on the music industry and American culture, so if anybody knows what type of shoes those are, it would be greatly appreciated.

7 EAT SHIT, CORY. March 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

Seriously. Also, “better THAN…”

8 White Leather Penny Loafers March 16, 2011 at 11:02 am

And I’m pretty sure that’s Albert.

9 Mary Shea March 16, 2011 at 11:07 am

Playing soccer with them would be so sweet. I bet they’re awful! hahah this was indeed a great, positive interview.

…Then again, in that banner Nikolai’s creepin’ me the fuck out. Perhaps he could utilize that creepy factor as a tactic were we ever to face each other in a four v. four pick up match.

10 thevigilanteoflove March 16, 2011 at 11:10 am

Thanks! And it might be Albert. I just thought it was Julian since he was by the microphone stand.

11 Brian Wallace March 16, 2011 at 11:19 am

Rolling Stone gave it 4 stars out of 5.

Thank you,

Brian Wallace

12 White Leather Penny Loafers March 16, 2011 at 11:21 am

You know what? It might be Julian. Didn’t notice the mic stand. I just figured he usually wears sneakers, and Albert seems to be in suit. But who knows…

13 Kimdiy March 16, 2011 at 11:33 am

not to sound like a total dork, but the white shoes are Julian’s. I believe the black dress shoes are Albert’s. One: the white shoes are worn, as is the white belt worn by Julian which fits his style more than Albert’s clean cut dress suits. Second: the white shoes are standing by the mic, cuz after the tempo picks up and they cut more and more to the shoes in the last minute of the video, the feet/shoes are expressing what the voice is saying (don’t know how else to explain that).
or am i just being a creeper? lol

14 Ema March 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

Totally agree with you Kimdiy, white shoes + blue socks are Julian’s. Albert wouldn’t wear old & dirty shoes.
But don’t know the brand/type… Julian’s shoes are often a big mystery.

15 wolfman March 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm

wow, 4/5 is the same score rs gave is this it!

16 AunomdelaFrance March 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Be careful if you buy Strokes-like shoes… Hard to look good with if you’re not a famous rockstar.

17 Julianne March 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I love the intense conversation regarding Julian’s shoes. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who notices these types of things in the music videos.

18 Carolyn March 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm

a nice feel-good interview. and i’m really diggin the top of the webpage.

19 annie March 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm

What a lovely Strokes day – beautiful interview, sweet RS review and that funky Nikolai smile.

20 jules March 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm

now that everybody’s talking about julian’s shoes, does anybody know what kind of adidas he has?

21 Sam March 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm

alright. this is more like it! i love this interview soo much

22 Christine March 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Aww, this is one of the cutest interviews I’ve ever read.
Definitely LOLed at Albert being a fat cooking dork and Fab wearing Binki’s clothes.
Thanks for posting this, Eric!

23 Gwen Madden March 17, 2011 at 7:18 am

Now, this is the stuff I enjoy reading. Thanks for sharing these great interview. So stocked!!! I dont have Angles but I’m already dying to get Album #5! I missed The Strokes so mcuh :)!

24 D March 20, 2011 at 10:59 am

That would be awesome but i just hope it sounds different from angles

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