Watch: Albert Hammond Jr. and Ryan Gentles Talk About Being Signed By Rough Trade In A 2009 BBC Documentary

by Eric Van Dril · 26 comments

Geoff Travis: “We decided that we would make another attempt to buy the name back. And so we started and the first thing we did was sign The Strokes.”

I love this clip, which I hadn’t seen before tonight.

(h/t @taniastroker on Twitter)

From this interview comes the following excerpt…

You started your touring outside the U.S. despite being an American rock band. Why?

Julian: Because there was one fucking person in the music business who cared about what we were doing and his name is Geoff Travis, from Rough Trade Records in the UK. He said, come out to my hood and tour and get this shit together. We partied, then went to England and started touring. I think American labels are so interested in pop music, MTV, making money and not too interested in art. We were lucky enough to find a guy who noticed us. Then fans started reacting to it. That made American bozos say, like, yeah, I dig it too!
Albert: What we’re trying to say is THANK YOU GEOFF TRAVIS.
Julian: You’re the man!
Nick: Isn’t he the lead singer of Travis?

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 denis August 11, 2011 at 8:21 am

“MTV, making money and not too interested in art” word.

2 pbandj August 11, 2011 at 9:32 am

Agreed, @denis. That quote stood out the most to me as well. I think there’s a reason the UK has produced so many great artists considering how small it’s population is relative to the U.S. I think they actually care about *gasp* the quality of music. It would explain why all my favorite bands are way more popular over there than they are here.

3 Brie August 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Where is that live performance of Last Nite from? I’ve never seen it.

4 tyler August 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm


Thats shit actually. Yeah sure the uk has produced great artist and sent over two british invasions, the 60’s and the 80’s but all they have ever done really is copy off of american black artist. There i said it.

5 andres August 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm
6 pbandj August 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm

@tyler Fair enough. But in fairness to all rock and roll artists, both American and English, they all originally stole their styles from black American artists. I think you kind of took my comment in a weird direction. I simply meant that today in the UK, bands that actually have talent are really popular. Here, not so much.

7 Max August 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm

@Brie I think it’s from a 2006(?) ish Jools Holland performance.

8 Tank August 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Here the link to Last Night on Jools 2006

9 heather August 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm

@pbandj-That’s so true. I’ve noticed that most of my favorite bands are more popular over there too. In fact, I was actually introduced to the Strokes’ music by an Englishman who visiting the States for the first time.

10 b August 11, 2011 at 9:43 pm

This is great. Does anyone know what happened to the Taken for a fool music vid? Seems like they shot it forever ago!

11 Other Bobby August 12, 2011 at 6:33 am

Why does Albert have a new album coming out?! What about the band?!!!! I hope he doesn’t tour. Why isn’t his new website a new topic?! It seems clear he’s going to do another solo thing.

12 Gogo August 12, 2011 at 7:16 am

I wish it was Julian who made a new solo thing instead of albert….

13 D-J-S August 12, 2011 at 9:39 am

I don’t think it is a new album coming out. that video was to promote the launch of his website hence ‘a new way to experience albert hammond jr.’

14 Skye August 12, 2011 at 11:53 am

Yeah, I just think Albert’s video is about a new website. Even if he wants to do another solo album, it certainly wouldn’t be coming “sometime in 2011.” I’m looking forward to checking out the site.

15 Brie August 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Thanks Max and Tank!

16 Alucius August 12, 2011 at 9:04 pm

@b It came out a while ago. It’s on their Vevo page.

17 saywhat August 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Does anyone have an audio rip of that Belfort show? Can’t seem to find one, and it was such an amazing performance

18 Tank August 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Shit i missed the summer sonic stream on
Did anyone happen to record it? I wish I knew it was streaming, that shoulda Been strokes news!

19 Conrad August 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm

That was a great post Eric. Very interesting stuff. Kick ass 10 seconds of The Libertines playing “Up The Bracket” too 🙂 Absolutely the second best band of the last decade. They came up right after the Strokes, and while the took a lot from “Is This It” and its success, all they required was tweaking their songs into the more acceptable “strokes-esque” style. They were around for years before “Is This It” and they’re the only band I would consider on par with the Strokes in the guitar music post-Limp Biscuit re-revolution. Kings of Leon, Phoenix, The Killers, all those bands truly molded themselves after the strokes, while I consider The Libertines contemporaries.

20 heather August 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm

The Strokes are on a Top 25 Album Openers list. Here’s the link and write up:

How do you react to being called ‘the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band since The Rolling Stones’, and tickets for your shows trading hands for hundreds of pounds on the streets of London before you’ve even released an album? Sarcastically call your debut long-player and opening track Is This It of course. Julian Casablancas’ observational and often sardonic lyrics and delivery underpin everything on the New York quintet’s debut record, and the first song really sets the tone. The mock disinterest takes on another dimension when you realize they called the last track Take It or Leave It. Touché.

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