Watch: The Strokes ‘Under Cover of Darkness’ Video

by Eric Van Dril · 131 comments

Directed and produced by Mr. Warren Fu…

What do you think?

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 annie March 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I don’t know if i believe Julian now when he says UCoD is actually about the relationship between a guy in the military and his girlfriend but whatever, at least it’s a different interpretation!

2 Cory March 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm

@Julianne, I couldn’t agree with you more. good points.

3 Bobby March 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I agree with Brian. The video is OK and all but it’s all about the music in the end, at least for me.

4 sofie March 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I’d really like there to be a deeper meaning to this, but if you think about it, The Strokes are always simple. We could all be reading into nothing… look at the early versions of ‘Someday’ or ‘Hard to Explain’… the lyrics are completely different and the recorded ones just sound better… they eventually got changed by accident (based on what Nikolai said about how Julian would make it up on the spot). Does anyone see what I mean?

That being said, I’m a big fan of this… The way everyone but Julian was scattered was great. I only wish there was less Julian… he comes off douchy, I’m sorry.

5 Manj March 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm

anyone know what kind of guitar nick has in this video …going to buy an electric and it definitely looks like a fender ….model etc would be great …love that effing guitar

6 JF March 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I’m gay

7 Cory March 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm


nick has his own model, it called the Nick Valensi Riviera P-94. I didn’t check when I saw the vid, but that’s usually what he has.

@Sofie, the ‘deeper meanings’ are clearly there. When they did those old videos from Is This It, Julian, I don’t know about the others, was a drunkard and did a lot of drugs. He is sober now, and if you listened to Phrazes, or saw anything from his shows in LA, you would realize that every detail surrounding the guy has some sort of meaning. He is taking his art more serious these days, and the underlying messages are most certainly there.

8 Cory March 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm

By the way, I have a couple more points I’d like to make.

Did you guys notice at 2:50, when Julian turns around? He was previously walking passed the other band members, gets to the mic, turns around to look at them, as though to see if “they’re ready”, and they are gone. Then it goes to Nick by himself in another (dark) room with the solo. I don’t know, it makes me think about how they were all doing solo projects when Julian was finally ready to work with them again, and they weren’t there. Also, seeing Jules in a tux at the end kind of shows that he ready to be in uniform with the band once more, similar to the Is This It era.

9 Cory March 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Sorry, one last thing….

The light bulb at the end….? With the two lights shining on it….?

Anyone want to take a swing at wtf that might mean?

10 Miranda March 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm

@Cory It’s a ghost light. They’re in every theatre. The two lights were shining on them. It means that they aren’t really there. In the video they were ghosts. That’s why they showed them in the beginning of the video drowning at the end of the “You Only Live Once” video. In other words, the old Strokes are dead and gone, except in a good way.

11 Siobhan March 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm

If that’s the case then does tht mean this whole idea of the new strokes doesn’t really exist and that’s it’s all just theatre, a performance of togetherness for the audience that applaud them?

12 Pat March 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm

@ Siobhan I think so. Well just for this video, maybe not the album. There’s lots of little meanings here I think only fans would catch. So maybe this video was for the fans. Kind of like a “Thank you for waiting” sort of thing. 🙂

13 sam March 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm

i love it! especially the “last nite” reference, what with the mic stand and all =))))))

14 Siobhan March 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Yeah ok, but it’s also a little sad and depressing though if that’s the case as it means they’re not really doing this (the music, the new 5-way band dynamic). Or at least not for themselves. I’m hoping, like you said, that maybe it just applies to UCOD. But it kind of puts a dampner on the song – if any of this is correct, that is – but i guess adds a layer of depth to a video tht i also thought was too literal an interpretation, as has been said! I wonder what this video would be like to a non-fan… I guess with the band members disappearing and julian waiting on the couch it’d be evident to most casual viewers.

15 Mykel March 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Have there been any new SNL promos with them for the 5th?

16 Kevin March 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm

@MANJ – Nick is playing a Fender Telecaster.

After my first viewing, I’m not really blown away by this video although I think the end is kinda cool where the Strokes are the orchestra being directed by a conductor. Other than that, it seems kind thrown together. Having said that, I don’t really give a shit because the first two songs we’ve heard, Under Cover and You’re So Right, are fantastic! Can’t wait to hear more, I already pre-ordered my Under Cover 7″ (hasn’t come yet) AND my Angles vinyl!!

17 Bobby March 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Yeah, it’s a Fender Telecaster, and it looks like a pink one at that, nice touch!

18 Mike! March 2, 2011 at 9:42 pm

@Mykel Yes the promos are up but the strokes are not in them. 🙁 Its just miley and Keenan Thompson messing around. Go to the SNL website to check them out if you want to, still.

19 Cris March 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm

any word on the set list for the upcoming shows??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

20 Sam March 2, 2011 at 10:47 pm

@Bobby a pink tele??? Looks pretty white to me…

Intemperate the video how want. Draw your own conclusions that challenge and satisfy you in some way. I sound a bit douchy, I know.

21 Sam March 2, 2011 at 10:49 pm


22 Mykel March 3, 2011 at 4:24 am

I’m tryin to see them in MD. in April

23 Melodica03 March 3, 2011 at 7:02 am

I definitely think this song is about the band waiting for Julian. It also implies that with the cinematography. The other band members are obviously playing without Julian. When watching and listening to the lyrics it almost seems as if he was feeling pressured to make music that he didn’t want to make. Maybe that is why it took so long to make the fourth album. When the show the band in the ballroom Julian is missing from the head of the table possibly symbolizing that the head of the band is missing.
Another thing that I noticed is when he says that “everybody has been singing the same song for ten years.” He just happens to take the mic and the throw the mic stand just as he did in “LAST NIGHT.” Which has been said that this could be the song everyone has been singing for ten years.
In the end I suppose this could be saying that Julian is stepping back as the head of the band joining them as whole in the end. Because if he was still the head of the band he would be directing them, but someone else is. So that brings up another story was this album directed by someone else. I doubt it, and that may be reading into it to much.

24 joe March 3, 2011 at 11:11 am

i think those promos are practice reels. usually, the promo’s are done on the snl stage. we’ll probably see some new ones today.

25 sundayAM March 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

@C — Thanks for the tidbit about the “ghost light.” This would validate the theory that they are ghosts. And when they were on stage, the lighting gave off an eerie feeling.

26 Juliet March 3, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Anyone know where this was filmed?

27 annie March 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I think Ryan said it was filmed in Jersey in some old theatre… there was definitely a picture of the name of the building somewhere – either Ryan or Warren’s twitter.

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