What Is This It Means To Me

by Eric Van Dril · 39 comments

Before I fell in love with The Strokes in 2006, I would go through a process: I’d acquire a new record, listen to its best songs for a week or two and then go on to the next thing and repeat the process.

After I first heard Is This It, I never wanted anything else. I was perfectly content listening to the same 12 songs over and over because of the album’s little moments of brilliance: the bass line in Is This It, the lyrics in Trying Your Luck, the sense of nostalgia in Someday, the riff in Hard To Explain, the raw power of New York City Cops, etc.

When I first heard The Strokes, I could finally point to something and say “Here, this is what music should sound like.”

The Strokes are my band, Is This It is my record and I’ll never go on to the next thing.

This is what I wrote for TheStrokes_Fans‘ fan book that Laurena is going to send to Wiz Kid Management. If you’re interested in contributing to the book, click here for more information.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rick July 30, 2011 at 11:24 am


2 woon July 30, 2011 at 12:23 pm

11 songs surely?

3 AdamFS July 30, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I couldn’t have said it better, Eric.

4 Vonnegut July 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm

ROF was just as flawless! mention that 2 flawless albums in a row is impossible these days

5 Jj July 30, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Nice, Eric! Julian is ……………
………… Is a good thing.

6 AdrianO July 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm

The 12 songs are …all the songs in “Is This It”(11 songs) and When It Started …

7 Mykel July 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm

“Here, this is what music should sound like.”
-Nicely said Eric…

8 Daniel July 30, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Exactly how I felt. I was never really into music before The Strokes. Is This It has really changed who I am, that probably sounds stupid to some people but I love Is This It.

9 petey pablo July 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Nobody cares what Is This It means to you. seriously, shut up and post updates ONLY about the strokes. Nobody wants to hear about it

10 heather July 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Very nice Eric and I feel the exact same way. Is This It is the perfect little record.

11 karinaa July 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm

you couldn’t have said it any better:) thank you for running such a super awesome website for the super awesomest band ever!:D

12 pbandj July 30, 2011 at 8:06 pm

This is great. I love when other people can put into words exactly how I feel about something. And @Eric, thanks for doing such a great job with this site! It not only gives me my daily Strokes fix, but your updates on their future shows have helped me plan ahead so I can see them live in September. Keep up the awesome work.

@petey pablo Really? First off, this update IS about The Strokes because anything to do with their fan base also has to do with them. Secondly, just because YOU don’t want to hear about it doesn’t mean NO ONE does. You could have figured that out by reading the positive comments ahead of yours if you hadn’t been too busy being an ungrateful prick. That is all.

13 Stephanie July 30, 2011 at 8:20 pm

That was awesome, everything you said is exactly what I feel. And like @pbandj said, thanks for doing a great job with this site, because it’s truly the best fansite about the band.

14 Rick July 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm

We need to cherish these moments. The Strokes just doing their thing again. Angles. Enjoy it while it lasts.

15 heather July 30, 2011 at 9:41 pm

That’s true too, Rick. A lot of the bands that started out at the same time as the Strokes aren’t even together anymore. The White Stripes, for example. We’re lucky to still have the Strokes around, still playing shows and still making music together. After all these years, they are still playing to huge crowds.Ten years later, people are still excited about the Strokes.It’s amazing!

16 TheMondo July 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm

to this day, i still don’t feel i can say i know and appreciate this record thoroughly, and I’ve listened to at least one song from it almost everyday for years. long live The Strokes

17 Andres July 30, 2011 at 10:14 pm

“this is what music should sound like”
uve put into simple words what so many of us feel, Eric
thank you

oh and also…
@petey pablo – Nobody cares about the negative things u have to say. Seriously, shut up and only post comments that dont make u seem like a jackass.


18 Red July 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Well put! You did a great job (as always) I’m in the process of writing mine but I have sooo much to say I’m more focusin o the strokes and not just is this it, I hope it turns out alright.

19 candle wax July 31, 2011 at 1:51 am

the strokes really have defined many a person, despite wanting to or hoping to, they have influenced some many people. i think thats what they were meant to do though. how many bands have we all heard of or seen? i think that something really special comes along just once and a while, like a girl or boy, or an opportunity. thats what the strokes are to me, an opportunity, one that you can follow and see how easy it is to love, or just another thing to hate.

20 Tara July 31, 2011 at 4:39 am

“Here, this is what music should sound like.”

Really lovely piece, man – yours and Hanan’s are the only ones I’ve read so far, and they’re so, so good. And like other people are saying, thanks for doing this site, Eric!

21 AC July 31, 2011 at 6:42 am

I still feel guilty that boombox is what led me to find The Strokes…well I guess better late than never!

22 johanna July 31, 2011 at 9:44 am

Very well put, that’s exactly how I feel. Somehow I can never fully put it into words though, so nice one.

23 heather July 31, 2011 at 11:54 am

I was looking at NME’s Top 20 Strokes songs and every last one of the songs from ITI is in it. Then you have 5 songs from ROF, 3 from FIoE and 1 from Angles. There’s still time to vote if you haven’t yet. http://www.nme.com/ratemy/226660/greatest-strokes-track/item/226705

24 heather July 31, 2011 at 11:58 am

Well, almost every song . When It Started isn’t in the top 20.

25 Jj July 31, 2011 at 1:36 pm

MY comment was pretty stupid before so I’ll remake it…
Of course it’s well spoken Eric. But Just for being a little negative here for a moment? Okay? I love them but.. Just listen to seconds and stop raging me….
Is This It is a genuine record. Everyone knows. Critics and everyone. Everyone agreed that these boys could end up like legends. But they do not get looked at as legends? And why? Because they’ve only made 1 legendary record. Or Julian did. Julian is a musical genius and though I hope he will prove his talent in the future, even more than he already have, i most say that I’m a little disappointed. How is it, that a man who wrote Is This It couldn’t make an album as good? Let’s face it. ROF nice album indeed but not, in anyway, legendary or beyond modern rock music. And FIOE some amazing tracks ( YOLO, HIAC, Juice, Red Light, and a few more), but stil at least 4 sucking tracks? And why the hell couldn’t the bandmembers see that those tracks just wasn’t good enough? Before angles they were just puppets man…. with all respect. Hope I get at least 1 adult answer? Maybe from @Eric?

26 Eric Van Dril July 31, 2011 at 2:25 pm

You all really don’t have to thank me for doing this. It’s wonderful to have such an enthusiastic audience who feels the same way about The Strokes as I do. So thank you for reading.

27 Eric Van Dril July 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm

@Jj — I don’t understand your point. What’s your issue with Julian and The Strokes?

By the way, the other Strokes wanted to edit the record and Julian was on board for a while. But at the last minute he changed his mind. Read: http://thestrokesnews.com/the-strokes-hate-first-impressions-of-earth/

28 Eric Van Dril July 31, 2011 at 2:33 pm

@Daniel — It may sound stupid to some people, yeah. But not me because I feel the same way.

@Red — My advice is to just focus on one aspect of your love of the record and write about that. Maybe a moment or something like that.

And, for the record, I think @petey pablo was making a joke. I hope so, at least.

29 Deirg July 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm

This is great. Thanks so much for all that you do, everyone appreciates it even though it isn’t said outright sometimes. Oh and awesome job fangirling karina 🙂 haha jk you know I jest, buddy

30 Deirg July 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Oh my god karina… This number is freaking haunting us… 30-19=_

31 karinaa July 31, 2011 at 5:24 pm

@Deirg why 19?

32 Deirg July 31, 2011 at 5:33 pm

…because it makes 11? Oh, and 11 tracks on is this it heheh creepyy

33 karinaa July 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm

oh. i thought 19 was like special or something. and yes, is this it and room on fire and little joy and pfty and ttota and pretty much everything has 11 tracks.

34 drawnout August 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm

you took the words right out my mouth eric

35 Jj August 2, 2011 at 1:40 am

Eric@ My problem with the strokes?? I’ve got absolutely no problem. Best rock band with the best frontman out there. Just saying that i wish that they could make a record as good as Is This It? 🙂

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