Why Nick Valensi Dislikes The Strokes’ Side Projects (Excluding Little Joy)

by Eric Van Dril · 22 comments

I’ve always been of the opinion that Nick Valensi didn’t do a solo project because his identity as the cooler-than-cool lead guitarist in one of the world’s best band was enough. Albert, Nikolai and Julian all had things to prove with their solo records — Albert and Nikolai had to prove their worth and Julian had to prove he could leave The Strokes if things didn’t change — but I never felt like it made sense for Nick to make a solo record.

In Pitchfork‘s story about The Strokes, Nick opens up about how he felt about the side projects…

“I’m not a huge supporter of side/solo stuff. I’m of the opinion that you’re in a band and that’s what you do. If there’s leftover material and time, then sure, by all means. But if you’re playing material that you haven’t even shown to your main band and you’re just sort of keeping it for yourself, I’m not a big fan of that.”

As the side projects were being toured and worked on, Nick was frank with Pitchfork.

“I remember reading a review of First Impressions in SPIN and they mentioned in their review that it sounded like the last Strokes album. At the time, I took offense. But, in hindsight, they were so close to the truth. I’m not even sure we’re going to make a fourth album at this point.”

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 wolfman March 7, 2011 at 1:33 am

why excluding little joy?

2 Eric Van Dril March 7, 2011 at 1:46 am

@wolfman — Nick’s good friends with Binki and Rodrigo and was in at least one Little Joy video. That was my thinking behind it, plus his main complaint seems to be that the other members weren’t sharing material and Little Joy’s material isn’t anything close to what The Strokes would ever consider recording.

So I think Little Joy is excluded from this, along with Albert’s first record.

3 Lani March 7, 2011 at 2:52 am

I agree with him. I like Julian’s solo album but not as much as The Strokes…

4 Tobz March 7, 2011 at 4:05 am

Julian just couldn’t have done some stuff he did on his solo with the full band

5 annie March 7, 2011 at 4:18 am

I think Nikolai’s project upset Julian (crap as it is!) because he mentioned somewhere that Nikolai had never mentioned it at all until just before it’s release (it was in an interview for Phrazes) and i’m sure that must have been hard for Julian given that he was always closest to Nikolai. And Nikolai’s often said things that are quite critical of Julian in these past few interviews so i’m thinking they’re maybe not on the best terms but it’s hard to know. I’m sure when they heard the album they were all relieved that he got that out of his system… though I guess there’s still Your So Right!

6 John March 7, 2011 at 7:44 am

Eric, these titles are so misleading. Nick never said he dislikes the solo projects. You are creating your own titles and they are not accurate.

7 Maria March 7, 2011 at 9:56 am

Annie, wich interview is that ?

I can understand Nick, it’s quite hard when friends hide things from you, it always leaves you with the feeling that they don’t you around, maybe. But you gotta understand that you can’t be part of everything .
Also I think maybe Nick’s just a little jealous because everyone had “leftover material and time” but him.

8 JF March 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

The title is also misleading in that he never even mentions Little Joy. I know you are going by their apparent friendships, but the point is, you can’t just ASSUME things for these headlines. It’s bad journalism, bro. Just keep it simple, and we’ll read the rest.

9 Bobby March 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Nick actually plays on a couple Little Joy songs on their album, although not guitar, vocals and drums, I believe. Little Joy’s album is legitimately a great album. And in some ways it does remind me of The Strokes, but more removed and maybe a little more mature. Albert’s solo stuff is OK, definitely not great, though.

10 Chad March 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm

@Eric, I am not sure what you are talking about. Nick isn’t criticizing the actually musical content of the solo records, he is criticizing the concept of making solo albums. Did you not understand that, or are you just trying to make a catchy headline? Whats up with the misleading NME type headlines of the past couple posts?!?!!

11 john March 31, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Actually I think Nick and Fab helped Julian with Phrazes… in Tourist I believe.

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