Friday
January 5, 2007
SGN.org
Volume 35
Issue 01
 
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Monday, Mar 30, 2020

 

 



 
the Music Lounge by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A & E Writer
Stroking it alone: Albert Hammond, Jr. of The Strokes adds an impressive solo album to his rock star portfolio
Stroking it alone: Albert Hammond, Jr. of The Strokes adds an impressive solo album to his rock star portfolio When we last checked in on The Strokes, two hot guys were groping each other inside a bathroom stall in the band's "Juice Box" music video. Fast forward to 2007. Guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. becomes the first Stroke to embark on a solo mission, with a ten-track debut entitled Yours to Keep scheduled for a March 6 release. The album is already receiving strong buzz overseas, where it's been out for over a month. Hammond, Jr. begins a five-week tour with Incubus this weekend, arriving tomorrow night (January 6) at Seattle's Paramount Theatre. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com. And to ear-sample music by Hammond, Jr., who intends to keep his day job with The Strokes, visit www.myspace.com/alberthammondjr.

From a rehearsal studio in Brooklyn, here's what Albert Hammond, Jr. had to say when he rocked out in "The Music Lounge".

Albert Rodriguez: You just got back from Europe, I hear.

Albert Hammond Jr.: (takes a sip of something) Uh-huh. Just did 18 shows in 28 days over there.

Rodriguez: How long was this side project in the works?

Hammond Jr.: In a way, all my life. I've been playing music since the age of 15 or 16 and it happened to be that I found the right person at the right time to try out these songs.

Rodriguez: Some guys would be fully content just to be a part of a very successful rock band like The Strokes. Was a solo venture something extra to do during a break from the group?

Hammond Jr.: I wouldn't look at it like that. It's two different things. If you're someone creative, you always want different things and you want more. Not in a negative way, but in a curious way, to try things out. I didn't think I was making a record. It just worked out that way.

Rodriguez: I didn't know you sang, so I was surprised when I heard you would be the first Stroke to do your own thing.

Hammond Jr.: If you don't really know me and just know me through the band, then I can see how you'd probably wonder that.

Rodriguez: The Strokes have put out three albums in five years and have toured extensively as well, even as far away as South America. When did you find time to write these songs?

Hammond Jr.: You write songs every moment you have. You write songs walking, you write them at the hotel. I'm always writing. Finding the time to write them wasn't a problem, it's taking it to the next level. All of these songs were done in my head and not with a band, and that's what took so long.

Rodriguez: I've heard "Everyone Gets a Star" played on a radio station here in Seattle. I don't know if it's the intended first single from Yours to Keep, or they just pulled it out of a hat.

Hammond Jr.: They pulled it out of a hat because the first single I think the label is wanting, and the one that's getting played in Europe, is "101".

Rodriguez: I'm crossing my fingers for "Bright Young Thing".

Hammond Jr.: (laughs) I love it!

Rodriguez: You're rehearsing for the tour as we speak.

Hammond Jr.: (takes another sip of something) Uh-huh. We're rehearsing for two days, then we get the holidays off. Everyone wants a little break. After the New Year, we come back and rehearse and then head to the West Coast because the tour starts on January 5.

Rodriguez: You kick the tour off in Vancouver, and your second date is here in Seattle.

Hammond Jr.: I think we fly to Seattle on the 3rd and maybe do a rehearsal there, then go to Vancouver. Rodriguez: You're going to rehearse in Seattle before kicking off the tour? That's awesome!

Hammond Jr.: It depends on how the gear gets there, but I want to.

Rodriguez: The Strokes have had a lot of support from Seattle.

Hammond Jr.: Yeah, we have. I love the Northwest and Seattle!

Rodriguez: In fact, you guys chose Seattle as one of five cities to promote the band's then-new album (First Impressions of Earth). You played at The Crocodile Café.

Hammond Jr.: That was a great show!

Rodriguez: I was there. So, after the Incubus tour, do you embark on a headlining tour?

Hammond Jr.: First we go to Japan, and then come back and do our own shows. The first two weeks of March we go to LA and SXSW and do a show for New Line Records. And then we do more of our own shows towards the East Coast, and then open for a band called Bloc Party and take a little break in April.

Rodriguez: Will you balance both a solo career and The Strokes, or this a one-time side project?

Hammond Jr.: I consider myself very lucky to have both. I feel like I got songs for another record by myself. And The Strokes are going to make another album, so I want to do both.

Rodriguez: On tour, will you include songs by The Strokes on the set list?

Hammond Jr.: No, I won't play any (songs by The Strokes). To me, that would be wrong. We've been playing 11 songs, all the songs on the record and a cover song. As time go by, I imagine we'll have new songs from a new record and play some of those.

Rodriguez: Are you ready for the holidays?

Hammond Jr.: Yeah, I finally get to be in New York.

Rodriguez: Got your shopping all done?

Hammond Jr.: Actually, I didn't go shopping at all. I just have to buy one present.

Rodriguez: Cool. Well, I'll let you get back to rehearsal. Thanks for checking in. Best wishes in the New Year!

Hammond Jr.: You too! Have a wonderful holiday. And we'll see you in Seattle in a few weeks.
 

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