The Strokes are continuing their ‘woe is me’ themed publicity campaign for new album Angles and further spilling their guts about all the problems they had making it. This time it’s guitarist Albert Hammond Junior talking about his drug addiction. He told an interviewer “I guess you could say I wasn’t really there when we started.
Indeed, in late 2009, the band had to halt work on the album while he went to rehab. However, he says that once he got clean he went straight back to work in the studio. “People can’t believe I did that. I wasn’t on any chemicals. It was hard — you have two good years of post-acute withdrawal. I was nervous and couldn’t remember things. It’s like having a stroke, no pun intended.” He continued, “You always do the crazy-rock-star thing, of course, but I’d rather be left with music from someone I admire than their funny stories of all the fucked-up shit they did.”
While Hammond Jr was coy about the nature of his substance addiction, Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi told the same interviewer “We all saw something was broken – certain people getting into drugs. There was a lot of nodding off and passing out in the studio, like, ‘Jesus, you’re not awake to record your part, we have to wait four hours so you can nap’.” Hence, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that he wasn’t hitting the pingers so much as getting pinned.