After nearly two years of work, The Strokes are getting ready to release their new record. Scheduled to be released on 22 March, this will be the New York band's first album since 2006. Thought to be called Angles, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. says of the title, "It's what the record sounds like....it comes from five different people."
Whilst the band’s breakthrough debut, 2001's Is This It, and the 2003 follow-up, Room on Fire, were largely written by singer Julian Casablancas, the 10 new songs were all written, in various combinations, by everyone in the band
Guitarist Nick Valensi: "This is the first one where we are truly working democratically. It's taken a long time because this is a new model for us."
It wasn’t easy to get everyone in one room to record Angels. The band splintered into a series of solo albums and side projects after they finished touring behind 2006's First Impressions of Earth. "This band is like a house of cards — when one thing falls, the whole thing collapses," says Valensi, the only member who didn't release his own record. "It's just typical rock-band bullshit — the clichés that keep a group of people who have something special from wanting to continue it."
Valensi, Hammond, Casablancas, bassist Nikolai Fraiture and drummer Fabrizio Moretti reconvened to write and arrange new material in early 2009. "It was like we were starting from scratch," says Hammond, "but with a lot of history. It's confusing to do that."
Hammond claims The Strokes will tour this year: "We want to come back strong but slowly, so we can grow live and also make new music. We want to release albums quicker."
"I don't want to make an album every five years," Valensi insists. "I love being in this band, and I want it to be a career thing. It's so worth it — for all of us."
So, until 22 March, have a listen to Hard to Explain from their debut album Is This It.