The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr has opened up about his feelings towards the band that made him a star in a new interview, revealing that while he loves his role in the band, these days he’s less sure of how necessary it is.
The guitarist, who is a singer-songwriter in his own right, recently unveiled his latest solo release, an EP titled AHJ, telling Gigwise that he’s “proud” of his achievements with The Strokes, but feels the “time is right” to focus on his solo output.
“I love my role in the band and obviously it gives me something else,” he said. “But I don’t know if I need it. I’ve always loved to play a variety of music…it’s great to have that ability. I’m not running away from my past, it’s just a different outlet and the time is right.”
Hammond seemed to indicate that his attention would be focused on his solo endeavours, but was reticent to announce whether or not he was done with The Strokes for good. The band’s fifth studio album, Comedown Machine was released earlier this year.
“With a band like The Strokes,” he continued, “the way that we came into the scene, it’s strange. It will always be there and I can only see it a a positive. The longer I do this, I’ll get more of my own thing. I’m proud of both and I’ve been very, very lucky.”
Hammond Jr also revealed that his competitive drive is what spurs his songwriting, both solo and in The Strokes, saying “You can feel the competition within your own band…especially with a great songwriter like Julian. The other guys too, they’re full of great idea.”
Last month, the artist opened up about his heavy drug use, which began with The Strokes’ rise to prominence, continuing for most of his 20s, telling NME “I used to shoot cocaine, heroin and ketamine. All together. Morning, night, 20 times a day.”
Listen: Albert Hammond Jr. – AHJ EP