For the first time ever, The Strokes guitarist turned solo artist Albert Hammond Jr has opened up about his history of drug abuse. Hammond Jr led a lifestyle that ultimately led him to rehab in 2009 and some of his stories would make even Black Sabbath blush.
In an interview with NME, set to be featured in the publication’s next issue, Hammond Jr explained that his troubles began following the release of the group’s second album Room On Fire in 2003. Admitting he was in a “dark place”, Hammond Jr said that it didn’t take long for things to get out of hand:
“It was, like, oxycontin and cocaine at 24, 25, 26. and then I became [addicted to] heroin around then. So from 26, 27 ’til 29. It’s not so much that I wasn’t in a happy place. I was just… God knows where I was. I was just very high. That’s where I was.”
The guitarist went on to explain how dire the situation became, finding himself in a position where he had to cover up in order to keep those close to him off his case:
“I used to shoot cocaine, heroin and ketamine. All together. Morning, night, 20 times a day. You know, I was a mess. I look back and I don’t even recognise myself. I did my own thing. I mean, you have moments when you’re fine. And if someone meets you, you seem fine. But I remember when I was showing someone music and I was wearing a short shirt and (points to wrists)… there were just purple [track marks] all the way down here. And then they would call someone – ‘Did you see Albert, he looks crazy?’ That’s where I learned to wear long sleeves.”
Things seem to be going much smoother for Hammond Jr now. Not only did The Strokes release their latest album Comedown Machine earlier this year, but he will soon be releasing the latest chapter in his solo career, a new EP titled AHJ, set for release internationally on Tuesday, 8th October.
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The Strokes' Albert Hammond Jr: "I Did Cocaine, Heroin And Ketamine 20 Times A Day" - Music Feeds