Albert Hammond Jr says he left Julian Casablancas’ label because he ‘needed a different home’

The Strokes guitarist tells NME there's 'nothing weird' about the move, ahead of his 'danceable and fun' new album

The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr has stated that there’s “nothing weird” about his move away from bandmate Julian Casablancas’ record label for the release of his new solo LP.

Hammond’s last EP, 2013’s ‘AHJ’, came out via Casablancas’ own Cult Records imprint, but it was recently announced that the upcoming ‘Momentary Masters’, out July 31, will be issued by Vagrant and Infectious.

READ MORE: What NME Writers Hope The Next Strokes Album Will Sound Like

Asked in this week’s NME, available digitally and on newsstands now, if anything should be deemed from this decision, the musician replied: “No, I guess I just felt [the album] needed a different home, nothing weird or anything.”

Hammond also discussed inspiration behind his new album, which was partly influenced by reading the works of poet Anne Sexton. “From reading her, I got into this idea of having a shadow,” he said. “An alter ego who you might pretend doesn’t exist, but who you have conversations in your head with anyway, and how you can’t throw away part of your personality just to be accepted as a whole.”

He continued: “What I’m describing sounds very serious, but it’s more subtle than that – the record is actually very danceable and fun!”

‘Momentary Masters’ is Hammond’s first solo album since 2008’s ‘¿Cómo Te Llama?’. It’s his third solo effort to date, with debut ‘Yours to Keep’ released in 2006. Listen to lead single ‘Born Slippy’ and album track ‘Losing Touch’ now.

In a press release, Albert Hammond Jr describes his new record as “a love letter to my past self”. He added: “I feel like the best songs I’ve written… But in that split second that it comes, that feeling goes… It’s the same thing when you find complete happiness, you find this complete low. I feel like that’s what being creative is: It’s you bouncing with emotion and what you capture in those bounces. Accept where you are and use it.”

Hammond’s band The Strokes are set to play their first UK gig in five years when they headline the British Summer Time Festival in London’s Hyde Park on June 18. The Strokes released their last album ‘Comedown Machine’ in 2013, with frontman Julian Casablancas recently revealing that the band are working on new music.
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