The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr says new solo album features ‘the best songs I’ve written’

The guitarist discusses recovery from drug addiction and newly founded domesticity in interview

The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr has discussed his upcoming solo LP, which he announced earlier this week.

Titled ‘Momentary Masters’, the album follows on from 2013’s ‘AHJ’ EP, as well as 2006 debut ‘Yours to Keep’ and 2008’s ‘¿Cómo Te Llama?’.

Ahead of its release on July 31, the musician described his feelings when working on the new material. “I feel like the best songs I’ve written,” Hammond says in a press statement. “As soon as I was done, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I did it!'”

However, Hammond Jr continued, “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.”

In an interview with Paper Magazine, Hammond Jr described his current domestic life as being far more tranquil than the past. In 2013, he told NME that a past drug addiction saw him “shoot cocaine, heroin and ketamine 20 times a day”.

“I’ve never been in a better place in my life, in terms of feeling happy or good about myself,” he told Paper. “Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely times where I want to quit or don’t understand anything I’m doing, but for the most part, I feel very good.”

Hammond Jr detailed his newly founded domesticity in the interview, “I cook a lot… [My wife and I] try to do two veggie days – she’s a vegetarian and eats fish – so we’ll make meals with all these different veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and mushrooms with quinoa and lentils and a little ricotta on top.”

He also refuted the popular myth that a “tortured” artist produces better music. “I think that [idea] makes for a better story and I think most tortured people back in the day probably had some issue that they were self-medicating themselves for… That was the case for me, for sure. But no, I’ve never found that [feeling tortured creates better art]. I’ve found that sometimes it’s nice to be able to do something and open a new door and see, but after a while of doing [any kind of drug], you forget that it opened a door and then you’re just stuck in a stagnant place and you’re no longer learning, which means you’re no longer changing.”

Read the full Paper interview here. The ‘Momentary Masters’ tracklisting is as follows:

‘Born Slippy’
‘Power Hungry’
‘Caught By My Shadow’
‘Coming to Getcha’
‘Losing Touch’
‘Don’t Think Twice’
‘Razors Edge’
‘Touché’
‘Drunched In Crumbs’
‘Side Boob’

Hammond Jr’s band The Strokes made their live return last week (May 8) at Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival. See photos of the gig here. They are also 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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