Julian Casablancas predicts new Strokes album will be out next March

Singer admits record has suffered from delays

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Julian Casablancas has predicted that The Strokes' next album will be released in March 2011.

The singer said the album, which his other Strokes bandmates have been recording without him, is "almost halfway done" at present.

The band's drummer Fab Moretti had previously hoped the follow-up to 2006's 'First Impressions Of Earth' might be released this year.

He told BBC 6Music: "We've wanted to do it for months, or maybe a year now, and then we keep thinking 'OK, we'll do it for like these three weeks and we'll be done'. Then we do it and we decide we're not done, or something comes in the way."

Asked whether he preferred playing with his solo band or with The Strokes, Casablancas remained coy.

He said: "That is a tough question because if I say this [my solo band] then I'd probably be hurting people in The Strokes' feelings, so I'm not gonna say that. I can't answer. I'm sorry. I want to, but I can't. Does it matter with people if I said that?"

The singer went on to state that he thinks playing solo is "liberating", before admitting that his loyalties are split.

"I hate it when bands break up and never play again. I'm kind of split two ways now," he commented. "I feel like my new [solo] thing is in more ways like The Strokes' old thing was. And the new Strokes thing is something that I hope works and I hope everyone loves and makes everyone happy."

Asked whether he thought this was the last shot for The Strokes, Casablancas said: "Honestly, I don't know. One record at a time."

Despite the apparent confusion, Casablancas confirmed that finishing The Strokes album is his priority, though he also wants to release more solo material.

"The first thing is The Strokes thing. Like I said I'm kind of split now, I'll do other things," he explained. "If I have an idea for something that I know head to toe, I'll probably do it on my own, and when I have kind of looser stuff I'll probably bring it to The Strokes. But right now we're just trying to finish this record, so lets see how this goes. Let's make sure no one tries to stab me or something."

The frontman also confirmed that the new Strokes album remains untitled at present, though he joked that he had a couple of titles in mind. "How about 'Brothers'? Or 'Buddies'?" he said.

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