Rather than responding to any questions about new material with snippy “no comment” fob-offs, The Strokes have been almost eager to discuss the possibility of a new album. “I imagine there’ll be Strokes activity throughout the year and then hopefully – maybe – an album in the new year,” Albert told NME earlier in 2014. “That’s the dream.”
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The band seem like they’re getting on better than they have done in years, too. One of the most candid snaps from this year’s SXSW was of Julian and Albert having a cosy catch-up by some, erm, portaloos.
And when Albert told NME about his battles with drug abuse, he revealed how important his relationship with the band had been in his recovery. “What everyone tells me is that the friendship came before the band. Everyone just told me as a friend, ‘I don’t want to see you like this. Forget the band’. Such a big part of me is being in this band, it’s huge, but life isn’t all about what you do.”
The Strokes have a back catalogue filled with such killer tunes that they could probably play Greatest Hits sets for the rest of their days, but Albert told us that they’d never be content to do that – and that their forthcoming gigs should lead to bigger things. “We’re definitely not a band that would play these shows just to randomly play them,” he said.
Speaking of live shows – wouldn’t it be great if The Strokes could put the memories of those slightly awkward gigs circa 2011, when they seemed reluctant to share a stage together, and prove all over again how special a live band they can be when they have shiny new material to sink their teeth into?
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In fact, a lot of the reasons which make it the right time for The Strokes to stump up a new LP are related to ‘Comedown Machine’ – an album which, although stellar, wasn’t them at the peak of their powers. The onus is on them to prove they can be just as good as the band who made ‘Is This It?’
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The Killers’ ‘Hot Fuss’, Razorlight’s ‘Up All Night’: a heap of classic indie albums turn 10 this year, and it’s fair to say that none of them would have existed without The Strokes. Wouldn’t it be fitting for the Grandaddys Of Them All to return this year and prove they’re no spent force?
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They’ve got a long way to go if they want to match Albert’s ambition for them to match Guided By Voices in longevity – he recently claimed he wanted the band to have the same lengthy back catalogue and could release another 10 albums. “There might be times when we’re not doing things but I don’t feel like we’ll ever stop,” he said.