Julian’s been talking lots about The Strokes recently, and it’s made us impossibly excited that they just might make another new album. If they’ve got the fire back, then why not? Here are 19 other reasons for the Kings of NYC to reclaim their thrones.
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.”
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.”
Albert released his last EP on Julian’s label, too, which suggests relations are better than ever – and they’re excited by each other’s musical ideas.
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?
Especially because they chose not to tour after the release of ‘Comedown Machine’ – we’re long overdue the treat of them showing us how they’ve beefed up their studio tracks for the live arena.
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?’
There’s a lot of mysteries stemming from that album still, too: the band refused to do any press at the time, which births a lot of questions that a new LP might just answer…
For ‘Angles’, meanwhile – the album before ‘Comedown Machine’ – the band chose to be interviewed individually. Could a new album be the chance for them to reinvent themselves as a proper gang again?
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?
And another band they inspired, The Libertines, reformed for oodles of cash this summer with a big show at London’s Hyde Park. Seeing as they sparked a guitar revolution in the UK, surely The Strokes must want a part of that, too?
And if not, they should be: Pete and Carl will make £500,000 each for their reformation gigs.
Another reason why the timing seems right: most of the band seem to have concluded their side-projects for the time being. Albert released his most recent EP last year and, after touring for a while, should have some free time coming up…
Julian’s second solo album is done, dusted and out in a couple of weeks.. Might as well start cracking on a new LP with his bandmates, we reckon.
And surely Julian can bring some tricks he learnt back from working with Daft Punk back to the band? Working with such a tight-knit unit may have given him the bug to be collaborating closely with the rest of The Strokes again.
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.
In fact, all of The Strokes have been off doing different things recently. Perhaps those varied influences and experiences will be pooled together to make one of their most interesting albums yet…
Plus: what about the next generation? Serge from Kasabian recently claimed that rock’n’roll is dying, but The Strokes inspired a generation back in 2001. Can they do it again?