We’re looking at the long and illustrious career of The Strokes to mark their return to the UK and their new NME front cover. For more on the band, including news, more pics and videos, check out our special hub. The band officially became “The Strokes” in 1999, when they played their first live gig at NYC’s Spiral venue. This press shot is from 2001.
In 2000, The Strokes secured residencies at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge venues. It was from these residencies that the band met their manager, Ryan Gentles.
In January 2001, Rough Trade released the band’s three-song demo, ‘The Modern Age’. However, RCA were also interested in The Strokes, and ultimately won over the band in the States. That year also saw NME.COM release a free MP3 of ‘Last Nite’.
The band’s first US tour was opening for the Doves in 2001. This tour was soon followed by US/UK tours with Guided By Voices and …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. They released their debut album ‘Is This It’ in October that year.
The Strokes played at Detroit’s Clutch Cargo’s with The White Stripes in 2002. NME said: “Funniest moment: Julian dropping his microphone and struggling off the stool to retrieve it during ‘Meet Me In The Bathroom'”.
When The Strokes supported The White Stripes in 2002, Julian finished his set and introduced the headliners, joking: “Enjoy your next fuckin’ band coming up… I’ve forgotten what they’re called”.
In 2002, The Strokes also supported Weezer on tour, although some of the dates were cancelled due to a leg injury Julian had sustained.
The Strokes started to record ‘Room On Fire’ in 2002 with producer Nigel Godrich, but eventually split with him to instead work with Gordon Raphael, the producer of their debut, ‘Is This It’.
The Strokes headlined UK’s Carling Weekend festivals in 2002. A short documentary called ‘In Transit’ captures these shows, and can be seen at thestrokes.com.
The Strokes took home the Best Album award for ‘Is This It’ at the 2002 NME Awards. Watch a video with the fresh-faced boys from the event here.
They also won the Best International Newcomer Award at the 2002 Brit Awards.
October 2003 marked the release of the band’s second album, ‘Room On Fire’, which achieved gold status.
In 2003, The Strokes were nominated for Best International Band at the NME Awards, but they lost to The Hives.
While on tour to promote ‘Room On Fire’, the band were joined onstage by Regina Spektor during their two-night residency at Madison Square Garden in October 2003.
During the 2003/2004 ‘Room On Fire’ tour, the band played with Kings of Leon as their support act.
Kings Of Leon, who supported The Strokes on their 2003 tour, once cited the band as one of their biggest influences.
The Strokes collaborated with Regina Spektor on ’Modern Girls & Old Fashion Men’, the B-side of their 2004 single ’Reptilia’.
In 2004, The Strokes headlined T In The Park festival, sharing the Main Stage with acts like The Pixies, Kings Of Leon and Scissor Sisters.
The band also played at Ireland’s Oxegen Festival in 2004. NME said: “The five-piece’s 18-song set stole the thunder from headliners The Cure as they easily drew the biggest crowd of the day from among the 60,000 fans.”
In April 2004, drummer Fabrizio Moretti told Modern Drummer about trying to soundproof his room as a child: “I padded the walls, I padded the drums, I padded everything. My mom was horrified, and so were the neighbors.”
In April 2004, security guards lost sight of Julian Casablancas in the crowd during an LA gig, when he insisted on watching his band perform from the audience.
In 2005, the band revealed that they hold an annual pre-Christmas gathering, called “It’s called A Very Strokes Christmas”, where they eat vodka rigatoni and give Secret Santa presents to each other.
In February 2005, Julian Casablancas married his long-time friend and former assistant band manager Juliet Joslin.
The band recorded their third album ‘First Impressions of Earth’ from January–May 2005 in New York City.
‘First Impressions of Earth’ was released in January 2006, debuting at No. 4 in the US and No. 1 in the UK charts.
In February 2006, The Strokes won as the Best International Band at the NME Awards.
The band headlined T in the Park’s Main Stage in 2006, along with Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Who.
The band also played at Benicassim in 2006, sharing the honour with acts such as The Pixies and Depeche Mode.
In 2006, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. revealed his plans to release his first solo record, ‘Yours To Keep’.
Drummer Fabrizio Moretti joined Brazilian/American rock band Little Joy in 2007. Their self-titled debut album was released the following year by Rough Trade Records.
In July 2008, Albert Hammond Jr. released his second solo album, ‘¿Cómo Te Llama?’.
In September 2009, Julian’s first solo single, ’11th Dimension’, premiered on Zane Lowe’s evening show. His debut solo album, ‘Phrazes for the Young’, was released the next month.
The Strokes marked their eagerly-anticipated return with a secret show at London’s Dingwalls venue this month, playing for 500 lucky fans under the alias Venison. Tickets sold out almost instantly.
To celebrate the return of The Strokes, this week’s issue of NME features the band’s frontman on the cover and an exclusive interview. Be sure to stop by our special Strokes section on NME.com as well.