Julian Casablancas’ Track By Track Guide To The Strokes’ ‘Angles’

Julian Casablancas talks us through The Strokes’ new album ‘Angles’.

The Strokes

Machu Picchu
“There are lyrics about keeping yourself busy: ‘I’m just trying to find a mountain I can climb‘, and Machu Picchu is the Inca sacred place in the Andean mountains of Peru. So the title started out as a joke, but then the joke just started to seem fitting.”


Under Cover Of Darkness
“It’s about someone who works in the military, and has a girlfriend. It’s cheesy, I guess, but it’s about having to leave a loved one. I weirdly like the bridge and the chorus of that Clarence Clemons song [‘You’re A Friend Of Mine’, a 1985 duet with Jackson Browne, and US Top 20 hit –’80s crap pop ed]: (sings) “Years may come and goooo!” So that was the vibe we were going for. I shouldn’t confess to these things!”


Two Kinds Of Happiness
“It’s weird how people say they want to ‘be happy’ when it’s really two separate things: one is long term, one is short term, and they don’t have anything to do with each other. One is… well, I kind of don’t think I need to give examples, do I?”

You’re So Right
“I had some early REM vibes for a minute or two. It’s a darker one. It counters some of the happy vibes on the other tracks. I like dark things!”

You’re So Right: NME.COM Users Review

Taken For A Fool
“With regards the line ‘Monday/Tuesday is my weekend’, I originally wanted to say ‘Sunday/Monday/ Tuesday’ but it didn’t fit. Those were always my favourite nights to go out. I’m not into going out on Friday or Saturday – never have been. I like empty-ish bars.”


“We had guitars on it originally, but it just sounded better to me without them. It definitely has a different vibe for us. There’s a lot of weird stuff on that song: most of the weird sounds are drums that we messed with. The part at the end of the song is so old, we’ve had it for about 10 years, at least.”

Call Me Back
“We just wanted a slow one. The chorus was a mixture of some parts that we had. That song just kind of… showed up! I can’t remember, I’ve heard it too much. I like it.”

The Strokes

“It’s a sound that I usually hate, but when they were doing the background vocals on the chorus, I was trying to get [engineer/producer] Gus [Oberg] to get that, like, Boston chorus sound. You think it sounds like Steely Dan? Yeah, I suppose that’s kind of in the right vein!”

“I’ve had that one for a while. I had something completely different in mind at the outset to what it is. It became something else entirely, but I’m… fine with it as it is now.”

Life Is Simple In The Moonlight
“That’s probably my favourite on the album. The verse was a random old Brazilian thing I had, but it works well with the chorus. I like the chorus: it gives me cheesy/happy chorus vibes.”

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