The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr opens up about ‘hardcore’ drug problem

Guitarist went to rehab as the band started recording 'Angles'

The Strokes‘ guitarist Albert Hammond Jr has opened up about the drug rehab treatment he received while the band recorded their new album ‘Angles’.

Hammond Jr didn’t name the specific type of drug he was being treated for, but called his ordeal “hardcore”.

He likened his problem, which came to a head in September 2009, to suffering from “a stroke”.

Speaking to Spin, his bandmates also described their attempts to record with the guitarist around the time of his problem.

Guitarist Nick Valensi said: “We all saw something was broken – certain people getting into drugs. There was a lot of nodding off and passing out in the studio, like, ‘Jesus, you’re not awake to record your part, we have to wait four hours so you can nap’.”

Hammond Jr admitted that he “wasn’t really there” when the band started recording the album, and described the initial months following his rehab.

“I wasn’t on any chemicals,” he said. “It was hard – you have two good years of post-acute withdrawal. I was nervous and couldn’t remember things. It’s like having a stroke, no pun intended. You always do the crazy rock star thing, of course, but I’d rather be left with music from someone I admire than their funny stories of all the fucked-up shit they did.”

Elsewhere in the interview frontman Julian Casablancas compared his solo output with that of The Strokes.

“I think almost everything I did on the solo thing [Casablancas released his ‘Phrazes For The Young’ album in 2010] felt so positive and almost everything I’ve ever done with The Strokes feels so negative and I just don’t know why,” he said.

Despite the apparent problems recording ‘Angles’ the album appears to be faring well commercially. It entered the UK charts at Number Three on Sunday (March 27).