The Strokes on The Killers rivalry: ‘Our songs are better than ‘Mr Brightside’, how come that’s the one everyone is listening to?’

Guitarist Nick Valensi admits band spoke about The Killers being more popular than them

The Strokes‘ guitarist Nick Valensi has admitted that his band felt bitterness over The Killers‘ popularity during the height of each group’s fame.

Valensi’s comments come in a new book by Lizzy Goodman called Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City, 2001–2011, which details the rise of 2000s NYC indie bands such as The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, Interpol and Vampire Weekend.

In an excerpt from the book, Rolling Stone journalist Jenny Eliscu says: “Hipsters get over shit so quickly. But it’s important to state that there’s a difference between the underground and hipsters. The underground is real and permanent. It’s more art than it is commerce. The Killers… and Kings of Leon were never part of the underground. Fuck no.”


Valensi adds: “We had conversations that went along the lines of ‘Gosh, I think our songs are better than ‘Mr. Brightside’ by the Killers, but how come that’s the one everyone is listening to?'”.

It’s not the first time the rivalry between the two bands has been addressed. Last year, The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers admitted that The Strokes’ debut album was better than his band’s own ‘Hot Fuss’.

Also in 2012, Flowers told NME that he felt “depressed” after hearing The Strokes’ album ‘Is This It’. “That record just sounded so perfect,” he said. “We threw away everything [we were working on] and the only song that made the cut and remained was ‘Mr. Brightside.'”

The Strokes are currently working on a new album. They have not released a full-length since 2013’s ‘Comedown Machine’.

“We’re definitely working,” bassist Nikolai Fraiture told NME last October. “As people know by now, deadlines are not our forte. Anticipation and surprises are still part of the excitement of releasing new music.”


Discussing balancing The Strokes with his new band Summer Moon, Fraiture added: “With the pace of The Strokes as it is, I see plenty of time and room to do both. We play the song ‘Chemical Solution’ differently live than on the record. There’s an extended solo section at the end where everyone gets lost in the music. It’s a beautiful moment and I’m hoping to capture those new feelings on tape (and hard drive).”

Valensi told NME that same month: “The Strokes are alive and well and living in New York City. We are working on music and we want to put music out hopefully next year.

“If I start saying that now, though, then people just get too excited and then there’s all this hype you’ve got to compete with and that’s not fun. If anything I’d rather just pull a Beyoncé next year and just drop shit.”