Monday, Apr 21, 2014 05:37 am est

Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. talks solo EP, tour

Posted on October 30, 2013 | by Christina Cacouris

Courtesy of Cult Records

 

Albert Hammond Jr., best-known for playing guitar for The Strokes, released his new EP, “AHJ,” earlier this month. Having already released two solo studio albums, “¿Cómo Te Llama?” and “Yours to Keep,” the NYU alumnus will begin his national tour for “AHJ” on Nov. 3 in Washington, D.C.

Hammond spoke exclusively with WSN about his upcoming tour, why the concept of the album as we know it is over and how the ’60s-style French films inspired his new music video for “St. Justice.”

“I think the album format is really old,” Hammond said. “People should make more fun stuff sooner, release a few songs here or there rather than waiting for an entire album.”

Hammond certainly proved his musical capabilities on the new EP, playing every instrument on all five tracks. He cited The Wipers’ record “Is This Real?” as an inspiration, as well as his strong desire to return to writing lyrics.

“I hadn’t written anything for two years, so that’s where the buzz and excitement was,” he said. “But if you let it be too open, sometimes you don’t do the best you can because you’re not focused. It’s harder.”

Hammond elaborated on the meaning behind the music video for “St. Justice,” a short black-and-white film chronicling the start and end of a relationship.

“It was this idea of creating a video for an indie guy, that would normally be seen as a pop video,” he said. “It felt kind of fun and different. I wanted it to feel youthful and like a foreign film, like French movies in the 1960s, and that’s how the process was. It was just the director, Nina [de Raadt], and myself. It was refreshing.”

The artwork for the EP — the painted head of a snarling Rottweiler in front of a black background — looks strikingly similar to the Givenchy Rottweiler that graced fashion bloggers’ sweatshirts earlier this year. Hammond recognized the similarity, and even said some have approached him wondering if it was an intentional reference. He said that it instead referenced to German movies and Japanese posters from the ’70s.

His EP was released through Cult Records, founded by his bandmate from The Strokes and close friend Julian Casablancas. He said he felt lucky to work with Casablancas on what he called a true collaboration. But when asked whether he would play any of The Strokes’ songs on his tour, Hammond dismissed the notion.

“It would be weird. Maybe one day,” he said. “If [The Strokes ever finish], then I could. But for right now, [my upcoming tour has] 20 songs. It’s a rad set list. It has a good momentum.”

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 30 print edition. Christina Cacouris is a contributing writer. Email her at music@nyunews.com.

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
Tatiana Baez

Assistant Managing Editor | A CAS junior, Tatiana is studying journalism, environmental science and politics. She’s a bomb editor, as well as the staff’s main source of entertainment because she sings along to every song after 12 a.m. She also writes about culture, science, technology and sex, and her work has been featured in VICE, Motherboard, Elite Daily, amNewYork and others. She enjoys eating Thai food, reading fiction and binge-watching Netflix.

And in case you were wondering how great she really is — “I just can’t get enough of Tatiana” is a direct quote from her EIC at WSN only moments ago.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next