Strokes' Guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr.: "Garage Music Sounds Like Crap"
Today Spinner posted an interview with Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr., who whines about his band being considered "garage" because a) he doesn't have a garage (no, really), and b) "garage music sounds like crap" and--at least according to him--the Strokes don't. Read the excerpts:
On being called leaders of the "garage band" revival: We never understood what they meant when they said that in the first place. I always thought of our songs as beautiful melodic songs with counterpoint. When I hear garage music, it doesn't sound like us at all -- it sounds like crap. It's not melodic. I understand, you have to put some label on it or something. I imagine they're used to hearing modern records that have a certain sound that maybe wasn't on our record. But we just thought that other stuff sounded stale. For some reason, that got characterized as garage rock, and I don't even know what that means, because I don't have a garage.
On not having to work for a living: Before was just the time that was needed to come back in the right frame of mind, and after was a mixture of stuff. We worked on music, and then we had to take some time off and then we recorded it twice, so the recording process, that was the biggest thing.
On doing loads of drug and stuff: I mean, it's not like we had so much success that we couldn't deal with it, but having any, it gives you a certain freedom, and you're young and you tend to be excessive about it, at least for me, with drugs and going out and stuff like that. And then you kind of lose yourself in that and find your way back.
On comparing the Strokes to classic bands from the past: You start to realize, instead of crazy stories, I'd rather end up with crazy amazing albums. That's what I've learned from my fellow musicians of the '50s and '60s and '70s, all my idols. Eventually, it catches up, and you always would rather end up with music than anything else. As cool as rock 'n' roll stories are, it ain't that cool.
On self-recording a home studio: We went up to my studio upstate just with the idea of recording the two songs we hadn't gotten to finish at the other studio in New York, and maybe, just maybe, doing some overdubs as we listened to stuff we had recorded. And then the first song we recorded at my place was a song called 'Machu Picchu,' and it was by far the best-sounding thing we had done. And it was like, "Wow, we did this ourselves, up here. That's a good sign."