LAist Interviews Albert Hammond Jr.
Albert Hammond Jr., guitarist for The Strokes and now solo artist, released his first solo album, Yours To Keep in March to rave reviews. LAist caught up with him and got the skinny on his girlfriend's breathing, his dad's penis and his love for bagels and lox....
How did Yours To Keep come about? How long has this been in the works or
in your mind?
Well I’ve been writing songs since I started playing music. I guess I just reached a point where I had found the right people and the right songs to leave my house and see what they would sound like. We did a song at a time. There wasn't an idea of an album in mind; we were just living in the moment. And before we knew it we had a record and that my friend is how it happened.
How did you find your band mates- who are they?
Friends I guess. People who have similar interest come together for one cause.
You worked with some amazing musicians on this record, how did you get such
an eclectic group together?
Well when we wanted to do an acoustic version of 101 we just called our friends. When I needed someone to come do something I just called the day of. There was never any planning. The biggest thing we planned was studio time and dinner. And my friends loved coming because I always bring bagels and lox. MMMMmmmmmm so fucking good.
Read more with AHJ after the jump...
What was the recording process like for you and the artists you worked with?
For the most part it was just me and Greg or me, Greg, Matt, Josh and Gus. It was opium dream.
What is your songwriting process like?
It's a constant process of elimination. I'm constantly working on things and some move to the finish line first. Some don't want to be first they just want to be a little part. I always have something in my head that I'm working on, multiple things.
Where are some of your favorite venues or cities to play live at?
Where ever people want to come and see my music is a great place. If we are talking about vacation cities or cities I like because of the architecture or friends then I would have to say New York City, Paris, London, Tokyo and anywhere with blue clear warm water. Oh and a good venue is always a little more fun. You can hear things better.
Where did your personal style (the three piece suits) come from?
My daddies' penis. The same place any influence comes from. As you grow up you have people you admire and you try and copy it and through that you find yourself and what you want to be. I always liked suits. Had a friend who wore them all the time and I just though he was the coolest guy in the world. People treat you better n a suit. You can through a lot more weight around when you look better then your boss.
What are you listening to right now- what current artists inspire you?
My girlfriends breathing. She's asleep and it sounds so beautiful I think I might have to go play guitar. Things I have not achieved but want to can inspire me. And I have a back catalogue of shit like that.
What is "scared" about? It's so pretty, my favorite.
When you're writing you get put in this zone where you have ideas and you know what everything you are doing is about but when you get asked later there are just too many new things to care about. I like when people feel whatever they want to feel when they hear the words and melody. As long as it evokes some kind of emotion than it's doing something.
A little reminder:
I really have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm still trying to figure myself out. But I'm getting there. I'm on my way; I don't know where I'm going. I'm on my way, taking my time and I don't know why.
Yours To Keep is available in stores and online now and Albert will be rocking the European music festivals this summer. For tour dates check out NastyLittleMan
Photo by thelarrypage