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Strokes Get Ready for Follow-up

Band will head back into studio in September

The Strokes plan to record their new album this September, in between summer tour dates with Weezer and the White Stripes, and a headlining tour in the fall. New songs for the album-in-progress include, “The Way It Is,” “Meet Me in the Bathroom” and “I Can’t Win.”

“We have some [new] songs that are easy to get, that are really cool,” says Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. “And there’s some songs you have to hear a couple times to understand what’s going on, but once you do the joy lasts so much longer. Like ‘Last Nite’ [the band’s breakout single from their 2001 debut, Is This It?] is easy to swallow but it goes away so much faster. A song like [the same album’s] ‘Hard to Explain’ is a little less easy to swallow, but a month later you’re still totally into it.”

Of the newbies, Hammond pegged “The Way It Is” as an early favorite. “It’s magical, rocking, interesting and everything we’re playing is so new,” he says. “We’ve never done the drum beat or guitar parts, everything. It’s like all rocking and then gets weird. What kind of song is this? It’s fucking the future of rock & roll, man! I say that with no ego whatsoever. I say that honestly.”

But, right now, the Strokes are still focused on promoting their first album. Speaking from the Power House bar in Hollywood, while shooting the video for the third single, “Someday,” Hammond outlined the treatment for the Roman Coppola-directed clip: “It’s a nostalgic kind of song — good times hanging out with friends, so we thought we’d do a couple scenes in the bar hanging out with friends and then some scenes of us at the studio, very natural, and then we’ll play a Family Feud show against Guided by Voices. We’ll play a whole entire show and then we’ll edit cool parts into the video.” For their October and November headlining tour, the Strokes will play theaters, larger rooms than the New York group passed through on their initial outing. “I think they’re cool as long as you make them an experience,” says Hammond of the bigger venues. “Radio City is like 6,000 people, but when you walk into that room you feel like you’re walking into somewhere special. You walk in the giant door, you’re waiting in line, it’s like a big event. It’s always cool when they’re like that. It’s got the same intensity that a club does but just a bigger room. And it’s not so much that it’s a bigger room money-wise. People send us angry emails that they can’t get into shows, so you can’t really win the battle. People want small shows and then they get angry at you if they can’t get in. You’ve got to find the middle ground.”

Strokes tour dates:

With Weezer

7/15: Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Blossom Music Center
7/17: Noblesville, IN, Verizon Wireless Music Center
7/18: Columbus, OH, Polaris Amphitheater
7/29: Atlanta, Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater
7/30: Antioch, TN, AmSouth Amphitheater
With the White Stripes

8/9: Detroit, Chene Park
8/14: New York, Irving Plaza
8/15: New York, Radio City Music Hall


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