The Strokes (formed 1998)
The Strokes are an American alternative rock band, based in New York. They rose to prominence with the release of their debut album and were at the forefront of the garage rock revival of the early 21st century. The lineup of the band consists of Nick Valensi on lead guitar, Julian Casablancas on vocals, Fabrizio Moretti on drums, Albert Hammond Jr. on rhythm guitar and Nikolai Fraiture on bass guitar.
The Strokes: Formation
Casablancas, Valensi and Moretti originally started playing music together whilst they all attended Dwight School in Manhattan. Casablancas and Fraiture were also friends, though Fraiture attended the Lycée Français de New York. At the age of 13, Casablancas was sent to boarding school in Switzerland. It was here that he met Albert Hammond Jr. When Hammond attended art school in New York, he shared a flat with Casablancas.
The Strokes started out gigging at a Lower East Side venue called Mercury Lounge. The manager of the venue, Ryan Gentles, later quit the venue to become the band's full time manager.
'Last Nite' was released as a free MP3 on nme.com, shortly prior to the full release of their debut EP, named 'The Modern Age'. The EP fast became popular and a number of record labels fought to sign the band.
The Strokes: Debut Album and Onwards
The Strokes' debut album, Is This It, was released in October 2001 on RCA Records. The song 'New York City Cops' was removed from the US release, so as not to cause offence to the New York Police Department in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the city. The album was hugely popular with fans and critics alike, with many music journalists drawing parallels between The Strokes and New York bands from the 1970's CBGB's scene such as Television and Richard Hell and the Voidoids. The videos that accompanied the band's singles at this time were all directed by Roman Coppola, the son of Francis Ford Coppola.
The second album from The Strokes was named Room on Fire and received positive reviews, though the sales of the album fared less well than its predecessor. The album was released in October 2003 and the debut single from the album was '12:51'. When The Strokes toured the album, Kings of Leon and Regina Spektor were chosen to support them.
First Impressions of Earth was The Strokes' third album. The debut single, 'Juicebox', was leaked online prior to its release. The album was released in January 2006, though reviews were less emphatically positive than for their previous two albums. The band had decided not to work with Gordon Raphael, who had produced their first two albums and instead chose David Kahne to produce their third full-length release. Despite the mixed reception for the album, The Strokes won 'Best International Band' at that year's NME awards. Later that year, The Strokes opened for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in the US.
In early 2009, it was announced that, following a long hiatus, Julian Casablancas and Nick Valensi were writing new material for an upcoming album.
The Strokes: Personal Lives
In 2005, Julian Casablancas married Juliet Joslin. His father, John Casablancas, is the founder of Elite Model Management.
Nick Valensi married Amanda De Cadenet in 2006. She gave birth to their twins, Silvan and Ella the same year that they married.
Albert Hammond Jr. announced his engagement to the British model Agyness Deyn in August 2008. He has released two solo albums, Yours To Keep and ¿Como Te Llama?
Nikolai Fraiture released his own solo album, The Time of the Assassins in January 2009. The album featured appearances from Regina Spektor and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Fab Moretti dated the actress Drew Barrymore for five years until 2007. He now dates the musician Binki Shapiro. Moretti also works with Har Mar Superstar and Devendra Banhart on a regular basis.