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.
Ride and The Strokes will be joined by The Black Keys, Patti Smith, The Replacements and more.
Fans and hopeful attendees of Barcelona's Primavera Sound were delighted to discover that the preview app they downloaded was a video game displaying the full line-up for the festival's fifteenth anniversary.
Already announced were Friday and Saturday's headliners Ride and The Strokes, and now they've been joined by a host of other equally incredible artists. Thursday sees The Black Keys leading the bill alongside The Replacements, who are hitting Spanish stages for the first time and Antony and the Johnsons, who've been doing plenty since their last Barcelona gig. Bringing some variation to Thursday proceedings are electronic virtuosos James Blake, Richie Hawtin and Simian Mobile Disco.
Continue reading: The 15th Anniversary Line-Up For Primavera Sound Is Finally Here!
Strokes singer Julian Casablancas sets out on the first tour with his new band Julian Casablancas + The Voidz, while promoting their debut album 'Tyranny'.
With a full North American tour on the way this Fall and their debut album 'Tyranny' coming very soon, The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas' new band Julian Casablancas + The Voidz are looking at a busy few months ahead.
'Tyranny' is the first release from Casablancas' new band
The new release will be out on Casablancas' own label Cult Records, which he set up back in 2009 for his solo debut 'Phrazes for the Young' and which has since signed the likes of Har Mar Superstar, Karen O, Albert Hammond Jr., and Cerebral Ballzy. Featuring Casablancas on vocals, Jeramy Gritter and Amir Yaghmai on guitar, Jeff Kite on keyboards, Jake Bercovici on bass and Alex Carapetis on drums, the band have been recording since their 2013 formation releasing the acclaimed single 'Human Sadness' earlier this year and a Gritter directed video for the song 'Where No Eagles Fly'.
The Strokes' latest effort appears to have intrigued and confused in equal measure.
The fifth studio album from The Strokes - Comedown Machine - is not Is This It. It sounds nothing like Is This It and frankly shouldn't be uttered in the same breath. This is bad news for Strokes fan-boys who have been waiting for another Is This It...since, well, you know. However, for all Comedown Machine has deflated fans of New York City Cops, Last Nite and Somebody, the 80's new wave inspired record appears to have won favour amongst critics.
The general consensus is that Comedown Machine is not so much a grower, as simply a little difficult to get into, which can often be ultimately rewarding. The BBC said, "The songs here might take a little longer to unlock than their predecessors, but none of them strike a false note." On previous efforts Last Impressions Of Earth and Angles, the songs were either pretty good, pretty unmemorable or pretty bad, and that was it. Comedown Machine appears to strike a different note entirely. Clash magazine called the album the band's "most thought provoking, strange and sexiest record yet," while Q said, "Their best album since they hit perfection with their debut."
Drowned in Sound provide a similar realistic sounding outlook on the album, saying, "The Strokes will never get back the raw magic of Is This It? but, with Comedown Machine, they've cast a different spell entirely - one that's almost joyful" - a view echoed by NME which said, "Most of all, it's fun - a great achievement considering it hasn't looked like fun being in The Strokes for years."
The Strokes return with Comedown Machine, but is it any good?
Today, March 26, marks the day that The Strokes release their fifth studio album together, Comedown Machine. The album can perhaps be seen as the band's reassurance that they are still together and still intent on making records, thus the seemingly brief time since the release of 2011's comeback album Angles, but has this production-line album release resulted in something as good as Is This It or is it just more of a comedown from the high of their return?
The Strokes: Have They Still Got It?
The first round of reviews are in now and so far there are very few bad reviews out there, with the overwhelming response being that the album is, if anything, a little underwhelming, but a fun and enjoyable listen nonetheless. Our own review of the album, salutes the bands ability to surf between their famed garage rock sound and their new 80's synth influence direction and whilst it may not be as relevant as the band's debut, it is "definitely worth investing time in."
Recommended Albums... New York garage-rock new-wavers The Strokes are on album number five and Comedown Machine marks a return to form for Julian Casablancas & co. Whilst they may not be trying to replicate the pared down sound of their now-iconic debut This Is It, they have at least re-captured some of that raw energy. With a sound now owing as much to 80s synth bands such as A-Ha and Human League as it does to their beloved garage rock idols.
As a result, The Strokes, circa 2013 finds the band fully rejuvenated and seemingly enjoying themselves. They may struggle to regain the popularity that they enjoyed when the band first emerged but they have at least done themselves proud with Comedown Machine.
Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond Jr, Fabrizio Moretti, Julian Casablancas and The Strokes - Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond Jr, Fabrizio Moretti, Nikolai Fraiture and Julian Casablancas of The Strokes Wednesday 20th April 2011 at Beverly Hilton Hotel Los Angeles, California