Albert Hammond Jr.

Albert Hammond, Jr., the Strokes guitarist and occasional solo artist, has been in and out of the spotlight over the last decade-plus. From an outside perspective, the volatile nature of the Strokes themselves has had something to do with it. But apparently, that’s not all. And now Hammond has opened up about the dangerous and debilitating addiction problems that he’s been battling for years.

Talking to NME, Hammond claims that he was in a “dark place” when the Strokes recorded their sophomore album, 2003′s Room On Fire: “It was, like, Oxycontin and cocaine at 24, 25, 26. And then I became [addicted to] heroin around then. So from 26, 27 till 29. It’s not so much that I wasn’t in a happy place. I was just… God knows where I was. I was just very high. That’s where I was.”

During that whole period, Hammond says that he wasn’t remotely functional: “I used to shoot cocaine, heroin, and ketamine, all together — morning, night, 20 times a day. You know, I was a mess. I look back and I don’t even recognise myself… I mean, you have moments when you’re fine. And if someone meets you, you seem fine. But I remember when I was showing someone music and I was wearing a short shirt and [points to wrists]… there were just purple [track marks] all the way down here. And then they would call someone – ’Did you see Albert, he looks crazy?’ That’s where I learned to wear long sleeves.”

Hammond is now thankfully four years sober, and he’ll release his new solo EP AHJ 10/8 on Julian Casablancas’s label Cult Records.

Comments (12)
  1. well that explains that 1,400 year-old, anemic ghost that showed up on gossip girl.

  2. Damn, this is surprising. I knew he liked to party and had even mentioned blow in an interview or two going back to around 2003, but he always seemed to have his shit together. I never saw any pictures of him all sweaty and strung out looking like Pete Doherty or something. But anyway, good for him getting clean.

  3. Right, so you’re telling me he made his best albums when he was high as shit ? Fuck, now I gotta be an asshole and wish he stayed a junkie and play good music, or stay polite and wish he stays clean and just play boring synths on the next Strokes album. Albert, you monster :(

    • You talk as if Albert Hammond Jr’s the sole songwriter of the Strokes. He cowrote one song off Room On Fire, and one off First Impressions of Earth. Angles and Comedown Machine were collaborative efforts so it’s wrong to say his sobriety is the sole reason for what you perceive to be a degradation in quality (btw, I think Angles sucked but not because of Albert’s sobriety). The only music he is fully responsible for are his two solo albums that he wrote while he was still very addicted to drugs. The songs off AHJ are going to be the only way we can tell if drugs hindered or helped his songwriting abilities. YOU’RE IGNORANT!

  4. Their look/sound always screamed ‘COCAINE’ to me, but man, he took it to another level. Shooting heroin, cocaine AND ketamine together?? Jesus, that would put you on Venus. Dude is goddamn lucky to be alive for sure.

  5. Ok… now i wanna know what Julian was into.. shrooms up his ass and shit.

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