There’s an emerging line of thought that frames the Strokes as America’s Oasis: beloved for their first two watershed records, forgiven for uneven subsequent efforts. Recorded output aside, the analogy holds water at least in terms of their media coverage: The “Are they getting along or aren’t they?” tagline is amusing, or exhausting, depending on your tolerance for press conjecture, decontextualized quotes, and your desire to read into the body language and banter of a famously apathetic (onstage) band. The last two days have not disappointed in that regard: Yes, the Strokes appear to be in the studio here and there, working out new ideas for an Angles followup. That’s great news. Angles was alright and it’ll be nice to hear the band make a record that they’re not creating via email attachment or whatever. According to Billboard, Al Hammond, Jr. says “everything’s been really good for a while,” and that any of the new stuff they are making will not be performed until recorded. Great! According to NME, Julian delayed the band’s first attempts at post-Angles studio/writing time because Valensi was fixing (finally) to make a solo album. But the songs he wanted to use were Strokes songs, and so Nick wasn’t allowed to do it for legal reasons, or … something? It’s a pretty strange situation and the quote is sort of unclear, but it is fitting that not even the Strokes can give clear quotes on why the are or are not getting along at any given moment.
Regardless, the FACTS are these: The Strokes have had a writing session, in the studio, and as of today’s Billboard article they are getting along. And those are good facts.