Of all the juicy gossip in Lizzy Goodman’s post-Y2K NYC rock scene history Meet Me In The Bathroom, the juiciest might have been the storyline about Ryan Adams and the Strokes. That drama was chronicled in Goodman’s book last spring and spilled over onto Twitter last summer, and now it has a new chapter in the form of a Julian Casablancas interview on Beats 1.
To recap, Adams and Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. became heroin buddies at one point, which led to Hammond moving out of Julian Casablancas’ apartment. In the book, Hammond says Adams was “definitely a bad influence,” credits their drug-fueled friendship with Adams for hastening the Strokes’ downfall, and suggests that at one point Casablancas threatened to beat up Adams if he didn’t stop supplying Hammond with drugs. Here’s how Casablancas remembered the encounter in Goodman’s book: “Did I specifically tell Ryan to stay away from Albert? I can’t remember the details, to be honest. I think heroin just kind of crosses a line. It can take a person’s soul away. So it’s like if someone is trying to give your friend a lobotomy — you’re gonna step in.”
In July, having apparently become aware of the Meet Me In The Bathroom narrative, Adams took to Twitter and began roasting the Strokes. His zingers included, “Julian Casablancas: who got you strung out on lasagna tho?” and “Abert [sic] Hammond is a more horrible songwriter than his dad. If that’s possible.” Adams has since deleted his tweets.
Today, as Pitchfork points out, Casablancas went on Matt Wilkinson’s Beats 1 show to promote his upcoming Voidz album, and the subject of the Adams feud came up. He reiterated that he can’t remember the details of the situation but indicated that he doesn’t blame Adams for any of Hammond’s actions, ultimately concluding that people can have fun with the controversy but he doesn’t care to perpetuate it: “Even the Ryan Adams thing — I just feel like… I’m not aware… I mean, I might’ve been the one who did it. I just feel like I wouldn’t blame him for anything anyone else did. I’m not into throwing people under the bus for any reason or… You know what, man, let people enjoy it. I don’t really care, to be honest.”
Casablancas continued, “The whole feud thing, I’m so not into that. If you want to say something to someone’s face, that’s different.” He also said he’s “not super down” with Meet Me In The Bathroom: “It was a lot of kind of not insiders, maybe like talking as insiders. Like they didn’t interview my wife who was basically the Strokes’ co-manager for like 10 years.”
The new Voidz album Virtue is out 3/30. As for the Strokes, they don’t factor into Casablancas’ 2018 plans. However, “We’re always talking, and if anything, that would be 2019.” Oh, and Zayn Malik was his favorite member of One Direction. Listen to the interview below.