The Strokes Aren't 'Toiling' on New Music, Says Albert Hammond, Jr
But Hammond -- whose "AHJ" EP is out now -- says the band will regroup energized and free of a label to "see how we want to present ourselves going forward"
Reports of the Strokes' imminent return are a little bit exaggerated, according to guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.
A just-released Fall 2013 Update of the group's email newsletter, in addition to promoting Hammond's new EP "AHJ" -- on frontman Julian Casablancas' Cult Records label -- announced that the group is "toiling and writing, looking at 2014 for a return to the scene." But Hammond tells Billboard that isn't exactly the case.
"We don't know anything yet," Hammond says. "There's no news or information. We're not writing or doing anything -- maybe individually we are, but it's not like we're in the studio or anything."
But even though the Strokes' decided not to tour or do press for "Comedown Machine" earlier this year, Hammond remains confident that the group is a going concern and even predicted in a recent U.K. interview that he can foresee as many as 10 more Strokes albums coming down the road.
"I feel like what makes it so great is the dynamic of it all," Hammond says of the Strokes. "There's something in our chemistry that works. With ('Comedown Machine') we thought it would be cool to have a record and see how it did with no press or touring and then kind of regroup at this point in our lives, where we're no longer attached to a label, and see how we want to present ourselves going forward. I think people always want things immediate, and I feel like what's best is always something that's thought out. Something that's great will just have more of an impact than something that's 'now.' "
That said, Hammond is excited about "AHJ," a five-song set that he says grew from the simplest of ideas.
"I wanted to release something with Julian for awhile," Hammond explains. "In my mind and his mind it was going to be a single or something like that, but as I sent him the songs and kept working on other ones it just kept growing. It wasn't like, 'I'm gonna make a five-song EP for you,' but we just kind of kept on going and finally it was like, 'Look, we have five (songs). Let's just put them out.' "
Hammond starts a three-week tour to support "AHJ" on Nov. 3 in Washington, D.C., and he's already started working on more new material that he says "sounds so different from this EP already, like you're somewhere else -- in a good way, obviously. I feel kind of tired of the album format, to be honest. I like the idea of putting out two or three EPs a year, which is easier because I don't have to tour for eight months, come home and work for eight months on a record and then tour again. This way you can kind of tour a little bit, come home, record a few songs, put them out, go back on tour for a little bit, come home, do a few more songs, put 'em out...I feel like creating-wise, I'll grow quicker that way."