As the Jan. 3 release of their third RCA album, "First Impressions of Earth," draws near, the Strokes are about to set off on a worldwide promo tour that will feature secret club shows in several citi

As the Jan. 3 release of their third RCA album, "First Impressions of Earth," draws near, the Strokes are about to set off on a worldwide promo tour that will feature secret club shows in several cities. The outing will begin Monday (Nov. 14) in Tokyo and proceed to Sydney, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin, Milan and Madrid through mid-December.

"We'll do eight new songs and leave, just like how it was with the first record, with no one knowing any of our music," guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. tells Billboard.com. "We thought it would build some excitement."

The club blitz will continue in North America the week the new album comes out, with shows being eyed for New York, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles. The Strokes' "proper" North American tour will then get underway in February and run until the end of April.

And while he doesn't expect it to be played during the upcoming club shows, Hammond is looking forward to performing the new song "Ask Me Anything," which features only vocalist Julian Casablancas singing along with a Mellotron melody played by guitarist Nick Valensi.

"When we start the main touring, we're definitely going to throw that song in," Hammond says, noting that the Strokes have never utilized keyboards in a live setting. "It will be a nice break from all the loud music."

Hammond admits it is a bit strange to have the next year-and-a-half of his life already planned out, but acknowledges, "At the same time, this has been my life for six years. I like it. I know what's going on, and then after [each touring leg], I have three weeks to hang out somewhere and not think about anything."

The new album's first single, "Juicebox," is No. 13 in its sixth week on Billboard's Modern Rock airplay chart. Its accompanying video clip was delivered earlier this week to MTV for airplay consideration.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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