Hammond is truly a New York City rock icon, and it was fascinating to spend a half hour looking back on his career -- who he was when the Strokes broke big in 2002, who he was when he released his first solo album four years later, and who he is today: playing the occasional festival main stage with the Strokes, but focused on breaking new ground with his own solo music, and all the uncertainty that comes with it.
Previous Episodes: Preoccupations | BØRNS | Tonight Alive | Jeff Rosenstock
"Comfort and familiarity are terrible spaces to live in," he says. "To create, you have to be able to poke fun at yourself, allow yourself to do something that's dumb, bad, or cheesy... I had to make many mistakes and be not who I wanted to be in all my solo records up 'til here. I had gaps I knew I was missing, but had to accept to move forward."
Francis Trouble (released last month on Red Bull Music) is an excellent record, packed with clever grooves and choruses that linger. We talked about all that, in addition to his inclusion in last year's sometimes-scandalous NYC rock history opus Meet Me in the Bathroom ("I don't wanna make noise on this podcast!"), growing up with a rock star dad, and plenty of advice for solo creatives.
#AlternativeFacts is a weekly Billboard podcast devoted to all things alternative music. Click here to subscribe to the #AlternativeFacts Podcast on iTunes. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@cpayneonaplane) and by rating the podcast on iTunes.