The enthusiasm in creating music for Albert Hammond Jr. is so easily detectable, it permeates his every syllable. Whether it's chatting up his new solo record "Momentary Masters" or providing what little update he can on The Strokes, his joy in the creative process is always evident.
amNewYork had the chance to experience this firsthand as we chatted with the talented musician.
You cover a lot of musical ground with the new record -- folk, rock, punk, funk -- what was the inspiration behind this album?
I listen to all those styles so for me it doesn't seem that weird when you try different things. I'll always try, even if it's a slower melody, to speed it up and make it more intense because that's what I enjoy right now from being on the road.
What's your favorite backstory behind any of the songs on "Momentary Masters?"
The pinnacle for us was "Coming Getcha" and "Side Boob." "Coming Getcha" came together a little less dramatic, but things were happening in the moment. "Side Boob" was four piano things that got us excited. By the end of the night we felt we had this song and getting to this ending ... I was pounding on my chest.
"Sideboob" is a great title for a song.
Yeah, you know it's funny, it was a working title, and I just couldn't change it. I liked it too much. [Laughs]
Your battles with drug and alcohol addictions are well documented. When creating music, is it different to be writing with a clear head versus under some kind of influence?
You handle your emotions differently. You don't live by them. The highs and lows come with the excitement of creating as opposed to the high and low of whatever you're taking.
Here comes the obligatory Strokes question: Are you tired of answering obligatory Strokes questions?
[Laughs] No, I understand it. It was a huge part of my life, more so than the people asking the questions, or the fans. It's something unique between the five of us. So no, I totally understand. It was this huge band and it's still growing. There's not much to say right now [but] there'll be a time when we do something and I'll gladly talk about it.
If you go: Albert Hammond Jr. is at Bowery Ballroom tonight at 8, 6 Delancey St., 212-533-2111, sold out