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The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. recently opened up in an interview with The Talks after the release of his most recent solo effort, AHJ. Hammond revealed that at one point became paranoid while in the grips of a narcotics addiction: “You know, I reached points where I was insane, hearing voices because I was up for so long, moving stuff around and locking myself in my room for long periods of time. I became in love with that very dark side of it, I became in love with the process of intravenous use, even more so than the drugs, just the process of pushing something in there.”
Hammond also revealed that his bandmates became increasingly worried over his self-destructive behavior, saying, “Everyone just told me as a friend, ‘I don’t want to see you like this. Forget the band’. Such a big part of me is being in this band, it’s huge, but life isn’t all about what you do. I feel like our culture says, ‘You are what you make’, but I don’t believe that. So I think everyone was just more concerned that I was going to kill myself.”
Hammond eventually sought help in late September of 2009 and admitted himself into rehab. He was reunited with the band in December of the same year to continue recording Angles which would eventually come out in 2011.
Hammond credits his latest work to his sobriety and said: “I feel like it is a mixture and understanding of my two previous solo albums [Yours To Keep and ¿Cómo Te Llama?], which is why I am calling it the best thing I have done.”
AHJ was released on October 8 via Julia Casablanca’s label Cult Records.