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Broken Record with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam and Justin Richmond

Albert Hammond Jr

Tue Jul 25 2023
Albert Hammond Jr.The Strokesmusicparentingcreativitylive performancestouringmusic industry


Albert Hammond Jr., lead guitarist of The Strokes, discusses his career, personal life, parenting, music journey, preferences, creativity, live performances, touring, and challenges in the music industry. He rose to prominence with The Strokes and launched a successful solo career. Albert shares personal stories about his parents' divorce, his past as a champion roller skater, and his influences in music. He reflects on the challenges of parenting and how it has impacted his growth as a musician. Albert also discusses his journey in music, including learning guitar, songwriting, and dealing with creative struggles. He shares insights on performing live shows, touring, and the realities of the music industry. Throughout the episode, Albert emphasizes the importance of enjoying the creative process and maintaining a fan perspective.


Parenting and Personal Growth

Parenting can be a life-changing experience that helps individuals build deeper connections and grow as individuals.

Music Journey and Challenges

Pushing through moments of wanting to quit is crucial for improving skills in playing an instrument.

Music Preferences and Creativity

Having a critical voice and embracing the shadow are important aspects of nurturing creativity.

Live Performances and Touring

Performing live shows and touring can be rewarding but also come with challenges and sacrifices.

Challenges in the Music Industry

Musicians often face financial challenges and instability in the music industry compared to actors.


  1. Albert Hammond Jr.'s Career
  2. Personal Life and Influences
  3. Parenting and Personal Growth
  4. Music Journey and Challenges
  5. Music Preferences and Creativity
  6. Live Performances and Touring
  7. Challenges in the Music Industry

Albert Hammond Jr.'s Career

00:06 - 07:21

  • Albert Hammond Jr. rose to prominence as the lead guitarist of The Strokes.
  • The Strokes released their debut album Is This It in 2001.
  • Albert Hamman Jr. launched his solo career in 2007.
  • His latest album, Melodies on Hiatus, is a double album co-written with Simon Wilcox.
  • The album features collaborations with Goldlink and Matt Helders from the Arctic Monkeys.

Personal Life and Influences

07:03 - 13:55

  • Albert discusses how his parents' recent divorce impacted him despite being in his early 40s.
  • He talks about his past life as a champion roller skater and being scouted by Krista Yamaguchi's Olympic ice skating coach.
  • The speaker was influenced by bands like Guided by Voices, Modern Lovers, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Built to Spill, The Cure, The Cars, The Beatles, and The Stones.

Parenting and Personal Growth

13:28 - 20:26

  • Having a child is a life-changing experience that requires a lot of bandwidth
  • Parenting destroys your old life but helps you build up deeper and better
  • Creating new life is amazing and can be scary when considering inherited traits
  • The speaker wonders if their child has personality traits from different ancestors
  • The speaker shares a personal story about being a twin and the impact on their parents
  • Accepting being the front person in music was a process for the speaker
  • Releasing solo albums helped the speaker grow as a songwriter
  • The speaker always wanted to be in a band rather than go solo

Music Journey and Challenges

19:58 - 27:02

  • The speaker fell in love with music and writing songs before becoming interested in playing the guitar.
  • They initially didn't understand or click with guitar parts, but felt the need to learn when they joined a band.
  • Their early songwriting was not aimed at making an album, but rather contributing to their band's music.
  • The speaker used to be a figure skater and had potential for the Olympics, but preferred roller skating.
  • They enjoyed winning and practiced skating for several hours every day until they got injured.
  • The speaker believes that pushing through moments of wanting to quit is what makes people better at playing an instrument.
  • They still have moments where they want to quit guitar and would like a teacher to help them overcome weaknesses and gain confidence.
  • The creative world can be challenging due to setting boundaries, destructive tendencies, and negative inner voices.
  • The speaker is good at following instructions but struggles when they have to figure things out on their own.
  • They compare this struggle to food and working out, where having guidance leads to better results.

Music Preferences and Creativity

26:37 - 33:31

  • The speaker discusses their appreciation for certain songs but not the entire albums of certain bands.
  • They clarify that their taste in music does not mean they think they are better than the musicians or dislike the bands.
  • The speaker mentions that there are songs from other bands that they like, but they can't have a moment with everything.
  • They also mention disliking some songs initially but then finding them enjoyable later on.
  • The speaker expresses their preference for other types of music, such as Philip Glass string quartet number three.
  • They discuss the relationship between their critical voice and creativity, stating that embracing the shadow and nurturing it is where creation lies.
  • The speaker reflects on feeling like two different people when creating versus living their daily life.
  • They emphasize the importance of enjoying the creative process rather than solely focusing on the end result.
  • The speaker shares their perspective on performing on stage and how it differs from being in a creative mindset.

Live Performances and Touring

33:08 - 39:26

  • Performing live shows is a whole experience with ups and downs
  • Being able to bring the crowd back after pushing them away is rewarding
  • Touring requires learning how to perform at less than 100% but still give a great show
  • The longer you tour, the more comfortable it becomes
  • Playing familiar songs and seeing how the crowd reacts is a magical feeling
  • Maintaining a fan perspective while touring helps maintain the love for music
  • Falling in love with music doesn't prepare you for the realities of the industry
  • Creating something magical still comes with a price
  • Julian has the most say in planning tours for The Strokes
  • Festivals are fun but require a different approach to setlists and performances

Challenges in the Music Industry

39:01 - 45:52

  • The artist wanted to create a record with less of a band and more tracks.
  • Touring can be challenging due to the instability of the band.
  • Touring is seen as a luxury, especially when there is an audience and potential for income.
  • Musicians often have to rely on others to pay for their expenses while actors have companies that cover their costs.
  • This difference in financial support may make musicians cooler than actors.