albert hammond jr interview

BN1 chats to… Albert Hammond Jr

Recognised around the world as the crafted guitarists of indie patriots The Strokes, Albert Hammond Jr. is a legend amongst the NME reading generation of the 00’s. However with the recent release of his latest solo project “Francis Trouble” Hammond delves into a personal and creative journey, evolving into the solo performer he’s always felt he belongs as. From touring the world with The Killers and Franz Ferdinand to his upcoming tour later this year Albert Hammond Jr. is making his mark on the world as the performer he’s always wanted to be.

You released your latest album earlier this year, tell us bit about the inspiration behind that album?

Albert: The story behind it is this idea of an alter ego. The birth of that idea came back to this twin I had who passed away, and I turned that into a superhero comic book character type for an alter ego. So its basic form is two explorations that sparked my ideas and created the record but it all comes back to you as a person. Because an alter ego is just another form for you, and it relates back to where it all started for me and becoming the type of performer I wanted to be.

How do you as an artist approach writing about such a personal experience?

Albert:I feel like that’s just the purpose of art in general, you experience things and then you share those experiences through your universal means. It’s like acting. I grew up listening to music without knowing the artist or meaning behind that song right away and then finding my own way of looking at it and its things like that, that changed my life and the way I write. Music is stronger than just words, it’s in your gut, and it’s a feeling.

Your tour’s coming up, what do you find is the best thing about being on the road playing your music?

Albert:The closest you’ll get to the romantic feeling you had when fell in love with music, is when you’re on stage connecting with an audience. That notion you have when you first fall in love with music slowly disappears the more involved you are with the business side of it. But there’s just something about being on stage, it reaches out to you and the people in the audience on a certain level. 

albert hammond jr interview

You toured with The Killers earlier this year, how did that come about?

Albert:That was amazing. It’s like how does the sperm get to the egg… it just fights its way through! Everyone wants that spot! It was an amazing experience, when we first started the tour I didn’t really know how I would fit but then getting into those arenas and playing my songs, those songs belonged there. They just took a life of its own right away. We also opened for Franz Ferdinand as well, so it was a really amazing tour.

How have you found, going from touring in a band to then playing as a solo artists?

Albert:It’s great. I’ve never really had more fun on stage, then I do now. It’s not like you sit there and compare it. They’re two completely different things one’s a successful band, so I don’t have to do anything. Then now I’ve been able to grow as a solo artist and as a performer with this record, it’s too much fun. I wish I’d been able to learn all this and blossom earlier in my career.

A lot of people know you as a guitarist, but now you’re writing and playing your own songs how does that feel?

Albert:This was the point of this record, through the lens of the media I’m type casted as a “guitar player”. But I grew up wanting to sing and play music, so I see myself in a very different way to how I’m perceived. This is where I’ve always belonged, it’s just whatever insecurities or other endeavours have stopped me from discovering that until now.

Albert Hammond Jr comes to Concorde 2 on Sun 16 Sept.

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