Podcast: Albert Hammond Jr.


Today we’re hanging out with an old friend of Matt’s: guitarist Albert Hammond Jr!  You may know him from his time playing in The Strokes…he’s got a new solo album coming out this week called Francis Trouble…Albert will tell us why he loved recording it in his upstate New York home.  Plus: the incredible story behind the album’s concept, his early days working at record stores in NYC, and why he would prefer his shows were cramped and sweaty instead of clean and un-cozy.  Make sure to subscribe to the ‘2 Hours with Matt Pinfield’ podcast now so you don’t miss any upcoming conversations, we’ve got new episodes every Monday and Thursday morning.

AHJ on concept for ‘Francis Trouble’:

“I was a twin…and I guess when my mom was five months pregnant she lost the baby.  They told her that she wasn’t pregnant anymore…she of course was like, ‘are you sure?  I feel weird.’  And uhh…I guess I was still in there holding on for dear life!  The crazy part about the story, they told me that when I was younger…however it resonated…and then years later when I was 36 I started to find out that in my placenta was different things of my twin.  [MATT – Like a fingernail right?]  A fingernail…just like—for lack of a better word—gunk or whatever.  And that kinda blew me away and it kinda tied in with all this dream work and shadow work I had done and that everything you kinda stuff down as a child…being this child that wants to lash out cause it’s not been getting paid attention to and then wanting to raise that side of you because it has such powerful creative force and let it free.  That person kinda became Francis Trouble…became this record.”

AHJ on naming album ‘Francis Trouble’:

“It was ME I just always used to call myself Francis Trouble, I just liked it!  Y/k?  So that name was there…my wife actually told me to call the record that…but it just tied in so well with the visual that I had for it…it made so much sense with what I found out about it…the fact that the actual—when I found out I was 36—the record is exactly 36 minutes long…it all ties in with number 9.  It’s like when you’re taking a road and you’re just like on the right road y/k?  You got all greens.”

AHJ on #TRENDINGTRACK “Set To Attack”:

“It’s one of my favorites cause it just…I love the Beatles and I just felt like with the harmonies it just…it had that energy but at the same time with the riff y/k it reminded me of some Guided By Voices stuff that I grew up with.  And the solo just soars.  I don’t know it just had that fun, that melancholy of being a teenager…that lust for life that you have then.”

AHJ on his relationship with guys in The Strokes:

“I talk to Julian [Casablancas] a lot…not for any particular reason y/k just that everyone has their own lives and Julian and I were roommates for like seven years so I feel like it might even be because of that.  People respond differently to the technology of a cell phone to y/k?  And you can’t really hold that against them…I respect that.  But when we all get together it’s great…it’s not like, ‘oh I haven’t texted you’ or something…it’s not like animosity.”

AHJ on concert vibe he loves:

“We humans, we like coziness but the problem is modern times have created a very clean, technical, uncozy vibe.  Like if you watch Rolling Stones at MSG…it looks like the coolest party ever.  And then if you see a modern day concert it just looks like you’re at the dentist.  Bad things do happen no matter how much you try to control it but the more control you try to pretend you have…you create [MATT – A sterile environment.]  Yeah a sterile environment.”