The Strokes are back with Angles (out March 22), their first studio album since 2006. What took 'em so long? One of the obstacles was Albert Hammond Jr.'s drug addiction, which the 31-year-old guitarist calls "hardcore" in SPIN's April cover story.
"I guess you could say I wasn't really there when we started," Hammond tells Sloane Crosley, the best-selling author of I Was Told There'd Be Cake, of his state when the band began recording Angles.
In late 2009, the Strokes stopped sessions for Hammond to attend rehab. But soon the bandmembers were back at work on the much-anticipated LP.
"People can't believe I did that," he says of returning to the studio just a month after finishing treatment in December '09. "I wasn't on any chemicals. It was hard -- you have two good years of post-acute withdrawal. I was nervous and couldn't remember things. It's like having a stroke, no pun intended."
He adds, "You always do the crazy-rock-star thing, of course, but I'd rather be left with music from someone I admire than their funny stories of all the fucked-up shit they did."
For more on the Strokes' comeback, pick up SPIN's April issue, on newsstands March 22.
In related news, the Strokes played their first show in support of Angles Saturday night in Las Vegas, and will head to Austin, TX, this week to perform a free gig on Thursday, March 17.