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Strokes to “Shift Sound” on New Record

Bassist Nikolai Fraiture talks to about the New York band's long-awaited reunion.

Next February, New York quintet the Strokes will push aside their respective solo projects and reunite to begin writing songs for their first new record since 2006’s ambitious First Impressions of Earth. And when they do, bassist Nikolai Fraiture tells their new musical experiences will bring “a shift from our regular sound.”

“The dynamic will be different and it will seep through [into our new music],” Fraiture says. “Maybe that’ll be our producer, maybe it will be different songwriting — it’s a little too early to tell.But I think the only way to go forward is to change.”

“Everyone in the band is eager to get back,” he continues. “We’ve been trying for the last two years, on and off. But people need to do what they need to do. That’s how all of the side-projects came about — wanting to continue to play music.”

While we await more about the Strokes’ new album, Fraiture is doing just that — playing music. His debut album as Nickel Eye, the stripped down and folksy Time of the Assassins featuring cameos from Regina Spektor and Yeah Yeah Yeahs axeman Nick Zinner, drops Jan. 27, and he’s already planning a supporting tour with members of U.K. rock trio South as his backing band.

But even with the Strokes onslaughtjust around the corner, fans of Fraiture’s Nickel Eye work don’t need to worry about the bassist’s return to his old chums. “It’s a three-album deal,” Fraiture says of his contract with Rykodisc. “They’re very flexible and understanding of my day job.”