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Albert Hammond, Jr.

indie rock indie seen live singer-songwriter alternative

    Albert Hammond, Jr. (born April 9, 1980, in Los Angeles) is a musician best known as the guitarist for the rock band The Strokes. Outside of the band, he has released two solo albums.

    The son of Gibraltarian-British songwriter Albert Hammond, Albert Jr. was sent to the elite boarding school Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland at the age of 13. While there, he met Julian Casablancas, who would go on to be a fellow band member.

    In 1998, Albert met up with Julian in New York City and together they formed a band with Julian's former schoolmates: Nick Valensi, Nikolai Fraiture and Fabrizio Moretti.

    His trademark is wearing formal suits, usually a different one for each show. Albert is usually seen playing an olympian white Fender Stratocaster, or bandmate Nick Valensi's Les Paul Jr. He is usually associated with the "rhythm" guitar portion of the majority of Strokes songs, and most solos are played by Valensi. The solos in which Albert does play are Last Nite, Trying Your Luck, Take It Or Leave It, Under Control, The End Has No End, Ize Of The World, and Vision Of Division. His solos tend to focus largely on more emotional, "bluesy"-type melodical work, and the guitar tends to have a cleaner, softer tone in comparison to Valensi's (with a noteable exception found in Vision Of Division). He often holds the guitar in a high horizontal position, similar to Bob Dylan and Ian Curtis.

    Although vocalist Julian Casablancas is the major contributor to the songwriting process for The Strokes' music, Albert has been known to write a few pieces of his own. He has been credited to writing three mostly instrumental songs (Swiss Beats, Holland, and By The Way) for the bands' 2001 tour video entitled "In Transit". He had also written a song called "Elephant Song", in which Albert used when he was was required to record a song for his Sound 101 class in freshman year, using the school's recording equipment. The song was played at a few shows before the release of their first album. The Strokes were to later rerecord the song as a special giveaway for fanclub members.

    Hammond released his debut solo album on October 9th in the United Kingdom. Entitled "Yours to Keep," the album features musical guests such as Sean Lennon, Ben Kweller, and even The Strokes' manager Ryan Gentles and lead singer Julian Casablancas. Bassist Josh Lattanzi and drummer Matt Romano serve as the backing band, with Albert the main singer and guitarist. It was produced by former Thin Lizard Dawn vocalist Greg Lattimer at the Electric Ladyland Studios.

    Hammond played his first solo dates at the end of October in a few cities including New York City and Philadelphia. He is set to tour the UK and Europe in November and December 2006, and provides support to Incubus on their forthcoming US tour of January/February 2007.

    Albert has finished working on his second solo album with the title "Como Te Llama?", which was released on 8th of July in 2008. The new CD gets 8/10 in NME! This 8th of July is incidentally the first date of his world tour, which kicks off at the Virgin Store in his hometown of NYC. Dates in LA, as well as Japan and Australia have been already scheduled. Cont.


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