When you listen to The Strokes’ deftly played brand of stylish retro rock, hardcore drug use probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.
Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. surprised fans when he made a frank confession about battling serious addictions to a cocktail of illicit substances during the band’s biggest years in the spotlight during an interview with UK magazine NME.
Albert confessed that while the band was recording their 2003 hit “Room on Fire,” he went to a “dark place” with his drug use.
"It was, like, oxycontin and cocaine at 24, 25, 26. and then I became [addicted to] heroin around then. So from 26, 27 'til 29. It's not so much that I wasn't in a happy place. I was just... God knows where I was. I was just very high. That's where I was."
He added, "I used to shoot cocaine, heroin and ketamine. All together. Morning, night, 20 times a day. You know, I was a mess. I look back and I don't even recognize myself. I did my own thing."
As for how he maintained a successful music career at the time, he explained, "I mean, you have moments when you're fine. And if someone meets you, you seem fine. But I remember when I was showing someone music and I was wearing a short shirt and (points to wrists)... there were just purple [track marks] all the way down here. And then they would call someone - 'Did you see Albert, he looks crazy?' That's where I learned to wear long sleeves."
Albert finally got clean after entering a treatment program in 2009.