The debauchery, tumult, and dynamics of New York City’s alternative rock scene in the early 2000s were vividly chronicled in Lizzy Goodman’s oral history Meet Me in the Bathroom last year. Of the many illuminating anecdotes included, one which has especially grabbed headlines involved Ryan Adams, Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes, and the consequences of their drug use.
Specifically, Goodman recounted the way in which Adams and Hammond bonded over their shared use of heroin. In the book, Hammond not only claimed that Adams was “definitely a bad influence” on him, but also pointed to their illicit drug habits as something of a catalyst for The Strokes’ eventual downward spiral.
Upon reading the book, Adams was none too pleased about these relayed stories. Last summer, he took to Twitter to blast The Strokes, including Hammond and frontman Julian Casablancas, who, according to the book, attempted to keep Adams away from his bandmates.
During a recent appearance on Kyle Meredith With..., Hammond was asked about Goodman’s book and The Strokes rocker mostly tried to deflect and defuse the tensions surrounding the drug-related anecdotes.
He said he “enjoyed talking to Lizzy,” but that “there’s no way any of that stuff can capture your life.” “People can get pretty serious, I feel like life is a little less serious,” he continued. “I think there are more serious things than whatever the book is, you know. I don’t think you’d know anyone deeper because of it.”
“The media has fun creating their own stories,” added Hammond. “If you look at it humorously it’s great. If you take it seriously, it’s bad.”
Elsewhere in the discussion, Hammond spoke about his new solo album, Francis Trouble, as well as politely quashed any potential Strokes talk, noting that he’s been mindful about what he says to the press.
“I always find that the media tears us apart, so I wait to be as a band when we speak, and when we’re not a band, I’m doing my stuff and I just speak about me,” he explained. Hammond says his desire to stay quiet “comes from a good place, trying to keep something without being damaged by other people, you know what I mean?”
Listen to the full interview below. Kyle Meredith With… is presented by CoS and 91.9 WFPK.