In a recent interview with NME, Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. opens up about a time in his life when he "used to shoot cocaine, heroin and ketamine 20 times a day." Though the Strokes have always been known as a volatile band, this new information about Hammond Jr. comes as a major shock.
Musically, Hammond Jr. has never given the impression of someone with substance abuse problems, crafting some of the sunniest, most carefree guitar lines in recent memory. But for every hollowed-out, angst-y Cobain, there's a Brian Wilson who's singing of cheerful "good vibrations" while battling life-threatening addictions.
In the case of Albert Hammond Jr., now 33, his "dark place" began during the recording of the Strokes' 2003 album Room on Fire. According to the man himself, "It was, like, oxycontin and cocaine at [ages] 24, 25, 26. and then I became 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."
But apparently it wasn't just heroin. Hammond Jr. combined three drugs into a substance we'd like to call "I Can't Believe It's Not Lethal!," and then shot up. The guitarist admits his addictions began to affect his social life, and led to him entering rehab in 2009.
Hammond Jr. has since been sober, appearing on two Strokes albums and prepping for the release of his third studio album, AHJ, which is set for release on October 8th. Watch the Strokes perform on Jools Holland in 2006, during the peak of Hammond Jr.'s drug use, below.