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On this particular Thursday afternoon, Albert Hammond Jr. is extremely laid back–endearing even. His latest record, Momentary Masters, was released in July and lauded by some of the most revered music outlets that not only analyze trends, but pretty much specialize in setting them (Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NME). This press run seems standard for Hammond, but his humility remains intact regarding the public interest surrounding his non-Strokes-related creative output.
“It’s really a great feeling to know that people are still interested in what I’m doing. It’s beyond exciting. That’s what the goal is.”▼ Article continues below ▼
Momentary Masters, which was recorded in Hammond’s home studio (“due to financial reasons”) is full of sunny melodies and the poise and polish of a musician who has found his footing. Hammond characterizes his evolution as such: “It’s like night and day,” he contends. “At the beginning, I was running off less knowledge, and now I have more knowledge and excitement. It’s a process–I’m constantly doing new things.”
At this point in our conversation, the mood intensifies exponentially at the suggestion that Hammond took a break between 2008’s Como Te Llama and this album; his voice becomes the firmest it’s ever been. “There was no break. In between records I was doing something with The Strokes…I’d gone to rehab.” Once the dialogue becomes refocused on Momentary Masters, his guard is down again.
“I feel much more comfortable fronting a band. Momentary Masters feels like a debut record. It’s fun and exciting–almost like it wants to explode. I love the record–it really makes me want to tour.” He is wholly transparent when addressing the end game of Masters. “The goal of this record is to build a career with it and to ultimately make more music. People really know and love the songs. Any nervousness I had surrounding [the album] changes into excitement.” When asked if said nervousness is also applicable when it comes to performing new material, his candid response is tinged with both humor and slight misanthropy. “There’s always nerves and adrenaline running when I play–it’s part of the high. If you feel nothing, you’re a little dead inside.”
Albert Hammond, Jr. plays the Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on Sunday, September 20th. For complete show info and to purchase tickets, click here.