The Strokes’ lead guitarist Albert Hammond Jr’s fourth solo album, ‘Francis Trouble’, will be released on March 9th via Red Bull Records. ‘Francis Trouble’ explores a deeply personal topic – the stillborn death of his twin brother, Francis, and the lingering effects that event has had on Albert’s life and music.
Although he had always known of the existence of Francis, it was not until he was 36 years old that he learned from an aunt that part of Francis had remained behind in the womb and was born along side him – a fingernail. With his music
moving in a different path than before, Hammond Jr wondered if this new direction came from another avenue of himself, perhaps emanating from whatever he and the departed Francis had shared for the few short months they had together.
Taking a page from Bowie, Hammond Jr says: “What the music says may be serious, but as a medium it should not be questioned, analyzed or taken too seriously. I think it should be tarted up, made into a character, a parody of itself. The
music is the mask the message wears and I, the performer, am the message.” Working within this mentality, Hammond Jr created Francis Trouble, an homage to both the death of his twin and his own birth, as well as the complexities of identity that arise because of their intermingling. The number 36 became especially relevant, as he had learned more of Francis’s story at that age, and because he was born on the 9th day of the 4th month of the year. Significantly, the album is exactly 36 minutes long.
Far Away Truths
Set to Attack
Tea for Two
Stop and Go
Rocky’s Late Night
Harder, Harder, Harder