The Strokes & Mixtapes
(The Strokes – Julian Casablancas, Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond, Jr., Nikolai Fraiture and Fabrizio Moretti – in the midst of the current madness of readying their upcoming album, each band member freed up some time to talk with us at City Stage in lower Manhattan. Over the course of a couple days, each member of the band touched on their love of music and experiences creating homemade mixtapes. While reminiscing about influences as varied as 80s Metal and Wham!, Frank Sinatra and Pearl Jam, Puccini and Radiohead, each bandmate shared personal memories of creating and sharing music back in their cassette tape days. The first in the TDK Life on Record Chronicles series, The Strokes pay tribute to the mixtape and the music that inspired them.)
Watch it HERE
I feel fortunate to have caught the tail end of the cassette tape boom. I still own my Sony Walkman, and my copy of “The Batman & Robin” soundtrack and “Dookie” by Green Day (the first cassettes I remember having). I remember driving around with my aunt in her Pontiac, “Whole Hearted” by Extreme blasting from the tape deck. I remember listening to the radio all night, hoping that they would play “Glycerine” by Bush so I could record it off the radio. I remember making my first mix-tapes, riddled with deep cuts from Meat Loaf’s “Bat out of Hell” and Robert Palmer’s “Greatest Hits.” Even after cassettes became extinct and replaced by CD-R’s, I would still make mix-tapes for friends and crushes, endlessly debating sequencing, flow, and consistency of thematic content and genre. In many ways, the time I spent making mix-tapes probably helped develop my own understanding of album sequencing and the mood and tone that a specific order of songs can create – something I would later employ while recording my own band’s material.
The Strokes music dominated many mix-tapes that I made for people. Listening to them talk about their experiences with mix-tapes endeared me to them that much more. I think this is a fantastic interview and interesting insight into the adolescence of one of my favorite bands.