The Strokes are American band who started out as an indie and made a success mainly in U.K. Its formula consist of Julian Casablancas as the lead vocal, Nick Valensi as guitarist, Albert Hammond, Jr. as the other guitarist, Nikolai Fraiture as bassist and Fabrizio Moretti as drummer. The band were formed in 1998 and claimed their fame in 2001 with their first album.
Julian was sent to a boarding school in Switzerland at the age of 13 and he met Albert there. The friendship continued when Albert visited New York to attend NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and shared an apartment with Julian. Together with Nick, Fab and Nikolai, they started a band, which, like other indie acts, began their career in clubs. Things got serious when Mercury Longue's booker Ryan Gentles decided to step in as their manager.
Their first demo was sent to a new label called Rough Trade Records and things began to roll from there. NME magazine gave away free MP3 download of the single "Last Nite" as a teaser for the band's EP called "The Modern Age". The EP delivered them to RCA Records' front door.
Their debut album "Is This It" was released in the United States in October 2001 after several pushbacks. One of its songs "New York City Cops" which happened to degrade the officers' capability, was replaced when the September 11 tragedy played out. As an indie band, Strokes received praises beyond those accomplished ones for the album. NME even campaigned for people to watch the band perform live because they played the "best pop songs ever".
They spread their music to other continents including Australia and Asia, but their large fan base was in Europe. They were made the headliner at U.K.'s Carling Weekend festivals in 2002. They began recording their second album in the year 2002 with Gordon Raphael who produced their first album. They began to showcase some of the new singles in the second half of 2003 before releasing the album, called "Room on Fire", in October 2003. Although it was commercially less successful, the album was praised by critics.
They began the tour in support of the album with Kings of Leon and Regina Spektor in 2003. Striking a good relationship, the band recorded a collaboration with Spektor and titled it "Modern Girls & Old Fashion Men". There was a plan to release a live album in 2004 but due to bad quality, it was scrapped. Instead, they focused on the writing of the third album which first single "Juicebox" was leaked in September 2005.
"First Impressions of Earth" remained unreleased until January 2006 where it came out at number four on Billboard Hot 200 and number one in U.K. Japan even made it gold in only a week. The next month, they won "Best International Band" at the NME Awards and returned to U.S. for a tour in March. They became a regular band at festivals around the world including Oxegen and Fuji Rock Festival.
Casablancas announced that they were taking a break after the lengthy U.S. tour. They were back in the writing mode in early 2009 when they announced on MySpace that they have woken up from the "much needed hibernation period". Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D. expressed his interest in producing their album and so the collaboration started. The track "My Drive Thru" was featuring the rapper and Santigold.
"Angles" was slated for 2009 released but unpreparedness led to a delay. The band announced in February 2010 that they have teamed up with award-winning producer Joe Chicarelli to record the album. They played their first gig post-the-break in June 2010 but did not hint any new material. It was only in February 2011 that the first single, called "Under Cover of Darkness", was released. In promo of the album's release they appeared as the musical guest of "Saturday Night Live" in March that year. "Angels" was dropped in U.S. stores on March 22, 2011.