When you think of indie rock, you think of The Strokes. The legendary band will be performing on the 2020 Halloween episode of Saturday Night Live, and longtime band members Julian Casablancas, Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond Jr., Nikolai Fraiture and Fabrizio Moretti even made an appearance in the promo for their upcoming appearance on the Oct. 31st episode of the show!
The Strokes are often credited for effectively reintroducing the popularity of indie rock in the new millennium. Learn more about the five-member band below, in the wake of their 2020 reunion following past hiatuses:
1. The Strokes formed in 1998. Frontman Julian, guitarists Albert and Fabrizio, bassist Nikolai, and drummer Fabrizio were all friends in New York City when they came together as a band before the turn of the millennium (Julian and Nikolai actually met when they were only six years old while attending the French school Lycée Français de New York). Their debut album, Is This It, didn’t come until 2001, which launched them to multiplatinum success with hits like “Last Nite,” “Someday,” and “Is This It.” They followed up the mainstream success of that album with their sophomore record “Room on Fire” in 2003, which put out classics like “Reptilia” and “What Ever Happened?” The Strokes have since released four more albums First Impressions of Earth (2005), Angles (2011), Comedown Machine (2013), and their most recent album, The New Abnormal, which dropped in April of 2020.
2. Julian brainstormed their iconic band name. Contrary to what most would think, The Strokes’ name doesn’t have symbolic meaning. “We had a running joke that every time we met up we had to have a certain number of names. Some were horrible. One day Julian said, ‘How about The Strokes?’ and it was the one name we all didn’t disagree on,” Nikolai, the band’s bassist, has previously revealed, according to NME.
3. The Strokes are set to tour in 2021. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the band was forced to push shows that had been scheduled in 2020 to next year. The tour is now set to kick off in May of 2021 at The Forum in Inglewood, CA, and will make stops in Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Australia.
4. The band has had its ups and downs. The Strokes’ third album was not as popular as the first two, and the band even went on hiatus until dropping Angles six years later. There was an even longer hiatus between the 2013 release of Comedown Machine and the 2020 release of The New Abnormal (between that time, though, they dropped an EP called Future Present Past in 2016). Julian once even told GQ in 2014, “A band is a great way to destroy a friendship, and a tour’s a great way to destroy a band.”
However, Julian sounded hopeful for the band’s future in an interview in Jan. 2020! “What we could do next excites me more than I have been excited in, I don’t know, our whole career,” the lead vocalist optimistically told The Guardian in March of 2020, after performing at a rally for Bernie Sanders a month prior.
5. The band members have famous family ties. Julian’s father is John Casablancas, who founded Elite Model Management, which has represented legends like Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Stephanie Seymour, Gisele Bündchen and Alessandra Ambrosio. Meanwhile, Albert’s dad (Albert Hammond) was an esteemed songwriter and helped co-write Whitney Houston’s hit “One Moment In Time.”