When pressed by interviewer Mikael Wood, Casablancas said he ranked the first two Strokes records [‘Is This It?’ and ‘Room On Fire’] above ‘The New Abnormal’, though he declined to name the third. “You’re going to get me in trouble. Let’s leave it a mystery,” said Casablancas.
Casablancas also said that postponing the album’s release from its April 10 street date was raised, “because we can’t really promote it” given travel and social distancing restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. “But it didn’t seem worth postponing.”
He added, “People are like, ‘Oh man, you’re not able to tour!’ I’m like, ‘That’s a bad thing?’”
According to the singer, the title for ‘The New Abnormal’ stemmed from a quote from former California Governor Jerry Brown.
“‘The new abnormal’ was something [Brown] said during the Malibu fires [in 2018], and there’s a parallel between global warming and the coronavirus. A similar kind of threat to your reality,” Casablancas said.
The interview took place several days after The Strokes launched their new online video series, dubbed Five Guys Talking About Things They Know Nothing About. The second episode, in which the band discussed ‘The New Abnormal’ track by track, aired last week on April 9.
“We were gonna do radio shows, and since we can’t be together, five-way audio seemed too confusing,” Casablancas explained. “So it turned into this. Obviously we’re not TV personalities.”
‘The New Abnormal’ marks The Strokes’ first LP since 2013’s ‘Comedown Machine‘. In a four-star review, NME concluded: “This is a cool album, the kind you begrudgingly grow to love, even if it never cared about you. And isn’t that quintessentially The Strokes?”
Elsewhere in the LA Times interview, Casablancas revealed that being a homebody meant being stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic “has been kind of fine”.
“I mean, I generally don’t love going out Friday night anyway,” he said.
“So for me personally this whole thing has been kind of fine. Gotten to some of the things I’d been putting off. Been cooking a lot, which is good.” Read the full interview with Casablancas here.