The Strokes Guitarist Nick Valensi On His New Band & College Days

The Strokes Guitarist Nick Valensi On His New Band & College Days

By Ariana Hwang

Without double guitars in each song, the Strokes wouldn’t be half as exciting. Every fan of The Strokes knew that there were two talented guitarists in the band. They were Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr.. It was Valensi who usually played lead—Hammond was rhythm but had many significant lead guitar parts too—and very often, glued himself to the guitar he was famous for using in hits like “Last Nite” and “Juicebox”: a 1990s Ephiphone Riviera P-94.

Admittedly, I paid more attention to Nick after my boyfriend told me Nick not only inspired him to improve his own guitar skills, but to dress cool in high school, with leather jackets, Converse, and distressed jeans that held a pack of Blue Camel cigarettes in its pocket. I scanned older interviews and music videos, paying closer attention to his style and guitar melodies.

I grew more enthralled with each passing day, learning Nick Valensi had attended CUNY Hunter College and was now involved in a new music project, CRX. He hadn’t replaced the guitar, however, he was also the lead singer this time. My love for The Strokes and my boyfriend’s testimony kicked again inside of me. I didn’t need any more convincing to find out what CRX was all about.


Big Car Guy?


Credit: CRX FB Page

Band name origin?



80s musical influence(s)?



Music video experience for “Ways to Fake It?”



Fashion throughout music career?


Style icons?



College experience at CUNY before the Strokes?



Why not music school or conservatory?


Writing process for guitar solos?


Favorite Guitar Solo on CRX record?


Singing as frontman?


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