Julian Casablancas - Lead Singer of The Strokes - History Tools (2024)

Full NameJulian Fernando Casablancas
BirthdayAugust 23, 1978 (age 44)
Birth PlaceNew York City, NY
OccupationSinger, Songwriter, Musician
Years Active1998–present
SpouseJuliet Joslin (m. 2005)
Associated ActsThe Strokes, The Voidz
Social MediaFacebook,

As a long-time superfan, I‘m thrilled to provide a comprehensive introduction to one of the most influential musicians of the 2000s – Julian Casablancas! Ever since I first heard his iconic vocals on The Strokes‘ debut album Is This It, I was immediately hooked. Over the years following his career, I‘ve come to deeply admire Casablancas for his brilliant songwriting, vocal talents, and endless cool style. Let‘s dive into his background and musical journey!

Upbringing and Early Musical Inspiration

Born in New York City in 1978, Julian Casablancas experienced a privileged upbringing as the son of a modeling agency founder. However, he never felt fully connected with the high glitz and glamour of the modeling world. As a teenager, Casablancas found solace in the gritty underground punk scene of New York in the 1990s. He voraciously listened to albums from bands like The Velvet Underground, The Clash, and the Ramones, admiring their raw, aggressive energy.

Casablancas attended several prestigious Manhattan prep schools where he met future bandmates Fabrizio Moretti and Nick Valensi. They bonded over a shared love for raucous punk rock, laying the foundations for their future endeavors with The Strokes. Even from a young age, Casablancas demonstrated his musical talents by learning to play instruments like the piano. His creative instincts were apparent early on!

Forming The Strokes and Early Success

In 1998, an ambitious Casablancas brought together his prep school friends and fellow New York City scenesters to form the band that would take the music world by storm – The Strokes! The initial lineup consisted of Casablancas on vocals, Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr. on guitar, Nikolai Fraiture on bass, and Moretti on drums.

Drawing inspiration from his punk heroes, Casablancas crafted a raw, minimalist garage rock sound for The Strokes. His unique vocal delivery – conversational, mumbled, and abrasive – gave the band an edgy, underground vibe. As the primary songwriter, he shaped the band‘s sound with catchy melodies, ironic lyrics, and infectious hooks.

After making waves playing gigs in downtown NYC venues, The Strokes released their debut EP The Modern Age in 2001. The buzz immediately began building around their energetic throwback rock style. Their fame exploded later that year with the release of the album Is This It, featuring earworm hits like "Last Nite" and "Someday" that took over rock radio. Almost overnight, The Strokes propelled New York‘s indie scene back into the mainstream!

Global Superstardom with The Strokes

The Strokes wasted no time capitalizing on the runaway success of their debut. Their 2003 follow-up album Room on Fire packed infectious singles like "12:51" and "Reptilia" and sold over 4 million copies globally. The band graced the covers of major music magazines as their concerts sold out arenas worldwide.

During The Strokes‘ meteoric rise, Casablancas fully embraced the rock star lifestyle, partying hard and indulging in alcohol excess. Throughout the 2000s, his songs chronicled his vices and struggles with addiction with vivid honesty. Eventually in 2009, Casablancas got sober – just one example of his grit and resilience.

Even amidst hiatuses and side projects, Casablancas always brought fresh enthusiasm when reuniting The Strokes. Their albums Angles (2011), Comedown Machine (2013), and most recently The New Abnormal (2020) proved their staying power. 20+ years later, The Strokes remain one of the most influential bands of the 21st century.

Solo Work and Collaborations

In addition to his monumental work with The Strokes, Casablancas has also forged a successful solo career:

  • In 2009, he released the solo album Phrazes for the Young, indulging his interest in synthesizers and exploring a more polished pop sound
  • He formed the band Julian Casablancas+The Voidz, releasing the experimental LP Tyranny (2014)
  • Casablancas guested on tracks with artists ranging from Daft Punk to The Lonely Island, lending his signature vocals to various genres
  • He founded the record label Cult Records in 2009, releasing music by acts like Rey Pila and The Growlers

Casablancas constantly keeps pushing his creativity in new directions! His thirst for innovation is so admirable.

His Lasting Musical Legacy

Having followed Casablancas‘ career for decades now, I‘m continually amazed by his artistic legacy:

  • That voice – his slurred, New York-tinged baritone remains instantly recognizable
  • Songwriting – he crafted countless indie rock anthems brimming with angular guitar riffs, swaggering rhythms, and lyrics blending humor and vulnerability
  • Influence – The Strokes paved the way for countless garage rock revival bands, and Casablancas‘ vocal style spawned many imitators
  • Live performer – his raw energy and undeniable charisma on stage captivated audiences around the world
  • Style icon – from leather jackets to skinny jeans, Casablancas defined sleek, gritty cool for a generation

Julian Casablancas‘ career has firmly cemented him as one of the most important rock frontmen of all time. He shaped the sound and style of indie music for decades to come. I can‘t wait to see what he does next!

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Julian Casablancas - Lead Singer of The Strokes - History Tools (2024)


Who were The Strokes influenced by? ›

The Strokes: Influences
  • Television.
  • Pearl Jam.
  • The Cars.
  • a-ha.
  • Johnny Thunders.
  • The Heartbreakers.
  • Sonic Youth.
  • Blondie.

Who does vocals for The Strokes? ›

Julian Fernando Casablancas (born August 23, 1978) is an American musician. He is the lead vocalist and primary songwriter of the rock band the Strokes, with whom he has released six studio albums since their founding in 1998.

Who inspired Julian Casablancas? ›

I liked composers and more complex songs. Bands like the Doors”. The influence of Jim Morrison can sometimes be heard in Casablancas' droning vocals, but The Doors' influence on Casablancas can mostly be found in the increasing complexity of his songwriting.

What are some historical facts about strokes? ›

The concept of stroke was first noted from 460 to 370 before the Common Era by Hippocrates. At this time, the symptoms of convulsions and paralysis were referred to as apoplexy. Over the next several hundred years, scholars focused on physical symptoms and potential causes.

Was Arctic Monkeys inspired by The Strokes? ›

Alongside referencing the influence of The Strokes in his own writing, the band have been covering tracks by the New York rockers during their live performances for years.

Who is lead guitar for The Strokes? ›

The band consists of Julian Casablancas (lead vocals), Nick Valensi (lead guitar), Albert Hammond, Jr. (rhythm guitar), Nikolai Fraiture (bass guitar) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums and percussion).

What is the history of The Strokes band? ›

In 1998, five New York friends — Julian Casablancas, Albert Hammond Jr., Fabrizio Moretti, Nick Valensi, and Nikolai Fraiture — formed a band called the Strokes. They released a debut album, Is This It, in 2001. In 2009, NME named it Album of the Decade; Rolling Stone ranked it No. 2, behind Radiohead's Kid A.

Where is the lead singer of The Strokes from? ›

Singer Julian Casablancas (b. August 23, 1978, New York, New York, U.S.), guitarist Nick Valensi (b. January 16, 1981, New York City), and drummer Fabrizio Moretti (b. June 2, 1980, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) began playing together in 1998 as schoolmates in Manhattan.

What does Julian Casablancas do to his voice? ›

The gravely croon of Julian Casablancas is synonymous with his signature use of distortion. While many older recordings feature distorted vocals, this was an often unintentional byproduct of pushing tape machines and mixing consoles past their capacity for clean recording and into overdrive.

Does Julian Casablancas know Spanish? ›

He can speak some Danish and some Spanish.

What kind of mic does Julian Casablancas use? ›

In this photo, Julian can be seen using a Shure Beta 58A.

Did Julian Casablancas take voice lessons? ›

Julian Casablancas Took Voice Lessons.

Does Julian Casablancas write his own music? ›

In Casablancas' 20+ year career, he wrote the Strokes most iconic songs and released six albums with the band.

Does Julian Casablancas like the Beatles? ›

Julian Casablancas

It should be obligatory for every musician to study the work of The Beatles. However, The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas somehow missed that memo and has never felt inclined to explore their back catalogue.

Were The Strokes influenced by the cure? ›

As the man with the four strings, Nikolai Fraiture admitted: “There are some bass lines on our first album that were 100% ripped off from The Cure. We were worried about putting out the album, because we thought we'd get busted.”

Why were The Strokes so influential? ›

The Strokes Created A Template For Bands In The Early Aughts

Schwartzman: They were a part of this new world of this cool, edgy slice of music that they had injected into the young music scene like on the alternative rock side of things that was a breath of fresh air, in a way, for that genre of music.

Were The Strokes on Family Feud? ›

In 2002, Karn also appeared in the music video for The Strokes' “Someday,” which featured the band on a fictional episode of Family Feud, facing off against another band, Guided by Voices.

Who influenced the Smiths? ›

The Smiths: Influences
  • T. Rex.
  • The Shangri-Las.
  • The Velvet Underground.
  • Nico.
  • Cilla Black.
  • Billy Fury.
  • The Byrds.
  • The Tornados.

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