Is This It
American lead singer and songwriter who worked as a bartender before professionally pursuing a career in music, Julian Casablancas is famous for being the vocalist and main songwriter of The Strokes, an American rock band set up in 1998 and rose to prominence in the early 2000s as a major group in the garage rock revival. The group has released three studio albums, most notably the critically acclaimed “Is This It” (2001). Their new release, “First Impressions of Earth”(2006), spawned the UK and American Top 10 hit “Juicebox.” Casablancas' music has been influenced by Bob Marley, The Velvet Underground, The Pogues, Built to Spill, Guided by Voices, The Magnetic Fields, and The Doors. He also has become an inspiration to several other musicians. Courtney Love's song “But Julian, I'm A Little Bit Older Than You,” from her debut solo album “America's Sweetheart” (2004), was penned about Julian Casablancas.
Outside music, Casablancas is a great fan of baseball and mentions the New York Mets as his favorite. He has said “If I could go back in time I'd be a minor league pitcher.” Casablancas also supports the American football team New York Jets. Is of Danish and Spanish heritage, Casablancas can speak both Danish and Spanish. He is good friends with indie singer Adam Green.
As for his married life, the New York native is married to long-time friend and assistant band manager Juliet Joslin.
Childhood and Family:
Julian Fernando Casablancas was born on August 23, 1978, in New York City, New York. His father, John Casablancas, a Spanish, is the founder of Elite Model Management, and his mother, Jeanette Christiansen, a Danish, was a Miss Denmark in 1965. They divorced when Jules, as he was known by family and close friends, was still a little child, and he went on to live with his model mother and Sam Adoquei, who tutored him about art and work ethic. Jules has a sister named Cecile Casablancas.
A product of broken-home family, Jules was found drinking before school when he was 14 and consequently had to attend a rehabilitation program called Phoenix House twice a week. Shortly afterwards, his father sent him to a boarding school in Switzerland named Institut Le Rosey, but returned to New York after six months. He transferred to Dwight School in Manhattan, but left in 11th grade. He later spent a year at Five Towns College on Long Island. Telling about his experience on Le Rosey, he stated, “I was punished all the time. I had to wake up at six in the morning to jog around the school. I'd get caught for smoking or whatever. It sucked. There were a lot of Turkish people there. They were nice, but you know... they all wore Versace jeans. It was the biggest culture shock of my life.”
On February 5, 2005, Jules married Juliet Joslin, his manager's assistant, in a private ceremony in New York City. His band mate, Nikolai Fraiture, served as best man.
Lead vocalist/songwriter Julian Casablancas started his musical career when he was a student at Manhattan's Dwight School. It was at the prestigious institution that he met guitarist Nick Valensi and drummer Fabrizio Morretti. Guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr., whom Casablancas previously met in Switzerland, came to New York to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and shared an apartment with him. With the addition of bassist Nikolai Fraiture, Casablancas' childhood friend, they formed a band called The Strokes in 1998 and played together on the Lower East Side of New York and at Manhattan's favorite Mercury Lounge. Soon, Ryan Gentles, the Mercury Lounge's former booker, joined the group as their manager.
In 2001, The Strokes launched an EP called “The Modern Age,” which was performed live on “Late Night with Conan O'Brien,” that same year. It soon attracted attention from many record labels and garnered the newly established group major publications, specially hipsters and independent magazines. Casablancas wrote all three songs in the EP, namely “The Modern Age,” “Last Nite” and “Barely Legal.” They eventually signed with RCA and in October 2001, they released a debut record in the USA called “Is This It.” A well-received album, “Is This It” acquired good reviews from both independent and mainstream publications, such as 4 stars from Rolling Stones, and was named “the best album of the year” by Time and Entertainment Weekly.
After a 2003 Japanese tour, during which time Casablancas and his bands performed forthcoming tracks like “Reptilia,” “Meet Me In The Bathroom,” “The Way It Is,” “Between Love & Hate” and (formerly known as “Ze Newie”) and “12:51,” The Strokes released the sophomore effort “Room on Fire” in October 2005. It also earned positive feedback, but was considered less successful than “Is This It.” The Strokes kept their presence on the limelight by gracing on the cover of such magazines as Spin Magazine and Rolling Stone. In support of the album, they did several tours, including a three-concert South American tour in October 2005, with dates in Argentina, Chile and Brazil.
The third studio album “First Impressions of Earth” was released in January 2006. Although it received mixed reviews, the album debuted at No. 4 in the US album charts and No. 1 in the UK, a first for the group, and went gold in Japan in its first week of release. The first single “Juicebox” became the group's second UK Top 10 hit and their second US Modern Rock Top 10 victory. Following the release of the album, they embarked on several sold-out concerts in such countries as England, Mexico, Australia and off course, America, as well as performed in a number festivals. After completing another US tour, the group decided to take a much-needed hiatus.
In 2007, Casablancas was announced as one of the judges for 2007's International Songwriting Competition, thanks to his role as a principal songwriter with The Strokes. In addition to his outstanding songwriting and singing ability, he is also known as a talented multi-instrumentalist. He has been featured as guest performance in Queens of the Stone Age's “ Sick, Sick, Sick,” playing guitar, Albert Hammond, Jr.'s “Scared,” playing bass guitar, as well as the Strokes' “Evening Sun,” serving as the second set of drums.
In late 2007, The Strokes' song, “You Talk Way Too Much,” was utilized by the Ford Sync for their commercials.