The Strokes have scrapped a planned live album because the gritty New York rockers felt the recording was ultimately just too ... well ... gritty.
"We had what we thought was a decent-sounding recording, and we thought mastering would put the final touches on it, but it didn't," said Strokes manager Ryan Gentles. "We all agreed, it sounded like a really good bootleg. We couldn't pull off the dynamics that mastering is supposed to do."
The album was recorded by the BBC in December 2003 during two sold-out shows at London's Alexandra Palace when the Strokes were in the middle of touring to support Room on Fire. The set lists (and tentative track listing) featured songs from that album and from their 2001 debut, Is This It, including "12:51," "Reptilia," "Hard to Explain" and "Take It or Leave It."
"It was worth a try. We just got a little ahead of ourselves in announcing the plans, because we wanted to put it out in time for the end of the year," Gentles said. "When we got it back, we thought, 'All right, people might be disappointed, but they would be more disappointed if we would have put this out and this is what they bought.' "
Gentles said the band has recorded other dates on its European tour and would consider releasing a live album in the future. For now, the Stokes have been writing and recording new material in their just-built studio, attached to their Manhattan rehearsal space. Longtime producer Gordon Raphael has also been working with the band.
"They can write songs as they go or lay stuff down to demo. There's no album versions yet, but there's a lot of demos," Gentles said. "They have a bunch of ideas, and they're in there five days a week."
The Strokes and Blondie will headline the Johnny Ramone Cancer Research Benefit on October 8 at the New York club Spirit.