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Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 11:43 UK
The Strokes plan studio return
By Damian Jones
Newsbeat reporter

Nikolai Fraiture
Nikolai Fraiture has formed his own solo project with London band South

The Strokes are planning to head into the studio to record their fourth album early next year.

Bassist Nikolai Fraiture confirmed the five-piece will finally be getting to work on the follow up to First Impressions Of Earth in February 2009.

The band are currently on an extended break and several members have become involved with solo projects.

He said: "We are looking at going into the studio in February now and getting back to being a band again."

The Strokes bassist said the group have already attempted to head into the studio but circumstances have prevented them from laying anything down.

"It started with Nick (Valensi) having twins with his wife (two years ago) and he asked for a good amount of time off," he said.

"After about six months he was ready to come back but other members of the band were doing their own thing. Albert (Hammond Jr) was doing his thing with his solo project and Julian (Casablancas) needed time off.

"One thing led to another so studio time kept getting pushed back."

Solo project

The break has inspired the bassist to form his own solo project Nickel Eye with the help of London four-piece South.

He said: "I had too much time off and I got bored so I started to write some songs. My wife is from London and she has grown up with South. I was in London messing about so we got together."

I'm excited about moving on from this phase and using all the experience we (The Strokes) have from projects like this for our fourth album
Nikolai Fraiture
Nikolai's band have already recorded their debut album.

The Time of the Assassins was born from old high school poems and rants.

It features guest appearances from Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner and Regina Spektor.

"I met Nick when I was playing poker at a friend's house and we met again a couple of weeks later at a bar in New York," he explained.

"He was collaborating on some other stuff and I told him I had some songs. He came by the studio and did his Zinner thing on a track called Dying Star.

"As for Regina, she used to tour with The Strokes quite a lot back in the day, so and we never really lost touch. She played on a more personal track called Where The Cold Wind Blows."

Road trip

The album was inspired by a road trip Nikolai embarked on but fell ill when he was 19.

"I got sick in New Orleans. I was hallucinating so all these crazy ideas came about from that experience," he said.

"It's about going through something and how you come out a different person afterwards.

"That experience resulted in me starting to take music seriously and this album feels like a closure to that whole period of time in my life."

Nickel Eye recently made their live debut at The Borderline in London.

The gig saw The Strokes bassist taking a lead role on vocals as he performed a set which veered from folk and country to ragga and grunge.

The Strokes
The Strokes are heading into the studio in February
He also played a cover of These Days by Jackson Browne which was popularised by late German singer-song writer Nico.

Nickolai added: "I'm excited about moving on from this phase and using all the experience we (The Strokes) have from projects like this for our fourth album.

"Doing stuff like this is necessary for us because we've been in the same band for so long.

"It will definitely bring something more interesting to the next record."

The Time Of The Assassins is released on 27 January 2009.

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