If it sounds like Albert Hammond Jr. is having fun again on his 2015 full-length Momentary Masters, it's because that's entirely the case.

If it sounds like Albert Hammond Jr. is having fun again on his 2015 full-length Momentary Masters, it's because that's entirely the case.

"I think if anything [the music has] gone back to how it felt when I started, when I first fell in love with writing songs and learning an instrument," said Hammond, 35, still best known to many for his ongoing role as guitarist in The Strokes. "There was an ambition when I was younger, which was great, but I think that turned into something else as I got older. I definitely got lost in myself … and when that happens you can't understand what you want to do musically."

Now, with a 2009 stint in rehab firmly in the rearview and a new band at his back (though released under his own name, the frontman doesn't hesitate to describe Masters as a group recording), Hammond said it finally feels like he made the choice to play music again, rather than having it thrust on him out of some sense of duty or expectation.

"That's why this is so exciting," said Hammond, who visits the Basement for a concert on Friday, Nov. 6. "With this record and this band I feel like I want to make a career out of it, and for everyone [in the group] to be able to make a living off it and make more records."

The music on Masters generally reflects this more upbeat state of mind, dancing along on spry, spidery guitars and flirting with everything from power-pop to new wave. Lyrically, however, Hammond still traverses murkier terrain. "Sometimes the sun goes behind the clouds," he sings on the album-opening "Born Slippy," which shares a name with the Underworld song from "Trainspotting" and is rooted in the idea that everything remains perpetually in flux. "You forget the warmth that could be found."

"Being in a great place doesn't mean that [darker side] doesn't exist," said Hammond, who is scheduled to return to the studio with The Strokes sometime in January ("We're going in … [to] see what that's like," he said) and has already started formulating plans for another record with his current, still-unnamed band. "As much as I feel like I'm in a spot of learning and curiosity, I still make crazy mistakes and fuck up, and I still have insecurities and things, just like I imagine we all do."