Julian Casablancas thinks his decision not to attend recording sessions with his Strokes bandmates made them a better group.

The frontman surprised fans when it emerged he hadn't joined bandmates Nick Valensi, Nikolai Fraiture, Fabrizio Moretti or Albert Hammond Jr. in the recording studio last August, but he insists this was to make sure everyone got involved in the sessions.

He said: "To get everyone to really collaborate and step in, it really takes me to step back from it all. Like fully step back. I think I just wanted to wait until they'd done their thing so I could do mine.

"When The Strokes are described more negatively, it seems like I come in going, 'This is how it is, and if you don't like it, back off.' But it's never like that.

"I just want to have a creative, fun conversation. And I just think that, for whatever reason, we never pulled that off and there was resentment. But I'm all about making things better and I think it helped us."

Despite his comments, Julian's bandmates admit his absence from their recording sessions came as a surprise.

Nikolai said: "Initially I was under the impression he was going to be there and so was our producer Joe Chiccarelli. So initially it was kind of a shock. We were all going in and he stepped back. So there was a lot of adapting to do very quickly and that's kind of what made the record."