Recording sessions began with producer Joe Chiccarelli at Avatar Studios in Manhattan. The Strokes were fans of Chiccarelli's work on My Morning Jacket's 2008 album, Evil Urges
, but it soon became apparent that their relationship with the producer wasn't going to pan out. About 10 weeks into recording, they ditched him Swedish mix master Gus Oberg, who was serving as co-engineer on Angles
. The band reconvened at guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.'s home studio, One Way, in Upstate New York, while Julian recorded his vocals separately at Electric Ladyland.
Oberg recalled to Sound on Sound
: "The band knew what they wanted, but they also wanted to try out everything, which is why they had approached Joe. Mainly they wanted to experiment with different textures and sounds, because the arrangements and lyrics that they had already recorded on the demos stayed more or less the same. They disagreed with the direction in which Joe took the sounds - basically he wanted to go big with everything, and they wanted to do different things in each song. Joe was very hands-on with the recordings, he knew what he wanted, and the band played together for most of the time. About 18 songs were recorded during these sessions. After the Avatar sessions I went to Electric Lady, where I recorded Julian's vocals. Joe did come by at one stage, but by then it had become obvious that he and the band were not going to carry on working together."