Lead singer-songwriter Julian Casablancas, guitarist Nick Valensi, and drummer Fab Moretti started playing together while attending Dwight School in Manhattan. Bassist Nikolai Fraiture befriended Casablancas while the two attended the Lycée Français de New York. At age 13, Casablancas was sent to Le Rosey, a boarding school in Switzerland, to improve his academic performance. Casablancas met guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. in Switzerland. Later, when Hammond came to New York to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, he shared an apartment with Casablancas. The roommates started a band, first performing at The Spiral—followed by the Luna Lounge on the Lower East Side of New York, and then at Manhattan’s popular Mercury Lounge. Ryan Gentles, the Mercury Lounge’s booker, quit his job to become the band’s manager.