Nickel Eye is the solo project of The Strokes' bassist Nikolai Fraiture. The band consists of Nikolai Fraiture (guitar, vocals, electric bass, double bass, harmonica), Joel Cadbury (steel guitar), Jamie McDonald (guitar) and Brett Shaw (drums). When The Strokes’ hiatus began lasting longer than expected, Nikolai reached into an old shoebox of poems and rants written years ago. With his free time, he began adapting them to music. Enlisting the help of South, a UK band introduced to him by a friend, Nickel Eye recorded some demos at South Studios in Hackney, London. With some guest appearances by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Regina Spektor, The Time of the Assassins was completed a few months later in New York City.