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Peter Hook: Tragic Joy, Electrified Order

By Published: April 30, 2013
AAJ: To what can you attribute the popularity of Joy Division's songs years after its tragic end?

PH: I suppose we can just attribute it to the great chemistry that the original band members had; we wrote some fantastic music, music that has stood the test of time. It is a great feeling to know that something we did over 30 years ago can still inspire people today. It's great to see some young people at our concerts as well as the older people, because it shows that there are always new people discovering your work.

AAJ: Has the success of this book and The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club given you a taste for doing a bit more writing, maybe about your experiences with New Order?

PH: Yes, definitely; the success of the Hacienda book inspired to release the Joy Division book, and now the success of this book has made me want to complete the set, as it were, and write about the New Order years. I have already started to write about it.

AAJ: What made you want to further explore your early history, not only by playing Joy Division's music in concert, but also the first two New Order records?

PH: When we started this journey by performing Unknown Pleasures live, the first record, and we saw that people were enjoying it, we decided that we should perform the next album, Closer, and then the next record, Still (Factory, 1981), Joy Division's outtakes. We have performed every single Joy Division song live again, I think it's a great achievement; I am really proud of the guys in the Light. It has been going really well, so I suppose it was natural to want to keep progressing the live set and to perform Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies live, as we did in the UK in January; it was a great feeling. We will begin touring that show later this year.

AAJ: How do you feel that Lost Sirens was finally released? The material is much stronger than Waiting for the Siren's Call.

PH: I am very happy that Lost Sirens has finally been released, it took a very long time, didn't it? But now I am just happy that it is available for people to listen hear. You are right; there are some great songs on Lost Sirens, such as the first track "I'll Stay with You"; that is a great pop record and I can't understand now why we did not put it on the Siren's Call album. People thought that I was the reason for the delay of Lost Sirens, that I did not want it to be released and was blocking it, but this is wrong. The delay was due to the record company taking a long time to get everything together for the release.

AAJ: It's been exactly 30 years since New Order's "Blue Monday" single was released. How do you look back at this iconic track and the impact it has made? It is still a classic dance track.

PH: I am very proud of "Blue Monday," I think it is a great song and I am proud of the fact that it still remains the biggest selling 12" single of all time. It still sounds fresh alongside modern dance music, a remarkable achievement considering it was first released in 1983.

AAJ: What are some of the achievements with New Order of which you are most proud?

PH: I am proud of the fact that we wrote some truly great songs—"Procession," "Age of Consent," "True Faith," "Bizarre Love Triangle," "Regret"; there are too many to mention. I am very proud of the whole back catalogue; we achieved a lot together during our time as New Order. It's a really nice feeling to look back on all that.

AAJ: Where do you position the band' recorded legacy in the pop music pantheon?

PH: I would like to think that we are up there near the best of them—it's really nice to be held in the same sort of high regard as other great bands. And the legacy will hopefully live on forever because of the great songs.

AAJ: Unknown Pleasures transparently describes the shaky relationships between the band members, with references to conflicts within New Order. Would you agree that a lot of essential music has stemmed from hostility and tension?

PH: I guess so yes, sometimes the best music can come from the strangest of places. Towards the end of our time in New Order, we were having a lot more difficulty, but we still did some great songs on the last album, such as "Krafty" or "Turn," and there is also some strong material on Lost Sirens, like we mentioned. But I have to say that the majority of our great music came from the time when everybody was happy and enjoying themselves.

AAJ: Can you imagine the situation where the three or four of you would put the differences aside and work together again?

PH: Unfortunately not. No, I cannot imagine that it will ever happen; it's a shame but that is life I suppose. Too many things have happened now for a proper reunion to ever happen. I just hope that one day we can find a way where we all just get on with our lives, as all the fighting in the press and things like that has just become ridiculous.

AAJ: What influence do you feel Joy Division and New Order have had on music history?

PH: I am proud of what we achieved in both groups and the thing that makes me happiest is that there are bands even today who say you are an influence on them, the best thing to know is that you have inspired people, as to me that is the most important thing when it comes to creating music—being inspired.

Selected Discography

New Order, Lost Sirens (Rhino, 2013)
New Order, Waiting for the Siren's Call (London, 2006)
New Order, Get Ready (London, 2001)

Joy Division, Heart and Soul (London, 1997)
New Order, Republic (Centredate/London, 1993)
New Order, Technique (Factory, 1989)
New Order, Brotherhood (Factory, 1986)
New Order, Low-Life (Factory, 1985)
New Order, Power, Corruption and Lies (Factory, 1983)
Joy Division, Still (Factory, 1981)
New Order, Movement (Factory, 1981)
Joy Division, Closer (Factory, 1980)
Joy Division, Unknown Pleasures (Factory, 1979)

Photo Credit

Page 1: Courtesy of Peter Hook
Peter Hook
Peter Hook
bass, electric

Page 2: Stefano Masselli

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