Peter Hook Closer May 18th Portrait Credit to William Ellis www.william

INTERVIEW: Peter Hook Part Two

In the second part of our extensive chat with legendary former New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook (the man behind the propulsive bass sound that defined Joy Division tracks like ‘The Eternal’ and ‘Love Will Tear us Apart’) delivers his opinion on how Joy Division might have sounded had Ian not died? His views on music management courses, his ‘other bands’, the re-release of New Order album ‘Lost Sirens’, his career as a DJ. Whether New Order will ever get back together oh and his favourite cheese!

‘Unknown Pleasures Inside Joy Division’ is a personal document of how Joy Division progressed from a snotty nosed band called Warsaw supporting the Buzzcocks, into the post-punk defining presence that would cast a shadow over the music world until this very day. It’s not a literary great of the rock biog genre, but it’s written with great wit, and honesty like your Uncle regaling you with one of his old stories in the pub at times Hooky offers great insight into the inter band relationships, how he developed his trademark redefining bass playing style almost by accident. And gives us an up close and personal perspective of the much told and retold Joy Division tale, that hints at how his next book on the New Order story may be even more explosive.

What do you feel Joy Division would have become had Ian not passed away?

Without a doubt we could have become as big as U2….

I read that your ‘walk on music’ early on with Joy Division… was Kraftwerk, do you think you would have gone down a similar path to New Order with Ian?

Definitely. With Bernard’s interest in sequences and Stephen’s interests in drum machines and Ian’s love of Kraftwerk, Faust and Giorgio Moroder. I definitely think Ian would have sung ‘Blue Monday’.

The thing about Ian was how bloody clever he was, not just his singing but his words and his rhythm of words onomatopoeic they call it don’t they? It’s fantastic when you do that….A lot of Ian’s lyrics when you get them off the Internet are all wrong, there are words wrong where people have just made a mistake. I wanted to put them right. Through singing them and listening to everyone of the songs one of the things I’ve managed to get them all right, I asked Debbie to put the lyrics in the new book but she didn’t get back to me!(laughs).I must do that and put them up on the internet actually, some of them have just got certain words wrong which doesn’t half change the context.

Do you need a degree in music management to succeed in the industry isn’t this all a bit Brit School?

The interesting thing about the course when I was offered the doctorate with University of Central Lancashire which again attracted a lot of criticism. They’ve got all sorts of courses in music management and production and I was saying to the guy we used to get loads of kids coming along to the studio if you put a kid in with a band after about an hour they would have killed him you need practical experience at the sharp end. This course was about music and club management, I said why don’t they come and work in the club? ‘I had to work in Factory 251, fuck me it was hell!’ and that is how the course came about. It was just about giving people that experience and also when people go for an interview etc.

Of Revenge, Monaco and Freebass what has been the most satisfying project outside of your two big bands?

The thing about New Order when we split up the first time it was so fucking miserable so Revenge was so liberating because you didn’t have the constant wining . To be honest I wish I was still in Monaco we did well in the US and were touring but Pottsy said New Order was ‘unfinished business’ so I had to go back.

I was hoping that Freebass would be the answer to my prayers the problem is there were too many chiefs and not enough Indians. We were all too old and set in our ways, you can compromise when you’re young but when you get older it’s harder naming no names, that’s why it didn’t work. We did a great sold out tour of England. To my mind the mistake we made was splitting the LP off the EP and I thought that didn’t work, it was an experiment that didn’t work but you put it in your arsenal don’t you. Someone carves on your gravestone ‘At least he tried’ that’s the trouble, you wouldn’t know your epitaph would you? You better not cross your wife at the end had you otherwise it will be ‘here lies a bastard’.

What is holding up New Order ‘Lost Sirens’ album re-release?

The record company decided with the others blessing who I’ve not seen for years, to put the Lost Sirens out without doing a license, and I was like where’s the licence? They want to put Lost Sirens out and they want to do a box set of the New Order singles at the same time. But I’ve still not seen the agreement so it’s not me holding it up, it’s the record company. It’s sad really it’s the lack of communication between us lot, that’s the problem they won’t talk and they won’t meet so it has to be really. When you’ve been together since you were 11 everyone just goes can’t you sort it out? But the others will not meet or negotiate.

I guess the obvious but lingering question will always be will you ever reunite with New Order?

The thing about that is – if you were splitting up with your missus and she’s cutting up the suits, and your there kicking the dog and someone comes up and asks you whether you’re going to get back together it’s the wrong time to ask the question really isn’t it? It is a problem. What they did to me what nobody knows about because you’re not allowed to talk about it. I thought it was cowardly and spineless and I had to listen to Mark Radcliffe to find out what was going on, and I’d found out business wise there had been dealings as well. I don’t care if they play together or what they play? Just like they can’t stop me. People think I want to stop them. All I’m asking for is a fair deal.

Normally what people do is they discuss opinions as you can see their position. Their solution has been to ignore you and I don’t think that’s on. If they think they can do that to me it was bound to happen this way. No one hopes so more than me. To be honest I’ve got better things to do in my life than giving money to fucking lawyers and moaning about fucking New Order.

You’ve got this speaking tour coming up about the book and Joy Division do you enjoy these nights?

It’s something different. Everyone turns up is a real fan, I don’t get anyone turning up saying ‘Where’s Lost Sirens you bastard!’(laughs) everyone’s got some interesting questions about Joy Division. The thing is you do have to take these new experiences on to the best of your ability. It’s like If someone has said to me you’d be Djng flying all around the world and stuff if someone had told me six years ago that I’d be doing that I’d be like fuck that. I used to be shit but I’ve actually got quite good. Before I got busy again I used to DJ every night the thing about the Factory the average age of the audience is 18-25 I used to DJ in the boardroom. You cannot play that old shit, so you have to be good and you have to be current, coz if you’re shit you just walk off. It’s taught me to DJ and amalgamate and use new music a lot more than I was doing. When I was on the Hacienda nights they just wanted to hear the Hacienda music, they were quite closed off to new stuff. But when you DJ, you have to play a lot of new music.

So acquiring the new Factory building was about keeping the spirit of Factory and Tony Wilson alive?

It’s funny because the guy who was my partner was a huge fan of Factory records, he started doing a night in the original Hacienda called Stone Love. Now he has 26 clubs in the UK, he’d seen the Hacienda building go and thought that was disgusting what had been done to it. Luckily the people who were redeveloping the Factory building went bankrupt he said ‘Come on let’s keep the building and lets open it as a club,’ and I was like OK I will come in and help with it. He managed to save it sort it all out get the license and turn it into a club, he’s the one with the money in this climate it’s very difficult running a club but the Factory is doing OK which is good.

Factory is a label again now isn’t it?

What happened was Pete Saville got sick of everyone using his artwork and doing Factory this and that. So he partnered with James Nice whose a bit like Captain Manwaring, he runs it with Alan Erasmus, Oliver Wilson and Pete Saville, they are starting again under the name. The actual Factory name is owned by Warner Brothers records, what happens is this is quite sad if Warners think it has a value they put it out, if not James Nice puts it out. If Warner’s think it has a commercial value they release it. If it has an artistic one James does. A lot of the bands on old Factory are bands he’s released. He recently put out Nyam Nyam’s record that I produced who are a bunch of kids from Hull, he’s put Section 25 out again and Crispy Ambulance out again. To me he’s put all the interesting facts on Factory out. He’s got big plans for building it up it remains to be seen you can sell a batch of postcards for more money than you can sell a batch of records.

I was going to ask you about your thoughts on how the industry has changed?

I’m coming to terms with it. Well the sad thing about the internet while I’m sat here with my accountant I will tell you. Whilst you’ve lost your record sales, the internet has made it quite easy for you to police the world in the way people use your music, so I now get money and licensing deals from Russia and Azerbaijan.

For recorded music it is difficult, because it takes so long to do a great record, what will happen is people will put out more singles.

So you won’t get so many great albums mainly singles. It’s hard as an old fucker like me, I had a great time in the 80s and 90s the record company used to take you out for dinner now you have to take them out. I saw Mani the other day and we were like ‘Fuck that was a close shave wasn’t it?’ But it was quite simple really you used to record a record and put it out, and people would buy it. Fancy being nostalgic about paid for your work ? I think only us and you journalists are more pilfered…

Just one more fan question what’s your favourite cheese?


Since we spoke to Hooky he has announced that Peter Hook And The Light will be performing New Order’s first two albums “Movement” and “Power, Corruption And Lies” with the inaugural London and Manchester concerts in January 2013, the first at the legendary Koko in London Thursday 17th January and the second a distinctive and special event, taking place at Manchester Cathedral, Friday 18th January. Obviously the news comes with Hooky publishing his second book “Unknown Pleasures – Inside Joy Division” he’s on a book tour from the start of October, as well as The Light’s tour which is booked for November – details of all this at
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Thursday 17th January 2013 Friday 18th January 2013

Koko, Camden, London Manchester Cathedral

Tickets : Tickets :

Direct Link – Direct Link – 24 Hour Booking –

0845 413 4444

24 Hour Booking –

Tickets For Both Concert On Sale 9am Tuesday 25th September 2012

Tickets £20 include charity donation to MIND & Forever Manchester

0844 477 1000

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.