Interview | Peter Hook (Joy Division / New Order) – Part II

Mark McNulty / Press

– Peter Hook Interview Part 1 – 

Do you think you could possibly ever see yourself wanting to work with them again as New Order?
Because the legal battle is still on going and it’s still very, very hurtful, I definitely don’t ever want to go through anything like this again in my life. I’m hoping it will come to a conclusion this year, it’s taken that long to come to fruition. It’s still very painful, literally. I’m sure like us all you’ve had a painful break up in your life – I’m right at the peak of it. Once it’s settled in a court of law, three years on, and it’s come to a level playing field and everyone’s happy with the outcome… Any divorce, when one side is unhappy with the outcome, it’s going to be painful. You can’t get a reconciliation so everyone’s unhappy with the outcome at the moment.

When was your interest in making music first sparked?
When I saw the Sex Pistols in 1977. It was interesting because I suppose, in a funny way, it’s like when you discover any skill, you want to do it more and more. Songwriting for me luckily became that for me. Even though I’ve been overdrawn at the risk bank in my career, I’m still able to get away with it, shall we say. Discovering this old material that then feels very new because you haven’t played it for ages is quite odd. It actually stops you writing new material because it actually feels like new material. I hadn’t played the Joy Division songs for thirty odd years, some of them we’d never played. So to get them back and start playing them and for people to love it, asking for you to do it all around the world, you think, “Why would I lock myself in a studio for six months and bash my head against a wall when I can enjoy myself?” It’s happening with each album and I’m really enjoying myself, discovering these gems that New Order never played that people are loving. To get the opportunity to come to Australia and play is a great compliment. People want to hear this stuff that you ignored for twenty five years. So I’m thinking, “Well, I haven’t got time to write!” and I feel very guilty about it. Tony Wilson, our record company manager and Rob Gretton our manager, brought us up to think that the best song you were ever going to write was your next one. That was their ethos that they drummed into us over and over again. So there does become a certain amount of guilt in enjoying yourself. I miss writing.

I heard you’re currently writing a book about New Order, what are you hoping will come from returning to that period of your life, personally in terms of putting out information?
This book is a much bigger thing because it stretches from May 19th 1980 to when we split up in 2006. Over that period, New Order had been involved in many, many musical movements and achieved a lot. What we achieved during the eighties began in 1980 and more or less peaked with the World Cup song in 1990 so we were very much a band of the eighties. That whole decade was taken up with New Order to the detriment of anything else. It’s a hell of a thing to write about. Bernard has just done his book on New Order which in my opinion is absolutely shit. I’ve never read a bigger pile of rubbish in my life. It’s got about as much to do with fact as The Hobbit and should be treated as such. It was just a thinly veiled attempt to convince New Order fans that I was such a bastard that that’s why he reformed New Order without me. So anyway, it left it wide open for me to do a great book on New Order which I am doing right now, you’re stopping me doing it actually. You’re the reason I’m not delivering it on time. The things that New Order achieved were remarkable. The things that me, Bernard and Steve achieved together as New Order were amazing. They were just as amazing as Joy Division. The music is still enjoyed. New Order have not done a new song since 2004. It’s that long since we wrote any material and I don’t class what they’re going to write. They might use the name New Order but they certainly can’t capture the spirit of it no matter what they call themselves. It’s interesting the way time goes, and here I am playing New Order stuff that was written in 1984 and it’s literally thirty years later. It’s scary, it’s really strange. It’s nice, a lot of the New Order fans that come to see me will never have seen some of these songs live and they’re old New Order fans. It’s a unique position to be in and I must admit I’m really enjoying it.

Do you have a standout show you’ve played in your career?
Headlining Glastonbury three times is pretty good.

Yeah, not bad.
If you’re going to carve something on my gravestone, carving “Headlined Glastonbury three times”, its a pretty good epitaph isn’t it?

You have an incredibly busy schedule, what’s next for you?
Writing the book at the moment, which is interesting. I’m still DJing when I can which I enjoy greatly and the Hacienda brand of the nightclub h
at the ripe old age of 58 and three quarters, I’m enjoying music very much and really wish there was more time. I’m desperate to write some new material but I’ve just got so much to do, it’s hard to fit it in. I’ve got to be aware that if I’d have had that attitude at the start I wouldn’t be here now would I? I’ve got to be careful, so now I’m going to try and write some stuff. It’s about time.

Well I look forward to seeing you when you’re in Australia…
Well yeah, I mean it’ll be interesting. When we came over playing the Joy Division stuff it was our seventh gig – Melbourne was the first one. It was quite an education to play in Australia and we had such a great reception. Australia is such a wonderful place to visit, and New Zealand. I do count myself very lucky that I have a job that enables me to do that.

I’m sure there are a lot of people who can’t wait to see you guys.
Hey, hopefully, otherwise I’ll just be stood there on my own. It’ll be just me and you.

That’d be alright.
There you go then, personal show.

Peter Hook and The Light tour details below. 

Peter Hook and The Light – All tickets via Metropolis touring

Saturday, 14th February 2015
Astor Theatre, Perth

Sunday, 15th February 2015
The Gov, Adelaide

Wednesday, 18th February 2015
Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane, Australia

Thursday, 19th February 2015
Metro, Sydney, Australia

Saturday, 21st February 2015
Corner Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

Sunday, 22nd February 2015
Wrestpoint, Hobart, Australia

Wednesday, 25th February 2015
Churchills, Christchurch

Thursday, 26th February 2015
Bogeda, Wellington

Friday, 27th February 2015
The Studio, Auckland