Those who know me already know that I have been a diehard fan of Joy Division and New Order all my life. Doing this interview meant a lot to me. I hope that you enjoy it in anticipation of the Peter Hook and The Light concert in Lima at Mangos on October 7, 2013.
Peter Hook and The Light – Pictures in my Mind
(inedit song from Joy Division)
You are coming back to South America after four years with your band “Peter Hook and the Light” to play “Movement” and “Power, Corruption and Lies.” How did you decide to form this band to play only Joy Division and New Order songs?
Well, it all started back in 2010 when I decided to put a band together to play Unknown Pleasures live as it had been 30 years since Ian Curtis died and I wanted to celebrate his life and his work. It was only supposed to be one gig here in Manchester but it sold out very quickly and so we added a second night. From there, everything got a little bit crazy and we were invited to come and do it all around the world. This led to us playing the second Joy Division album too, Closer, and then the final recording, Still, before then progressing to playing the first two New Order albums (Movement and Power, Corruption and Lies) which is what we will be doing in Lima. I am very excited to come back and play live.
Your first time in Peru was as a DJ in 2009, and this time you come with your own band. Can you tell us what are your (yours and your band’s) expectations?
Yes, I came to Lima to DJ in 2009 and it was a really good night. The fans in South America are always very passionate so we have wanted to come back and play live for a long time – now we can finally do it. I expect another passionate crowd!
Tell us about your musical beginnings, how did you get started as a musician? How did you choose bass as your instrument?
Well, I went to see the Sex Pistols play live in Manchester in 1976 and after that gig I knew that I wanted to be a musician. My old friend Bernard Sumner and I decided to form a band the very next day. I chose bass simply because Bernard already had a guitar. And from there, the rest is history…
Do you have any plans to play again with Monaco? Is there anything in the works with David Potts?
At the moment there are no plans to do anything with Monaco but it is interesting that you mention David Potts because he has just joined us as part of my current band and will be playing with us in Lima. Our old guitarist Nat Wason has left us after three years to go and play with Ben Howard and we wish him good luck, and David will replace him in my band.
Monaco – What Do You Want From Me?
What happened to your band Revenge?
Revenge just came to a natural end, really, David Potts was the second bass player in revenge who then formed Monaco with me once revenge was finished. I am proud of the material we released as Revenge though, I think there is some great stuff there.
It is unusual for three bass players to play together in a band. Tell us about Freebass and your collaboration with Andy Rourke and Gary Mounfield.
Well, Freebass was an idea that came about after talking with Mani and Rourkey because we were all frustrated that our respective bands/lead singers would not play live. So we decided to form our own band. We got Gary Briggs from Haven to sing lead vocals and we made what I think is a very good record. When it came to playing live as Freebass, it became quite clear that it would just not work, so again that just came to a natural end and I then formed the band I have now.
How do you feel when you listen to new bands with clear New Order and Joy Division influences? Is there a new band that you really like?
I think it is a great compliment that people say we are an influence and I like it when I hear things that have been influenced by our own music. In terms of new bands, I am a big fan of Delphic, who are also from Manchester, and who say they have been influenced by New Order. I think that is a great thing and I hope that our music continues to inspire other people.
Delphic – Doubt
Peter Hook and The Light – New Dawn Fades
Tell us about your experience writing “Unknown Pleasures – Inside Joy Division.” Was it painful or liberating for you? Could you share some of the memories of Ian Curtis that you very honestly depicted in your book?
I enjoyed writing the book. It was my second book, my first book was about the Hacienda Nightclub that we owned here in Manchester. Writing the Joy Division book was a totally different experience of course, but I still enjoyed it. It is a story that of course has a sad ending for obvious reasons but it was nice to go through everything and tell my side of the story.
In your book you tell an anecdote that you were invited to play with Killing Joke and mentioned a misunderstanding because of something you said about one of their albums. Can you tell us what happened?
I joined the guys from Killing Joke in the 1980s actually and we wrote some great songs together, however for various reasons the songs were never released… that is a shame because I remember that some of them were fantastic. I have always thought that Killing Joke are a great band.
The following is a personal question and a dream of mine. Would you consider playing again with Bernard and Steve and tour as Joy Division?
I am sorry to disappoint you but I don’t think that would ever happen, for two reasons mainly. Firstly because I would never want to play and call ourselves Joy Division without Ian Curtis, because without Ian there can be no real Joy Division. And, secondly because unfortunately I am no longer in contact with Bernard and Steve, a lot of negative things have happened over the last few years and it is a shame but that’s the way things have turned out.
Peter Hook and The Light – Love Will Tear Us Apart
I would like to share with you a story about your first visit to Peru in August 2009. You very kindly signed my LPs of New Order and Joy Division at the hotel Lobby where you were staying. Not satisfied with this, I took more CDs and LPs from my collection to your signing event at Nebula disco the next day. When it was my turn in line you looked at me and smiling said: “you again?” I was stunned! After I left, I laughed by myself for a while. I was so very touched that you would remember me. This is a very special memory for me.
That is very nice to hear! i hope that we will meet again in October!
Do you have any special memories of your first visit to Peru?
I remember that the people in Peru were very welcoming and that it was a lovely place, I am very happy to be returning.
Would you like to send a message to your South American, and specifically your Peruvian fans through Subte Rock?
I would just like to say that we are all very excited to come and play for you in Lima and I am looking forward to seeing you all there at Mango’s Club on October 7th!