Peter Hook is just one of the most important bass player in the History of rock (Joy Division, New Order…) So Musikplease was very excited when we knew that an interview was possible. Here is the conversation in original language.
MusiK Please : Are you proud about being influential in so many kinds of music as rock, cold wave, gothic, electro, dance ? What are you prouder about ?
Peter Hook : Yes, it’s always a nice feeling to know that your work & the songs that you helped to create have gone on to influence and inspire lots of different kinds of people from all sorts of backgrounds and genres, it makes me feel very proud when I hear bands say that we were an influence on their own music. Basically I would say that I am most proud of the fact that our music has just stood the test of time and even though it was made over 30 years ago in some cases it still inspires people today after all these years.
MP: This tour with covers of your old tracks (Joy Division specialy) is a great idea. What decided you to do that ?
Peter Hook : Well the idea started in May 2010 when it was the 30th anniversary of Ian’s death. I decided to put a band together to play Unknown Pleasures for one night only as a tribute to him and as a celebration of his work. It sold out very fast so we added a second night, and then from there we were invited all around the world to come and play so we started to tour a lot, and it has been great. Since then when we were only playing Unknown Pleasures, we have played another 4 records in full too – Closer, Still, Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies. Moving on to the New Order material has been a lot of fun.
MP: Any chance to see again the real New Order one day ?
Peter Hook : Yes, I think so unfortunately. It doesn’t look like the real New Order will ever exist again. I know that there is a version of « New Order » touring now and using the name, but trust me it is not the real New Order, and it never will be.
MP: Your voice is not far from Ian’s one. Was it more difficult to sing New Order’s tracks ?
Peter Hook :It’s actually easier to sing the New Order tracks, simply because when you are singing the Joy Division material there is a lot of pressure because you are singing the words and melodies of Ian who was without a doubt a real genius and a great talent, I know that I can not replace him so I just try and do the best job that I can. Singing the New Order songs means there is less pressure and the material is not as heavy, everything is a bit lighter, so it makes it easier.
MP: It should be strange after all these years with the same band to start again with a new one…
Peter Hook : Well not really, because all the members of my current band The Light are people that I have known for years and years, a very long time and some very good friends. Firstly my son who obviously I have known forever! And we have a great relationship, then the other 3 members of the band David Potts, Paul Kehoe and Andy Poole were all members of Monaco my side project band that we did in the late 1990s, so it’s not strange at all really, it feels really comfortable.
MP: What is your Relationship with your son in the band ?
Peter Hook : Yes my son plays bass in the band, alongside me. We have a great relationship and it is very nice to have him in the band, he is doing a great job. He plays a lot of the basslines and keeps things going while I am singing, then I can come back in with the lead lines and solos, it works really well.
MP: Is it true that you were called by the Bunnymen after Les Pattinson leaved the band ?
Peter Hook : Not really, no, I think sometimes people make up these stories because they want them to be true but I never came close to joining the Bunnymen. One band I did come close to joining was actually Killing Joke, we recorded some demos together but then New Order got back together again so I couldn’t do it!
MP: Manchester’s scene was very intense in the 80’s– 90’s. Are you still in touch with some musicians ?
Peter Hook :Yes, most of my good friends are all musicians from the area. Mani from the Stone Roses, all of the Happy Mondays – there is a really nice relationship in Manchester between all of the musicians because everyone went through the same crazy times back in the day.
MP: How do you feel about longevity of guys as Mc Culloch or Morrissey ?
Peter Hook : I think they are both very talented so it was only natural that they would have great longevity. I’m not really a fan of Morrissey but I respect everything that he has achieved with the Smiths and as a solo artist. Ian McCulloch is a very interesting man, a really talented frontman. I just heard the new song by Echo & the Bunnymen last week and it is fantastic.
MP: Are you listening to others kinds of music ?
Peter Hook : I listen to all kinds of different music, I have to do it because I still DJ so you need to keep up to date with everything. I listen to a lot of dance music these days but I still like to listen to rock & indie.
MP: Do you find time to DJ ?
MP: Why are you playing with your bass so down ? Was it a choise ?
Peter Hook : Of course! I decided to do it because I saw how Paul Simonon from the Clash was playing and he had a very long strap, so that was my influence when it came to having a long strap myself. I just think it looks cooler!
MP: What are your plans after this tour ? A new album ?
Peter Hook : Well this tour seems to never end! So it is quite hard to plan what I am doing after it… I will be releasing my third book later this year which will be all about New Order and we are going to tour with The Light in North and South America which will be great. As for new material it would be nice to do another album with my current band but the problem is finding the time to do it, we are always on tour so it is difficult to get into the studio. I play a lot of bass on other people’s records though, for collaborations, which I enjoy doing. In fact the guys who will support us at these gigs in France are a band that I played with, I like to collaborate with other musicians.