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#1 Posted : 19 March 2015 13:12:22(UTC)

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Hi, Hooky! How are you?

I’m all right, although my internet’s gone down. Must be all the footballers nearby (1) watching YouTube …

What do you think they’re watching?

Themselves, no doubt.

You’ve signed up to play this year’s Truck festival (2) with your band Peter Hook and the Light. What have you got planned?

We’ll take the opportunity to play a hybrid set, to show the influences in Joy Division that go into New Order. It feels a little more arty to me and more justifiable than just pretending to be the band, which is what the others do; they’re pretending to be New Order, and it’s pretty obvious to anyone who knows New Order that they’re not New Order.

You’ve said that when you first started playing Joy Division songs you received hate mail …

That was before we started. I’ve since learned how to handle the internet, but the bad publicity scared off the singers. I had three singers lined up, because I just wanted to play bass, but the criticism scared them off. It was Rowetta (3), God bless her, who said: “Hooky, you’re gonna have to face it.”

Some people would assume you’d always wanted to be lead singer …

Well we all started off singing in New Order, but Rob [Gretton, the band’s manager] decided it should just be Bernard. And he was a very reluctant lead singer, he always has been. I know he’s a different man now. Since they started pretending to be New Order in 2011 it’s like he’s been kidnapped by aliens and they’ve sent back the wrong one! Now he loves being the singer, he loves playing gigs, and he loves the fans. It’s the complete opposite of what I remember him being!

Your son Jack plays bass in your band, which sounds as if it could be a recipe for disaster ...

No, not at all. He’s never been any trouble. He’s much less trouble than I was.

Is that what you want in a rock’n’roll band, though?

It is now, at 59! Listen, I’m doing a New Order book at the moment and it reads like an indie Mötley Crüe. It’s a wonder any of us are still here: the fact we were friends with Happy Mondays should have been enough to kill us, never mind what we did on our own. But I’m sober now, I have been for 10 years, so for my son to come with me, he has to respect that and act accordingly.

Does he have his own secret Mötley Crüe moments behind your back?

I hope so, I really do. Even though I’m a cocaine addict and an alcoholic in remission, I don’t regret what I went through or wish I hadn’t done it, because I had some fantastic times. But as my mate put it once during an American tour: “The first night you do it, and then for the rest of the tour it does you.”

I read somewhere you were thinking of recruiting Bernard’s son, just to annoy him …

[Laughs] I don’t remember saying that. Hey, he might get my son onboard in his band instead. Oh well, at least they’d finally get the bass played properly! Fucking hell, I’ve never seen a more annoying comment in my life than when their fucking session man turned around and said: “I’m going to put my own stamp on it.” I bet all these New Order fans were fucking delighted – just what we need, an uppity session man who’s going to put his stamp on something that defines the whole sound of the band. Thank you, Bernard!

Amusing as it can be, do you ever worry that the bickering between you all spoils what is one of the most amazing stories in modern music?

It does, it does. But it’s like a marriage. And if your partner doesn’t want you, you don’t hang around. You divvy it up, cut the dog in half, and you’re off. But they chose not to do that, they chose to lock one partner out of the house, and throw 50p under the door every so often and say: “Here y’are, buy yourself a can of beans … don’t scratch our Bentleys.”

You described Bernard’s autobiography Chapter and Verse as “cruel” …

My mates took great delight in phoning me up and saying: “Go to the index, you’ve got two full pages, Hooky!” I take it as a compliment. This is a guy who’s going around the world, who has millions and millions of pounds, and fuck me it’s still not enough for him. He really did a great job of stitching me up. But it’s funny because some kid on the internet did a big piece, basically about Peter Hook versus the rest of New Order. My God, he went into it in depth, all about the differences between our two groups. How we treated our audiences, our playlists, our performances, ticket prices etc. And at the end of it all, we won! So I emailed the article to Bernard [bursts out laughing]. I couldn’t resist!

Did he respond?

He did reply. I didn’t read it, though. I don’t want to get into a slanging match with him. (4)

You say they’re not New Order but lots of bands continue without a member

Yeah, well I remember in 94 or 95 when Bernard was being a real prick, and we had a meeting where it was suggested we get a new lead singer. And I thought: “Oh no, no, no, it wouldn’t be New Order without Barney.” I wouldn’t even consider it. So it’s an insult, after 30 years working to promote a brand, to have someone steal it away from you. It’s just not Coca-Cola any more, is it? Because I’m a fucking important part of Coca-Cola.

Which part would you be? The fizz?

Ha ha ha! I’m the sugar, mate. Sixteen teaspoons!

Jah Wobble recently described the bass guitar as a “mystical, magical thing” which held the “power of the universe”. Would you agree with that?

Interesting. Hmmm. That’s a very glamourised … [Pause] You don’t expect an answer like that from me, do you? I know you don’t! Literally when I started I didn’t even know it had four strings. And when I met up with Bernard I asked why mine only had four. He said because it was easier to play and I thought: “Thank God for that.” I suppose it’s easier to take a backseat role with the bass, too, but the thing about someone like Jah Wobble is he didn’t seem content to take a backseat role.

And neither did you …

No, and the most insulting thing I ever heard was one day Bernard turned around to me and said: “Can’t you just play the root notes?” And I said: “No, you fucking play the root notes.” The reason Joy Division and New Order are as influential and successful as they are is because of the unique playing of all the individuals. Bernard was a very unique guitarist, and one of the best keyboardists/programmers/songwriters of a generation. Steve is an amazing drummer, he really is.

Your love of the bass led you to form Freebass (5), a band comprising only bassists …

The whole reason we formed was a reaction against our lead singers who would not gig. So we gathered the people who did want to play, but it was probably a case of too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

Do you think that social media and YouTube would ruin the mystique of a band like Joy Division today?

Well take that Sex Pistols gig that influenced us all in Manchester. If that was on YouTube it wouldn’t be half as exciting, and the same goes for Joy Division. Knowing very little about a band only adds to the allure. But it wouldn’t change things that much. Because we were very intense, very angry young men. And we were all so punky. People had it in those days. You look at 30 Seconds to Mars and you don’t think: “Ooh, I bet they’re angry.” No one really does anger these days. I suppose it’s a turn-off. I wouldn’t like to be starting out in a new band these days, I really wouldn’t.

You’ve said you could imagine Ian [Curtis] singing on Blue Monday … how would he have embraced rave culture? I think he would have loved it, without a shadow of a doubt. I used to see Mark E Smith in the Hacienda. Now if you could get a miserable twat like that in there, Ian would have been a dead cert, wouldn’t he?!

Have you seen the campaign to turn Ian’s old house into a museum?

I think it’s a great compliment if someone wants to make it into a museum for a group that culturally changed music, not once but twice. Ian has such a fantastic legacy and the fact people are inspired by it all around the world can only be a good thing. So I think someone should turn it into a bloody museum. We should have a bloody museum in Manchester, too, instead of us having to go to the Hard Rock restaurant to see anything to do with music in Manchester. I know Bernard said it would be disrespectful to Debbie but that’s rubbish, how can it be disrespectful? I’d have thought it was more respectful to your great choice in a husband, love.

In his book, Bernard revealed he had hypnotised Ian Curtis. Was that a surprise to you?

No, no, he used to try and get me to do it all the time. He was always trying to fucking hypnotise someone. I’d say: “Piss off.” I would never trust Bernard to hypnotise me because he’d have me running around naked, being a chicken … he’s a complete fucking twat. I’m not gonna sit there and let him put me under. Ian, God bless him, was a little bit more gullible, or maybe more trusting, shall we say, than I was. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if Ian was conscious the whole time and was just winding Bernard up. He had a great sense of humour. He knew how to take the piss out of you.

Given that Joy Division’s sound was very much a product of harsh financial times and a tough environment, why has the current state of the country not led to better bands?

It’s a sweeping statement but … maybe they’re all sat in smoking dope, whereas we didn’t have that luxury. We had parents that made us go out and get jobs. My mother was very, very driven and she wouldn’t hesitate to kick me up the arse if I tried to linger in the house. I’ve never been out of work in my whole life. She wouldn’t let me.

Manchester has changed a lot since you started out. What are your thoughts on the city’s gentrification?

It’s still a rough place. I read the Evening News every night and I’m appalled at the things that go on here, so while it’s gentrified on the outside, it still holds and beats a very rough heart. There’s still a lot there to inspire new musicians. Maybe they choose to ignore it.

How violent was it back when you began?

It was violent at gigs. These days you don’t get many riots at gigs, do you? Maybe people have changed. I went to see the Killers and Brandon lost his voice (3). It was after three numbers, at the Arena, sold out, 16,000 people. I thought: “Fucking great, there’s going to be a massive riot here!” But instead, everyone was just worried about poor Brandon! “Oh, I hope he’s all right, maybe we should get him some cough medicine!” I was there thinking: “FUCKING BURN THE PLACE DOWN!”

1) Hooky lives in Premiership star mecca Alderley Edge, in south Manchester.

2) At Hill Farm, Steventon, Oxfordshire, 17-18 Jul, with Basement Jaxx, the Charlatans and Fat White Family.

3) The former Happy Mondays singer and X Factor contestant, who has appeared with Peter Hook and the Light

4) Erm …

5) With the Smiths’ Andy Rourke and the Stone Roses’ Gary “Mani” Mounfield
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ROCKET MICK on 19/03/2015(UTC), Andy on 19/03/2015(UTC)
#2 Posted : 19 March 2015 17:35:26(UTC)

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Progress: He referred to the current lineup as "New Order".
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ROCKET MICK on 20/03/2015(UTC)
#3 Posted : 20 March 2015 05:07:27(UTC)

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Lack of Progress: refuses to acknowledge Gillian exists.
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ROCKET MICK on 20/03/2015(UTC), Andy on 20/03/2015(UTC)
Michael Monkhouse  
#4 Posted : 21 March 2015 02:13:42(UTC)
Michael Monkhouse

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Gillian does not exist. She is an automaton programmed to giggle and play with her hair and do what Bernard tells her.
Yet another Hooky interview choc-a-bloc with surprises. He assumes more positions than a porn actress. I always read his interviews and then want my 3 minutes back.
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ROCKET MICK on 21/03/2015(UTC)
#5 Posted : 22 March 2015 10:06:56(UTC)

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Oddly, in this interview, Hooky states the band - as is - are "pretending" to be New Order. I don't think they're pretending at all. I've seen enough bands change and enough people join / leave bands over time to no longer think of any set combination of individuals as a set and immovable version of any band : the current version of New Order (New Order Mk.III, to me) occupy the same space a Pink Floyd 1987-onwards. That is, a version of the band, obviously not the same, but still with enough of the bands core identity to call itself by that name.

If, for example, Barney had left in 1992, the band had toured in 1993 without him, then Barney had launched a completely new lineup called New Order in 2001 with none of the former members, then I'd side with H. But that's not how it is.

I checked the index of Barney's book : Hooky gets half a page, and more accurately probably a third of a page spread across two columns.

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ROCKET MICK on 22/03/2015(UTC)
Michael Monkhouse  
#6 Posted : 22 March 2015 23:11:48(UTC)
Michael Monkhouse

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These arguments run like diarrhoea.
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ROCKET MICK on 06/08/2015(UTC)
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