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Putting the joy in Joy Division

America has waited a long time for the “Unknown Pleasures” tour. Thirty years, in fact.

America has waited a long time for the “Unknown Pleasures” tour. Thirty years, in fact. In 1980, the year after Joy Division released their 1979 debut album, just before the doomy band’s first-ever American tour, singer Ian Curtis committed suicide.

The rest is so much incredible history. The surviving members formed New Order and basically helped bring synth-pop and electronic music into the mainstream.

When Peter Hook, bassist and co-founder of both bands, announced a celebration honoring Curtis with a performance of “Unknown Pleasures” in Joy Division’s hometown of Manchester, U.K., last May, no one felt the weight of that legacy more than him.

“It was very frightening,” Hook tells Metro.

“Obviously, this record holds dear in a lot of people’s hearts. I was very aware I had to treat it with dignity and respect. So I couldn’t be doing any psycho rockabilly versions of the songs,” he half-jokes.

With New Order currently on indefinite hiatus, Hook formed The Light (which includes his son Jack Bates) to perform the anniversary celebration that morphed into a worldwide “Unknown Pleasures” tour.

“To be honest with you, I never expected to play it more than once. I was delighted when I did it twice, because the first show sold out. Then I was even more delighted to be asked to play elsewhere. It’s been rather a big cherry, shall we say.”

On his new ‘Life’ and peer pressure

Peter Hook’s now-defunct, three-bass heavy band, Freebass — which featured Stone Roses/Primal Scream’s Mani Mounfield and The Smiths’ Andy Rourke — releases “It’s A Beautiful Life” posthumously, Dec. 7.

With his trademark effects pedal, Hook redefined bass as a lead instrument and stands alongside iconic bassists such as Sir Paul McCartney …

“No,” Hook groans. “No, don’t say McCartney. I’d rather stand beside Paul Simonon and Jean-Jacques Burnel. Not on the Paul McCartney and Sting side.”

 
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