Peter Hook has come to terms with his musical past in a variety of ways in the last 16 months.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Joy Division singer and goth-rock icon Ian Curtis last May, Hook led a band through Unknown Pleasures in its entirety. While Hook had played bass on the original album, he tackled this commemorative endeavour as the singer. The outing was successful enough that he took the show on the road.
This year he reincarnates Joy Division’s more sophisticated follow-up, Closer. But not all of Hook’s recent reckoning with his past has been happy. Last week, his bandmates in New Order (the group that soldiered on after Curtis’ suicide) announced a reunion — without him.
Metro spoke to the man whose style of bass playing defined post-punk music.
At what point did you realize you were going to sing these songs, instead of playing bass? Did you ever try both?
I’ve never been able to do that. My son plays bass. ... It’s still quite nerve-wracking, especially playing Ian’s parts. My son is the same age as I was when we did Unknown Pleasures, which is quite weird, but my son was very supportive. He said, “Dad, it sounds fine. Don’t worry about it. It will get better.” And as we practiced, it did, and I felt happy doing it.
Are you and Bernard Sumner still close at all? I was surprised to see that New Order were reuniting without you.
We are the worst of bitter sworn enemies, which was proven this week by them starting New Order up again without telling me, the f—ers.
So you learned about the new New Order when I did?
Yes. In fact, I heard it on the radio. I’m not too bothered, to be honest. We split up five years ago and stopped working together. And, it’s a long time. And really, our relationship has been terrible ever since we stopped working together. So I’m not in a hurry to work with that bastard and I’m sure he’s not in a f—ing hurry to work with me. But they didn’t tell me that they had made this decision. And there have also been some, shall we say, little business shenanigans, which have proved to be quite distressing, which I’m sorting out at the moment. It’s not been nice, and I didn’t expect it to be nice.