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Exclusive Interview with Peter Hook

() - Published 2006-06-06 10:01:00 AM - 10:01:00 AM

Tim Jauncey (oldMonkey) and Alex S. (Big Clive) take us backstage at the Athens Ejekt Festival gig New Order did on June 3rd and give us a brand new interview with a lot of questions real fans wanted to ask.

TJ – Around the time of Sirens Call there was talk of another album and new songs with production by Tore Johansson and Brian Higgins – how’s that progressing?

PH – we scrapped the Brian Higgins stuff because we didn’t like it, I thought he did quite a good job on Girls Aloud but he didn’t do a good job on us. The Tore Johannson tracks, we’ve not done anything with them yet. I thought we should play live before we started recording again but Bernard thought we should start recording again.

TJ – going back 20 years, a lot of the songs seemed to be worked out live, they’d start off as an idea and you’d play them live and work them through.

PH – in those days it was a different way of writing, you didn’t wrote for a record you just wrote cause it was in your blood. We used to rehearse every week regardless of whether we played and regardless of whether you were recording and then because of that you had more songs on the go, but now you don’t do that, you record for a purpose which is for an LP, so you set chunks of time aside to do the record.

AS – do you miss the old days though?

PH – don’t you miss the old days? What do you miss?

TJ – turning up, having a sweep on what the first song was going to be and not having a clue what’s coming first.

PH – the problem with that is that really because you don’t do a lot you can’t be as loose. I think there’s a thing about when you were young you were fearless and the thing about getting older is you sort of lose that because you know it’s ridiculous. If Barney turned round now and said “why don’t we just play Face Up” we’d all go fook off we’ve not practiced it.

AS – And I’d walk off and go the fookin’ bar!

PH – and that’s the difference.

AS – then you’d do things like Love Reaction with Slim.

PH – we did that as a gag.

TJ – gotta ask about that Sparks one in Milan, that “When I’m With You”

PH – we were just jamming, that was what you did when you were young, you just did things differently, you did, everyone does, you just get a bit more responsible when you get older because the chances of you pulling it off are 50/50 so you don’t take the chance really I suppose. He’s not letting me finish again, shut up Alex!

TJ – have you not heard that Brian (sic) Fanning interview on RTE Alex?

{laughs all round}

PH – the thing is that the irresponsibility then paid off sometimes, sometimes it didn’t. As you get older you change. If you started playing Face Up you can bet that ¾ of the audience wouldn’t know it because they’re all brought up on the Best Of, and just because you get a buzz out of it….

AS – fookin’ something or other (can’t hear it!!)

TJ – but if you started playing Sunrise the fookin’ place’d go off, it just bleeds.

AS – you must be enjoying doing it again,

PH - I love playing, yeah, and that’s the funny thing about DJing is that it’d good but it’s not as good as playing. Next question.

TJ – about Joy Division being in the music press with this Mick Middles book, that Torn Apart.

PH – Mick Middles?

TJ – With Wilson’s ex-wife.

PH – Terry’s done it as well hasn’t he?

TJ – yeah, talking about the Ashtray of Doom and Sarge drinking pints of piss with the Buzzcocks. Fair play Sarge! Is it true?

Sarge – is what true?

TJ – you getting a load of money for drinking piss?

PH – you got a tenner didn’t you? He asked for £15 because it was still warm. Ten if it was cold and £15 it was warm, but we only had £13 on us!

TJ – so have you read it?

PH - no

TJ – there’s been a lot of books, what do you think about them, have you ever thought of setting the record straight?

PH – telling the truth? I’ve just started a book actually, doing a book about the Hacienda, but these days it’s so depressing talking about it!!

AS – the one night there was Mark E Smith’s sister…..

PH – Mark Smith’s got a sister?

TJ – looks like him……

PH – that’s a fookin’ nightmare! ………I’m not letting them give you anymore beers……

TJ – Joy Division DVDs, there’s talk of a DVD, the old Plan K thing.

PH – the problem you’ve got is that Tom Atencio and Michael Shamberg have got a bit obsessed with the past, and because they’re not doing anything about the future they’re getting into doing something about the past, and they’re really working on a Joy Division documentary and a Joy Division DVD and bringing it all up to date, because a lot of the stuff was never put out, and because Warners are now doing it properly, that’s what they’re working on, and they are working on the Plan K thing. It’s funny because some kid came up to me when I was DJing in Toronto and gave me a DVD of New Order and Toronto in 1983, properly recorded, a multi-camera shoot. We’re gonna do that though.

TJ – there’s been talk of Hooky’s Vault of bootlegs.

PH – I’ve got hundreds, yeah. I’ve got one Warsaw gig, Middlesbrough 78. It’s a very difficult thing what to do with them because Bernard has no interest in putting them out you see, which is the problem, so I might just auction them {laughs}.

TJ –We’ve got about 50 of ‘em (JD) probably. The Sultan of Bling! Have you got anything else to flog him?

PH – I’ve got loads of stuff actually, I’m gonna auction it all off.

TJ – don’t give it to Brian Whittaker!!! {laughs}

AS – you’ll get more on Reissue labels (like LTM)

PH – but I feel bad putting it out because the rest of the band aren’t interested so what I thought I’d do is just get rid of it all.

TJ – give it to (Alex) then! That way, the people who want to hear it get to hear it, he gets richer and fatter…..

PH – fookin’ ‘ell, I’m really glad I did this interview with you, there’s a lot of sense coming through here.

TJ – what’s going on with Freebass, and finding a singer?

PH – it’s going quite well, considering that we’re all so busy. Basically we’re all busy DJing so we don’t have the chance to do it. I’ve been really flattered by the reaction to my DJing, and I’m now on a par with Tony Blackburn {laughs}

AS – I’ll tell you what…..

TJ – you wrote good songs you play good songs, we all want to be there!

TJ – have you been on Barney’s yacht? This is one of his (Alex’s)

PH – no, I wouldn’t fookin’ go on a yacht with him, I hate water!

AS – have you been in Steve’s tanks?

PH – yes I’ve been in one of Steve’s tanks but I’ve not been on Barney’s yacht. If Steve had his tank on water I wouldn’t go in it either.

TJ – do you look at the website, and watch what Jack’s posting?

PH – I do look at the website, yeah. Jack’s going through his teenage rebellion phase. When you go home he sneaks down and puts the computer on at like midnight!

AS – so obviously this is the best period when you all get on with each other.

TJ – who gets more pissed these days, the fans or Barney?

AS – that’s one of mine!

PH – it’s that funny thing, you do get to an age where it’s alright for you, you do it before, we can’t, so we do it after, we play catch up after!

AS – 24 Hour party people, I was going through that and thinking that’s not right, that’s not right…..

PH – but you’re a trainspotter Alex!

AS – I’m more of a drunk than a trainspotter!

PH – I’m not criticising you saying you’re a trainspotter, it’s like some guy in Idaho is gonna go “hey put that 24 Hour Party People on” {Adopts American accent}

AS – if you said to me now what gear you had on….. it’s only cause it watched it like 35/40 times across this period

PH – no fookin’ idea, what I’m saying to you is you can’t get too involved in something like that because the majority of people see it and just get the gist of it, so don’t beat yourself up about it!

AS – (ACR’s Martin)Moscrop’s saying about Ralf Little, and would not believe you were doing all that, that you were more pissed than the crowd.

PH – I don’t think they were though. It was very rare occasions I got drunk, one of the only occasions I got really drunk on stage was Lyon {cue massive laughs as Alex had been on about this all weekend!} I was playing a song behind the rest of the band all through the gig, on the setlist I was playing the one behind, they were playing the one in front.

TJ – hearing that now, that makes sense of the recording!

TJ – E for England, how did you get away with that?

PH – well we didn’t really get away with it though, did we? E wasn’t as mainstream then.

AS – Blondie songs about E in 81……

TJ – we’ve seen Taras Shevchenko, there was E in 81.

PH – he was pissed. The E for England thing, I’m pretty sure that was Keith Allen.

TJ – tribute bands, shite or….?

PH – hang on a minute, I’ve not finished the fookin’ question! Jeez……

PH – they wouldn’t let him (Keith Allen) use it, the FA wouldn’t let him record E for England because they’re not stupid so that was that. What was the next question?

AS – {random football mumblings}

PH – yeah we watched it, it was quite ironic that the actual play, we weren’t that much better.

TJ – Tribute bands.

PH – when I listened to RE: Order I thought it was uncannily accurate, which I thought was really weird, that made it really spooky, do you know what I mean? We don’t play like that anymore now but they, it was a bit fragile and I thought fook me.

TJ – Joy Division songs, whose idea was it to start playing them again?

PH – my idea to do the JD set, thing is the songs are so great and sound so great that it’s a bit difficult to leave ‘em out, I thought that this time we should be more New Order but when we played ‘em they fit so well in the set that it’s very difficult to leave ‘em out

TJ – have you thought about re-recording them with Bernard singing?

PH – we may do for the film but we haven’t thought about it, no-ones asked us. The film keeps going back.

AS – are you involved in the film?

PH – who would I play, me dad? Which would be difficult as I’ve never seen him. {laughs}

TJ – what is in a headache, or a headbanger whatever it was called?

PH – a headache was pernod, asti spumante and orange juice.

TJ - Beckham, cunt or icon?

PH – I like David Beckham, I thought the fact that we didn’t get to do World in Motion with him last time was really sad, it would have been bazzing that as he was lined up to do the rap, the FA wouldn’t let him.

AS – are you a fan then?

PH – of Beckham?

AS – of United.

PH – I always have been, I’ve lived there all my life, I was born within a stone’s throw of Old Trafford.

TJ – has there ever been like a band chronicler, anyone who’s written down what you’ve been doing, where you’ve been and all that?

PH – no, it’s all in here. {taps head}

TJ – Rob’s tapes, looking at the pic of that batch of tapes, some of the gig we didn’t know existed, didn’t know you’d even played there.

PH – it’s all in the books, that Claude one, it’s pretty conversational of what we’ve done, the fact is that none of us have ever sat down and done interviews, which is funny because that’s what I’m looking forward to sitting down and reading what Terry says.

TJ – it’s all about turds!

PH – he had a chat, I’m looking forward to reading it. Did you read the Making of Unknown Pleasures?

TJ – yeah

PH – that guy really pissed me off because he said the pub was the Black Swan, fookin idiot it was called the Swan, that really annoyed me.

TJ – David Sultan half wrote that didn’t he, isn’t he your mate?

PH – yeah he’s alright David. Whenever I meet David he takes me out in his sports car, and takes me to his restaurant, what do you guys do, just harangue me pissed! {laughs} He’s great David, he really looks after me.

TJ – he’s bought half your guitars hasn’t he?

PH – he hasn’t actually, what he did was he wanted to buy Hot (the first Eccleshall) and I wouldn’t sell it, so he had one made and asked me if I’d play the copy, and when I played it fook me it sounded fantastic, much better than my old guitar, and what had happened was the old guitars had deteriorated, which they’re not supposed to, and I wouldn’t have noticed if he hadn’t had a new one made, so I had all me new ones upgraded to sound like his and I thought fook it I’ll just give him the old one, so he did me a really good favour by giving me the new ones for the old ones.

TJ – I know he bought 15 melodicas from the Leigh Festival!

PH – the melodicas may be from Leigh Festival but the trouble is that I found out who was selling ‘em and I’ve no idea if he’s telling the truth! Better go, got a gig to do.

TJ, AS – cheers Hooky!

That's all folks! Many thanks to Alex and Andy Robinson for sorting this out, and to Hooky and Sarge for giving us their time and providing so many great answers.
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Thanks to Tim Jauncey and Alex The Red for the submission and informations

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