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In July of 1994, my friend Lisa and I flew down to Los Angeles to meet with Tom Atencio, New Order’s North American business manager and Peter Hook. Peter and his fiance Caroline Aherne were on their way to Las Vegas to be married and had stopped in LA for a pre-honeymoon vacation.
We met with Tom Atencio first and after breakfast, interviewed Peter with Caroline.
As an introduction, I mention how much we enjoyed the Shoreline show and ask about the other dates during the Republic tour.
Tom: "On some evenings, it can be absolutely sublime and there’s nothing usually in-between. I mean, the next show was the Hollywood Bowl and it was horrible. The sound was horrible, there was a lot of moisture in the air; it’s not usually used as a rock venue—we usually play the Irvine Amphitheater. So, it was a horrible load-in. The (Los Angeles) Symphony Orchestra had played thenight before, so they couldn’t start loading in until 12 and it took them extra people. It was a horrible set-up and the show was horrible, the sound was horrible and it was a nightmare. Nobody had a particularly good time.
"I think the audience did (have a good time) because in a lot of ways, New Order has evolved into a really strange pop hand. A lot of my friends who’ve followed what I do for a long time and aren’t necessarily New Order, went and said it was like The Beatles. It was so bizarre – everybody knew the words, particularly in the cheaper seats. When you play LA, you have to take care of a lot of people, so fans are kind of screwed out of the closest seats, although I don’t put them all up at the same time, so not even ticket brokers can get them. We do everything we can to make sure that a fair amount go out to the fans. But in the upper section, and I always walk around during every concert, everyone was on their feet, singing and having a great time."
"I can’t really think of what the best shows were. I mean, the Shoreline was great – Chicago was fantastic, and that’s where we filmed the live version of "World". MTV hated it for some reason, but you know…"
They showed the Cannes video, but saw the other one on some weird channel—
"The Box. The Box played it a lot and it got requested a lot. To be fair, all our videos have been pretty experimental. I mean, we never used video directors to make them. We used Jonathan Demme, William Wegman and Robert Breer, who teaches animation on the east coast. William Wegman is a photographer, Robert Frank is a photographer. And MTV has never endorsed our video approach. And the ironic thing is that now that the band did use a video director, the guy that did "World", for example, MTV is definitely going towards the kind of videos we used to show. I don’t know if it’s a curse or a blessing, but they’ve been so far ahead of the market for their career that they haven’t really enjoyed the kind of commercial success to which they’re entitled to. "
Is that something that you’d like to see? For them to be as successful –
Tom:"(laughing) I think they’d like to see it, you know!"
So how did they get Bono to appear in the video?
Tom:"They didn’t. I think U2 have gone on record a number of times saying that Joy Division were an important band to them and in fact, they used to do ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ in concert and I think the producers of New Order Story knew that so it was kind of logical to get the perspective from people like Neil Tennant and Bono because they already aligned themselves in print. I mean, the band had nothing to do with that. Except to participate in it.
Are Stephen and Gillian are planning to do anything else with The Other Two such as tour?
Tom:"We’ve talked about it. I think they like the tour as a concept and not as a group, you know, it’s not a band concept. I think an ‘environment’ is the right word to use. They want to provide an environment to have people experience the music in that environment."
How did you get kooked up with New Order?
Tom:"Backstreet, my label at MCA, ended in ’83. After that, Quincy Jones called me, the president of the label and said they really liked what I did there – I was just starting to work with dance acts and they wanted to know if I was interested in working with Qwest. At the time, it was all balck –Sarah Vaughn, classic blues and jazz performers. And I thought, how can I possibly burnish Quincy Jones’ star and I thought about New Order. And I thought how much I loved them and how they’d never done a deal in America. This was after ‘Blue Monday’. I knew that every record company had offered them everything. Bob Krasnow, the recently deposed head of Elektra had offered them a blanck check – a nice American style, isn’t it? "
"I’d heard about the show in L.A. A classic New Order show. Everybody was there, David Geffen, Moe Austin, nobody that you ever see out after dark, and they played the Florentine Gardens, this crummy dance club on Hollywood Blvd. They kept everybody waiting and went on an hour and a half late. A good friend of mine was there, I didn’t even go because I didn’t want to be frustrated. I thought forget it, I can’t get close to them. They played by all accounts a very short, shitty set and afterwards kept everybody waiting another hour before they’d let them back. David Geffen apparently ran past everybody. And I could see the scene. And how could I distinguish myself from them? I mean, if you have your own record label that’s successful, then you don’t feel the financial pressure. How then do you sort out what to do? And I think the people that were around them were solidly indie anyways. So they were distributed by Rough Trade in America, not really knowing that Rough Trade can’t get into most stores because they don’t have accounts with the bigger stores. They were happy to sell 100.000 units, which is what they were selling. I think it’s a combination of they weren’t really worried about it and a little naïve, so I think it was fine with them.
"And it occurred to me that they hadn’t met anybody like me, Honestly, you know, or that they hadn’d had the chance to sit down–I’m not saying I’m the cleverest guy in the music business—but somebody who had the kind of approach that would be suitable to them. I’m sure that there are people (in the music business) but they didn’t have the opportunity to sit one to one and spend time with them. So I called up Rough Trade in San Francisco and I said Gee, I’m thinking of working with Qwest and they went, you know (adopting a growl). ‘Piss off, you’re not getting near them!’ I got Factory’s number and they gave me Rob Gretton’s home number and I struck up a rapport over the phone. But between the bad transatlantic connection and Rob’s Mancunian accent, I probably understood about every 4th word. And all I could do was go yeah, uh huh, uh huh! He must have thought, like this is the stupidest guy in North America!
"So I worked out a deal with Qwest on a contingency basis where if I could deliver this act and a couple of other acts, then I had a production deal. That’s how they got to Qwest which a lot of people find curious. What the hell is New Order doing on basically a black musician’s semi-obscure label? How the hell that happened. I think the idea of being on a black musician’s label was really appealing to them. I though it would be! Obviously they’re contrary, they’ve talked to everybody in North America and around the world and they haven’t signed, and obviously they’re looking for a special approach and I though here is, in some ways, the safety of being on a major since it’s backed by Warner Bros. And the kind of contrary attitude that seemed to be consistent with everything else they’ve done. And it was. I think they found it amusing and appealing. And of course, Quincy Jones is somebody they have respect for"
It seems like New Order are not as willing to do the kind of things Depeche Mode do--in- stores, promotions. But then, they never seem like the kind of people who would want to put out that much...
Tom: "I think that it's the cult of musicianship and not of personality and I think Bernard was being completely honest and not, you know, clever when he said he doesn't care about the trappings of personality. I mean, he's rather afraid of them and I think that in a way, any musician or any artist that's really aware of what 'it' comes from, whatever 'it' is...you have to show a lot of respect. And I think there's a ratio of things you do to make yourself successful in addition to making great music. If talent were enough, the world would be a completely different place. It isn't enough, you have to have clever people around you, you have to work really hard, and you have to present a personality and I think New Order is wonderful because they've been successful at marketing a non-personality.
"To some degree, the album covers and I would hope over a long period of time, the support--the videos, the way that the shows are put on--all of that would add up to what people would invest in personality alone. And I think they show a healthy respect for the bad things that can happen to you. You can lose your way after a while. I mean, if you start reading your own press, I think you're fucked because you have enough people telling you you're great, you're fantastic, and I think you have to show that a lot of respect--if you wade into it, you can't help losing your way. And if you lose touch with the things that provide stimulus for you...I mean, I don't know where the inspiration for music comes from and I don't think musicians do either. I don't think clever ones do, and I think that you can spend so much time pimping yourself that you lose touch. I've seen it happen over and over again. I mean, how many bands have an 18 year career? There's nothing more disposable than pop music. It's absolutely disposable. How many bands do you hear 18 months after their hit record? Most bands have one hit record. Some have 2 or 3 hit records. A handful of bands, you can count them on maybe one or two hands and not use all your fingers, that have had a 15 year career. I mean, you could name them, you could name them right now. U2, REM, Pink Floyd, for really bizarre reasons...
"So yeah, they understand what it takes to sell records. I don't think they're willing to sell records at any cost. It's challenging being on the business side of it, making it work, because I respect their decision, but Rob and I are left with, well, how do you pick up the pieces? What do you do in the vacuum that's left of that non-participation? And you know, there are four distinct personalities in this band. Bernard is one personality, Peter Hook is another personality, Steven and Gillian are separate, they have separate things that they are all suited for. So in a way, they cover a lot of ground. But I mean, they probably find that 15,000 people turning out for an in-store kind of embarrassing (laughs)."
Part of what attracted us to the band was how normal they seemed, Lisa says. They don't seem like ego-maniacs going after what a lot of pop or rock stars want. And that's kind of what we liked.
"I think really that is the difference between the cult of personality and the cult of musicianship. I think when they were very young they probably started a band for the usual reasons, I mean, they could make money, it was better than taking welfare and, well, I'm not saying that they weren't from solidly middle-class homes, but England in the early 70's was not an economically booming area, but I also don't think they wanted to be on the cover of magazines. That wasn't their motivation for starting a band."
Do you handle what comes out with Electronic?
"I didn't do Electronic, so no, I'm not officially involved in that. And yes I did Revenge and The Other Two. Johnny Marr's manager, Marcus Russell, handles Electronic.
I ask if there is anything in particular Tom as New Order’s business manager had wished they had done that they just refused.
"Well, I think everybody wishes they would tour more."
"Is there anything else...really, I think that's the biggest thing. That they would make themselves more available to do that. I think that any band that's been together for a long time, that's done the process over and over, it's less--even the most theatrical of performers like Streisand, stopped touring. It's very physically demanding and there's a lot of pressure there. That's a lot of responsibility. If you assemble 15-18,000 people in one place, it's all on the guy out front, isn't it? It's an awesome responsibility. Even organizing it, which is my job, and picking the right setting and how it goes on sale, it's a very emotional thing. You want it to go well, you want people to have a good time, you don't want anything bad to happen, you don't want people to be angry or riot or get hurt, it's pretty--I mean, it's exciting. It's live theater, anything could happen and I suppose for that kind of personality type, that's not the kind of pressure you want to be under."
The article that came out in NME last year before the Reading Festival was very downbeat and made it sound as if this is a band that's falling apart and they're never going to tour again, which is something that's come up before--do you read any of the music press?
"I like to keep up on what's going on, but it's not like we circulate those articles, because they happen all the time. And those are music tabloids. They come out weekly, they couldn't possibly have enough factual information to print, there's not that much interesting stuff. So if somebody gets pissed off and says disparaging remarks about something, it's a really big deal. I mean, New Order has been in the process of breaking up for 18 years, right? Isn't that the natural conclusion for any story? So are they any closer to it at one time than another? Yeah. They go together and they come apart. And I think after you've been working together for a long period of time as Bernard explained in his interview, it's not just touring, it's the recording of the album, it's the assembling of the songs, it's the rehearsal and practice and all the things that go together to make the tour, and then there's the tour, and then the publicity around the album. You block out long periods of time and you're together. You know, it's natural. So by the end of the tour, there were probably shorter fuses than usual."
So do you wish that they had played more than 8 dates in the United States?
"(nods emphatically) Yeah."
Do you think their move to London Records was a good thing? Bernard made it sound like that's what saved them, moving to a major label.
"Well, that can only exist as a reference for Factory, right? London is only a reflection of what happened to Factory Records, a label that they supported for a number of years and was it a good thing? Is that the question?"
"Let's save that for Hooky. I'd like to answer that with Hooky because it doesn't really matter what I think, anyway. I don't have to work through them because we work through Qwest and Warner Bros. here, it's much more important how the band sees them, than to me. I'm not massively affected by it."
At this point, Tom went to find Peter and Caroline, who had been sitting outside by the hotel’s pool. They came and joined us inside the restaurant as we were finishing breakfast. Peter had been suffering from jet lag and had not quite adjusted to the time change, which may have accounted for his somewhat downbeat answers.
What is the best thing about living in Manchester?
"Erm, well, it’s just your home, It’s where you grew up. Everything you’ve got is based there, from your family to your friends, to the majority of your work. It’s quite a simple answer, really".
You never had any desire to move to London.
"No, certainly never any desire to move to London, you can state that categorically".
When did you realize that Joy Division was going to be successsful?
"I think it depends on how you read success. I mean, when we first began, being successful meant that you got a concert. And then when you’ve got a few concerts, then you get a record. And then when you get a record, it means selling a record. And then when you sell a record, you make money. And when you make money, then you get a flash car. It’s just different degrees of success. When I realized we were successful, it was when it gave me the opportunity to kind of express yourself and give yourself satisfaction, really. It was really satisfying. "
What did you think of the NIN cover of "Dead Souls"?
"Erm, when I heard it I thought it was Joy Division’s! "
I agree that it sounds really similar.
"Yeah, it’s just more bottom-ended, which was quite interesting. I mean, it’s quite good. It was a shame we couldn’t do what they asked us to do for "The Crow"."
What did they ask you to do?
"Well, to do ‘Dead Souls’ and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.But we declined because Bernard thought it was a backwards step."
Tom adds, well, we were also in the middle of recording Republic.
What did you think of the comic book?
"Looking at the comic book now, because I’m a bit of an expert of comic book ---" Pause.
Is that true, Tom asks.
"It’s true – is that it looks very dated now. I didn’t enjoy the film at all apart from certain parts of it. It wasn’t a very good film, I didn’t think. The book was okay, but it just appears very dated when you read it in 1992. "
Caroline confides, much to our laugher, I think it’s because you spend the whole time snogging me in the middle of the film, that’s how boring it was.
"It’s a shame that Captain Hook didn’t get a few more namechecks compared to Sergeant Albrecht."
Do you ever hate being a member of New Order?
And do you think people expect too much of New Order?
"No, I don’t think they expect too much, really we haven’t had that complaint. Unless it’s (pounding on the table) ‘when that bloody New Order album coming out!?’"
I tell him that I asked because on the Ceremony bulletin board, fans debate some of things New Order have done, like the remixes for "Ruined In A Day" for example.
"But by very virtue of the fact that there’s New Order bulletin board out there. I say that it strikes me that there’s a bit of an unhealthy interest shown from some individuals about New Order. I think what you Americans call ‘anal’ you know. And to get critized from someone who reads so much into it…"
Protesting a bit, Tom says that he thinks it’s wonderful that they’re that important to some people.
"I know, but the criticism, I don’t take the thing about music is when people listen to it—like when I do, I wouldn’t sit down and write a letter to NIN saying (adopting a lecturing tone)’Listen lads, this ‘Dead Souls’ remix, right, it’s a bit…’"
To be fair, Tom adds, the process for remixes came about because of the new formats, right? There’s so much room on them—
"(half-serious) What’s the question? I forgot the question."
Criticism form Ceremony, Tom reminds him.
Tom:"Understand that the band doesn’t originate the remixes, London originated the remixes. And they needed to fill up space and the band, I think to their credit, has never been particularly jealous of their material. There’s been a kind of curiosity from the band about what other people like remixers or musicians heard in their music. And I find that pretty refreshing. There’s a lot of people who are uptight and hold onto their material and aren’t very adventuresome."
Peter:"I think it’s a valid critique in the way like that Sly and Robbie thing, which wasn’t very good and when people are paying for it, that is an issue."
"I’m not great critic to that length."
Would you say that New Order are shrewd or absentminded?
Laughing, Tom asks if those are the only options. I tell them to fill in the blank.
Peter:"I think it’s a fine line between that and many other descriptions.(laughs)"
And what do you think of Republic, a year later.
"I’ve not listened to it for (ages, I couldn’t tell you. I listened to a couple the other day, ‘Ruined In A Day’ and stuff."
Lisa asks what is his favorite track off the album.
"Um,’Regret’ I think. It’s very uplifting and very New Order."
Do you think the move to London Records was a good idea?
"Erm, seeing as you didn’t have a record label, it had to be a good idea at the time (laughs). I mean, it’s a very difficult thing to talk about because of what happened to Factory. And London, for what they are, are fine. I mean, we knew exactly what most record labels were like before we even started because we’ve dealt with them before we started –Bernie with Electronic, we all know, anyways. So it didn’t surprise us what they were like.
"The biggest problem is distance, really. Because if Tony (Wilson) and Alan (Erasmus) did something that upset us, then we could just get out of the office and scream at them. With London Records you can’t do that, so they tend to get away with murder. It’s just loss of control and it’s never good to lose control."
Would you be able to explain what exactly are Centredate and Vivalturn and Gainwest and all the names are on the albums?
Trying another tactic, I ask if Gainwest is changing their name to Centredate.
"Centedate is London Record’s shelter company"
So what’s Vivalturn?
"Vivalturn is New Order’s shelter company. Gainwest is the old company which included our manager, but Vivalturn doesn’t include our manager. "
Then what’s Bemusic?
"Bemusic is Joy Division’s publishing company. (laughing) It’s not that complicated. What record companies do is when they sign an artist, and they’re affiliated with a large company, they tend to sign them to a shelter company and then resign them to the big company so they keep control. So if they move to onto another big company, they get to keep the artist. "
Tom: "It was actually set up as an interim company. There was a time when the band had no contract. They had served notice to Factory, and that’s all they required. There was a time during the process of making this record when all the trademarks came due and they had to have something to put on their record, they couldn’t put London/Polygram because it wasn’t yet a London/Polygram deal, so they created a shelter company to have it assigned to. In fact, it was nobody’s. It wasn’t really Centredate’s company, it wasn’t Factory’s company but they needed something to put on it and they couldn’t put London/Polygram so it was created for that interim, in fact. And you have to understand that this deal had been going on for-"
Peter: "Three years. And it was just signed last Friday. Amazing."
Tom: "It wasn’t official until last Friday."
Where did all the other bands go who were on Factory?
Either Tom or Peter sniggers. Peter answers.
"To my knowledge, there’s only one left, which is The Wendy’s who are still going."
So what kind of music do you listen to at home?
"(Turning to Caroline) Um, what kind of music do we listen to at home, dear? (laughs) I’m into dance samples at the moment. There’s a record label called Olympic from Liverpool which I like a lot, which is very very good. A load of Japanese samples because I steal them from Gainwest’s office. Ultramarine, Iggy Pop, the usual, nothing outlandish, really."
Would you say that you have a favorite?
"Not one favorite, really. I have loads of favorites. I just got me cdplayer back in me car which is useful for listening to music. Because I lost four, so I’m starting to get back into it at the moment."
Tom: "You forgot where you put them or the thief forgot them?"
"No, the thief knew where they were."
To Peter’s amusement, Tom announces that he has a question. He asks, given his experience with The Stone Roses, if he plans on making production a big part of his career.
"No, not really because it involves too much time. And even though the money’s quite good, it’s not really what I want to do."
Tom: "You haven’t found any new hot bands from the North that you’d like to produce?
You did pretty well by the Stone Roses."
Peter: "No, not at the moment. Maybe later. "
"I did Grace Jones and I did a remix of ‘She’s Lost Control’ and I sang on it with her, (laughing) but they dumped the lp because they did a marketing study and decided it wasn’t going to sell, so they dumped it. It was quite good.
Caroline: "I thought it was brilliant, yeah, I preferred it to the original!"
And do you have current plans for Revenge?
"Yeah. We’ve got—from what Bernard (reading the printed interview Tom passed to him)."
Tom: "His current plan is kicking his manager in the ass as soon as he can! "
Peter: "We’ve got 42. (everyone laughs)We’ve got Rob Gretton and his one-band. (reading out loud) Neil Tennant and Kraftwerk and a banjo player who plays on Market Street! "
Do you read the music papers very much?
What do you like to do when you’re relaxing?
"(turning to Caroline)What do I like to do?
Carolinethinking) "Um, um. "
Tom: "Nothing she can say in print!"
Peter: "…mess with my cars…"
Caroline: "(laughing) "I’m all embarrassed! I can’t think of one thing that you do."
Caroline: "Drink, yeah, and you socialize with your friends. And you’re very into collecting old was memorabilia. (expands)Does embroidery…I can’t think of what you do. Just plays with me!"
Do you think that you’re the most sentimental member of New Order?
"No, I don’t think so. I think you express your sentiment in different ways. Bernard tends to use it as anger. And I tend to wallow. That’s why the past is good, isn’t it? Because it’s gone, "
Last summer after the end of the tour, there was an article in NME that suggested that New Order was falling apart.
"That’s been written about every year."
Does it affect you?
"Well no, because I know the truth."
I asked because fans take these things very seriously, especially those on Ceremony.
"I gathered that. I think they should be out doing embroidery. "
Do you enjoy being famous or does it really matter?
Peter: "It has its moments, you can get into places for free."
Caroline: "I knew you were going to say that!"
Peter: "I don't really have a problem with it. I mean, Caroline's quite famous at home for what she does and again it's just the way some people can be rude about it and some fan be quite nice about it. So it just depends on who you meet and whether it's a pain or not."
So are you recognized around Manchester?
"Just when I shop for drugs, really! We're in the paper every week, aren't we love? We just use it as a convenience to bolster our careers!"
Are there any New Order songs that you're not proud of?
Do you think any New Order song in particular should have been bigger than it was?
"Um, no, I don't really think in that way. It's just...that's like looking back over that and thinking 'Oh, if I'd done that, that wouldn't have happened.' It's out of your control and you can't really do anything about it. There are New Order songs that I enjoyed than the vast majority of people. Like I thought 'Thieves Like Us' was a much better song than 'Blue Monday' but just because 5 million people don't agree with me doesn't make it wrong. So there are frustrations, but there are with everything in life."
Was "World in Motion" Tony Wilson's idea?
"'New Order/World in Motion' came about because of some guy at Granada (Television Studios) who uses instrumentals of our versions for the football...he used to use acoustic versions of 'Sunrise', 'Your silent face', 'Dreams never end', he used to use loads of things for sports programs. So it came on from there and when Tony Wilson came to do a program on George Best and Rodney Marsh, he asked us to do the music specifically for the program. So we actually wrote a piece called 'Best and Marsh' and used it in the program. There was a guy in who worked for the football association who was a press secretary. He'd been watching the sports programs and saw 'Best and Marsh' which we'd written specifically and it was his idea to ask us to do it."
Did you know it was going to be so popular?
"It's a very catchy song. It's actually quite ironic when you see it all the time because of the World Cup. Even though New Order weren't in it, it was used a hell of a lot. That's nice. Even more so than the song. There was an article in Manchester saying that New Order were responsible for making football appear fashionable again."
Caroline adds, Mick Middles called it the only credible football song.
"He said that New Order were making football fashionable again. The funny thing was the actual football association who did the record thought it was just a joke. The players thought it was a joke. And the managers went out of their way to make sure that it wasn't easy for us to do. The video, and stuff, they just made it very difficult for us to do, because they didn't think it was going to do anything. And yet it went straight to #1. It was too late. They didn't actually go out of their way to help us to do it, which was strange."
Whose idea was it for you to be filmed in "New Order Story" with the men in drag?
We had to watch it twice because we weren't sure.
"That's alright. Lot of people still thought they were women. I thought you were going to ask why."
"Now I can't remember (laughs). It's because I was going to The Union a lot and there were a lot of transvestites about and I thought it was a good joke. Bernard was getting a haircut, and Steven and Gillian were walking around the countryside and I thought it was dead boring. So I thought I'd have a load of trannies around.
"I don't know. Can't remember why. I thought it was a damn sight more interesting than walking around the countryside. It's like doing the video, I thought you'd do something a bit special than getting your haircut."
So in the video for "Touched by the hand of God," why is all the stuff is falling on you?
"I can't remember why she did that, now. I think it was to signify something. They just dumped crap from the top of the canopy. I remember getting hit on the head by a big bag that was stuck together when they were emptying it and made me see stars. I mean, that whole video was very strange anyway. Kathryn Bigelow was supposed to do this lighthearted and jokey video about us dressing up like a heavy metal band and yet put in these really heavy scenes of this woman getting attacked, which then got it banned from daytime showing. Which negated the object completely. Lost another $50,000."
Who's the guy who comes on at the end?
"Our manager, Rob Gretton."
Will New Order ever play any Joy Division songs, live.
"I mean, we have done in the past, live, anyways. Who's to say we'll ever play together again, I don't really know...so if we play Joy Division songs again. I'd like to think so."
What do you think about re-doing "Love Will Tear Us Apart"?
"I'd prefer to hear it and then decide if it was worth it, to have a go. It's very complicated, there are a lot of reasons. Did you ask Bernard that?"
"I think it's worth a try. It's a great song and I like it a lot. I'm very proud of it. I wouldn't mind having a go at it doing it with New Order. It's always Rob that was really wanting to do it, so the idea was to do it for him cause he'd asked us to do it. It's not really that difficult."
Was it for a sense of closure or just because he thought it would be a good idea?
"No, because it was a good song to techno it up, make it a bit disco-y. He thought it would work well. He's been asking us for about 6 or 7 years. I'd have to wait and hear it. Whether you'd do it straight or completely off the wall."
What about the compilation CD? Was this part of the agreement with London Records?
"Yeah. It seems a touch too early for me, but then you've got to appreciate how a record company works, and that's the way they work and that's part of the price you pay for the things that you get, I suppose. They've got the option of putting one out. So they'll either doing it with us, which would make it a lot more interesting and better or they'll do it without us. It depends on how the negotiations are going on. We'll have to wait and see. Keep our fingers crossed."
Tom: "And also, compilations aren't really common place in America but they are in England. So it seems much more peculiar in America than in England where compilations are at the top of the charts all the time. In fact, so often they had to change the way sales are because they were always in the top ten. It's a much different cultural climate."
One of the people who wrote an article for the fanzine was sort of critical and said that he felt that New Order were selling out and that the ideal solution would have been to set up an independent label.
"Easy for him to say. I love these armchair experts who know fuck all about it. I mean, obviously, correct me if I'm wrong, but does he know anything about setting up an independent label?"
Wincing slightly and thinking of Bernard's comment ("we don't mind criticism"), I say, I don't know.
"Maybe if he'd like to do some kind of a business plan and send it to me then I'd be a little more..."
Hastily moving along, I ask if there anything he'd like fans of New Order to know about the group.
"There's probably a lot. But um, that's such a small question that encompasses such a large thing. That I'd like them to know about New Order. I'll save it for me book, or something like that.
"That's quite strange, the guy accusing you of selling out. The thing is, when you're talking about survival, things like that, it's a strange thing. What did he say?"
He expressed worry that London would come out with endless repackages of Joy Division greatest hits.
"I don't either, but in this day and age it's not as easy as that, also because of the depth of what we went through with Factory. I couldn't even explain it to you, you'd probably be joining Ian Curtis very shortly if I did. It's not as easy as that. The answer has to be obviously, you'd have recreated Factory, wouldn't you? And carried on, if it were as easy as that. So he'll have to forgive us. But he doesn't have to buy them."
Last updated on 2005-03-07 9:06:00 PM - 9:06:00 PM
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