Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Substance: Inside New Order From The Perspective Of Their OneTime Bassist

Two acclaimed albums and an upcoming U.S. tour — Joy Division had the world at their feet. Then, on the eve of that tour and the beginning of what would surely have been an international success story, the band's troubled lead singer, Ian Curtis, killed himself.

Now with the hindsight of almost forty-years since the passing of Curtis, Peter Hook, the one-time bassist for post-punk legends New Order and Joy Division, is set to release a band biography, Substance: Inside New Order:

"We didn't really think about it afterwards. It just sort of happened. One day we were Joy Division, then our lead singer killed himself and the next time we got together, we were a new band…"

That band was New Order. Their distinctive sound — a fusion of post-punk and ground-breaking electronica – paved the way for the dance music explosion of the "80s and earned them the reputation as one of the most influential bands of their generation. 


Despite their success, the band has always been a collision the visionary and  the volatile, and relationships have often been fraught with tensions.

Hook also says it"s "very sad" that New Order continues to carry on without him, noting he now communicates with Sumner, Morris, and Gilbert only through attorneys. 

"I'm suing them for wrongful use of the name and for, in my opinion, stealing the trademark. That's ongoing."

New Order took awhile to find their feet after the death of Ian Curtis and subsequent abrupt end to Joy Division:

"If you listen to Movement, you hear a Joy Division album with New Order vocals – very fragile vocals, completely different from Ian's. 


"And when you get to Power Corruption & Lies, you have a New Order album, with New Order vocals. The musical difference was complete. We had found our feet."

With Substance: Inside New Order: Hook has written a no-holds-barred, comprehensive account of the band's entire history, packed with outrageous anecdotes and including every set list and tour itinerary and interspersed with "geek facts" of every piece of electronic equipment used to forge the sound that changed the direction of popular music.

This will be the third book Hook has put out: 2009's The Hacienda: How Not To Run A Club and 2013's Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division.

Peter Hook & The light plays Brighton's Concorde 2  on 7th March 2016. Seeconcorde2.co.uk for more info.


by: Mike Cobley


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