Rhino Records has
re-issued 5 of New Order albums, each one re-mastered from the original
recordings and containing a second disc with remixes extended versions,
B-sides, and sleeve notes with interviews from the band.
With yet another
trawl through their back catalogue, albeit with some re-masters, bass
player turned DJ Peter Hooks rattles through some brief answers to some
unanswered questions regarding the mercurial Mancunian electronic dance
pioneers including whether they have indeed finally called it a day?
Do you look back on your back catalogue with fondness, or are there
particular albums and times that stand apart form the rest?
There's not one album in particular. They are all as important as each
other because they do remind me of times and places and people though. So
yes I do look back on the work with great fondness actually.
Most fans seem to be happy with the remixes with most people commenting
on how much clearer everything is. Was that your intention?
Well we've had a few problems with the Warner's end but that was the
intention yes. Then there was also that fact that the remixes can
potentially compete with modern sounding records
Given your strained relations with band members, did you collectively
oversee the mastering? If so did that lead to any disagreements?
In fact me and Steve oversaw everything, so it was quite obvious so there
were no disagreements
You've often been
asked about the future of the band and it seems to be finished, yet on
your MySpace you have left the band membership dates open ended?
I didn't do that intentionally, but I can be bought ha ha!
Looking back to the beginning of the band's career, at what point did
you feel able to take on production duties without the help of Martin
Well, Barney and I just soaked up his techniques like sponges, then later
when he became too difficult to work with or when we thought we could do
it better, we went solo.
Given the fact 'Ceremony' didn't sell well at the time, did that knock
your confidence, or were you already working on the singles like
We never put any importance on sales, we jut assumed we were right in what
we were doing and we were ably backed by Rob Gretton, Tony Wilson and Ian
Curtis telling us we were.
Much has been made about the financial draining effects of The Hacienda
club , yet without it, would the band have developed in the way it did
from dark electronic music (via disco) to Acid House?
I guess we will never know 'cos we don't have the alternative! But I think
it wouldn't have changed it much as we were away most of the time anyway.
Could the band have progressed without Tony Wilson's drive and vision?
Yes I think we could but I'd refer to the above to answer that question.
Like many bands before and probably since, you were tied into a deal
that lost you money. But presumably you were too busy being a band to
notice at the time?
The truth is we were
too busy to notice what happened to all the money and in truth to busy too
Do you see any sense of irony in the fact that Peter Saville has
overseen the design of the packaging and booklet staying close to the
original Factory Records aesthetic, when the original album art work cost
you 10p for every unit sold?
Well I really love what Pete does but he does need looking after as he
doesn't live in the real world!
You've talked about the twin band staples of 'chemistry and
compromise'; at what point did the band lose its equilibrium in that
Really that's a personal thing with every member, but if you are
specifically asking me then the answer is, it was when I got sober.
Given your shift from early electronics to the New York Disco thing and
then Acid House, were all the band members persuaded by the shifts into
different directions or was it organic?
I wasn't happy at all at the time as I wanted the band to rock out more,
but funnily enough all these years later I love it to death now. Funny
Georgio Moroder was an undoubted influence on you as he was on bands
like Sparks. It's curious to view a disco pioneer as such an influential
figure on a bunch of fiercely independent Mancunians?
I suppose it was funny to view Georgio as an influence on us but I loved
his work. But it was Donna Summer who actually gave us 'Blue Monday'.
Wouldn't the old Punk values of the Joy Division and the early New
Order have been dismissive of figures like that?
Possibly that's true but then again how would you describe Vivienne
Westwood and Malcolm McLaren?
Another great quote from you about the band is that of 'grabbing the
moment and making it yours', and while that referred to band performances,
it also seems to apply to New Order 's role as a catalyst in a fast
changing music scene?
The honest answer is that you have to believe in what your doing otherwise
your f***ed. Also you just have to keep going and really, that's the only
advice you can give!
Given that mostly everything here has already been issued on
''Substance' is it simply aimed at band completists?
Well we still believe in the work as I already said, and I still think its
great, but record companies have their own agendas, and as my wife says
"if you suck Satan's expect a mouthful"
What did you think of the film '24 Hour Party People'?
I thought it was very funny, well done and it's probably very influential
At what point did you conceive as the bass a being a front line
The moment I strapped it on (haha), yes, but I try and beat everyone at
everything, it's in my nature.
Did that lead to any conflict with other band members?
I guess they already new the kind of person I was so it was no surprise to
When did your first interest in DJ'ing emerge and how do you manage to
remain at the cutting edge of the decks?
I think it was about 4 years ago although at first I resisted valiantly.
But I stood in for a mate and eventually thought this is great, real
cuttin' edge. I don't consciously try and keep at the cutting edge, its
just second nature now. I just do what I do!
special thanks to Chris Hewitt /Ozit records.
September 29th 2008 Rhino UK will be officially releasing five NEW ORDER
collectors’ editions. The range will feature the first five studio albums
Power, Corruption & Lies, Low-Life, Movement, Brotherhood and Technique
all re-mastered and expanded.
Interview © November 2008 Pete Feenstra. All rights reserved.
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