Exclusive: Peter Hook Interview + Tour Preview
We're thrilled to say that we recently had the opportunity to catch up with Peter Hook, bassist from the legendary bands Joy Division and New Order. This year he will tour with his current band, The Light. Check out our interview below as well as a look at his upcoming tour dates at which he will be performing a large collection of material and full albums from both bands.
Many fans are excited for Peter Hook & the Light to be touring cities you’ve never played in before this spring. Was bringing your music to a new set of audiences a conscious decision on your part?
Absolutely yes, well this tour was my son's idea actually. He runs all of our social network pages (Twitter, Facebook etc...) and said to me “Dad we need to go to X,Y and Z, people want to see the show..” and he was right because people in these Southern states are very excited about the gigs. We were getting lots of comments from people in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee etc... so it is great to finally make it, as we have not been able to include them on our 4 previous US tours. So we made the decision to bring the show to new areas but then we'll still get comments from people in Chicago for example that are unhappy that they aren't included this time round, so I guess you can't please everybody can you!
What are some of your favorite cities to perform in?
It's hard to single out particular places, but I must admit that I am always completely blown away by audiences in Mexico – they are very passionate about the music, very welcoming and very loud. I am very happy to be going back there again in May after our US dates are done.
Your recent set lists seem very structured and indicate a clear separation between Joy Division and New Order sets. Aside from obvious musical differences, what feels different about playing a New Order set before starting up, say, Unknown Pleasures?
Playing a New Order set is very different to playing a Joy Division set, but luckily the lads in my band can adapt to do anything so we are able to mix it up when we go on tour. Obviously playing Joy Division based setlists can be quite intense at times as well as being very rocky, whereas with the New Order material some of it is a bit lighter and those shows tend to end up being dance parties by the time we get to the encore. I enjoy playing both sets equally, they both present different challenges and invoke different atmospheres.
Do you think the audience reacts differently to either?
I think so, yes. When we play both Joy Division albums for example it can be quite intense and emotional as I said, especially with songs like the Eternal or Decades which a very deep, emotional songs. But then again there are certain songs like Warsaw or Twenty Four Hours to which people can rock out. Those sets do demand a lot of concentration from both the band and the audience though. When we play New Order sets it feels very different, the music gets a bit lighter as I said and it is certainly a lot dancier, so people can really let loose.
2015 will mark the 35th year since Ian Curtis’s passing. As time has distanced the event, Joy Division albums have been more celebrated in recent years than ever, with Ian’s legacy solidified as an iconic part of rock history. Does it ever feel strange singing his lyrics, or has the passing of time given you a new perspective?
It felt very strange at first but now I really enjoy doing it – it helped me to appreciate the power and quality of his lyrics and helped me to understand just how talented he was. I am happy to sing his lyrics at our shows because I feel that they are too good to just be ignored. It is indeed the 35th year since his passing but instead of marking the anniversary of his death I prefer to term it as celebrating his life and work which is what we do every time we play a Joy Division song live.
What are some of your favorite songs to play at recent shows that you feel you’ve been able to bring a new life to?
Well recently we have been playing more New Order based setlists that showcase the Low-Life and Brotherhood albums – there are a lot of songs there that I am delighted to be playing again, such as Thieves Like Us for example which is one of the very best New Order tracks in my opinion. It is also great to dust off old cuts such as Let's Go, Murder, Broken Promise, Way of Life or Sooner Than You Think – they are all great songs that the other members of New Order simply refused to play while I was in the band, so it is great to finally be able to play everything now.
I’ve heard of the possibility you might record a live album at some point soon. If not, do you have any big plans for after this tour, musical or otherwise?
You heard correctly because we have just released a big live album! We played 3 nights at a very small venue in the UK back in December last year and did 2 different albums each night. The first night was Unknown Pleasures & Closer, the second night Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies, and then the third night was Low-Life and Brotherhood. We also played all of the singles and B-sides too so it meant that over the 3 nights we played around 80 tracks, the band did a great job I still can't believe we played that many! It was recorded by Abbey Road studios and has just been released – you can get it at www.abbeyroad.com/live
As for after the tour, I will be continuing to work on my third book which will be released later this year and is all about the New Order years.
Just for fun – Joy Division and New Order records have certainly landed a spot amongst many people’s favorites in their music collections, myself included. That being said, what are 5 of your all-time favorite albums?
This is difficult and it changes all the time but at the moment I would say...
Paris 1919 by John Cale
Chelsea Girl by Nico
Raw Power by the Stooges
Closer by Joy Division
Trans Europe Express by Kraftwerk
Thanks Mr. Hook for the fantastic interview! Below is a tour preview that includes US tour dates, where he will be playing Unknown Pleasures and Closer live, with a New Order opening set. The UK, International, and Festival shows will include a mixed set with material from both Joy Division and New Order. Click here to check out tickets for a show near you.
US Tour Dates
4/17/15 - Grand Central @ Miami, FL
4/18/15 - State Theater @ Saint Petersburg, FL
4/19/15 - Plaza Live @ Orlando, FL
4/21/15 - Georgia Theater @ Athens, GA
4/22/15 - Republic @ New Orleans, LA
4/24/15 - Granada Theater @ Dallas, TX
4/25/15 - Middle of the Map Festival @ Kansas City
4/27/15 - Bogart's @ Cincinnati, OH
4/28/15 - Exit/In @ Nashville, TN
4/29/15 - Headliners @ Louisville, KY
UK Tour, International Dates & Festivals
5/1/15 - Cat's Cradle @ Carrboro
5/2/15 - Orange Peel @ Asheville
5/6/15 - C3 @ Guadalajara
5/7/15 - El Plaza Condesa @ Mexico City
5/16/15 - Eurorock Festival @ Neerpelt
5/18/15 - Christ Church @ Macclesfield
6/13/15 BL9 Weekender @ Bury
6/20/15 - Willowman Festival @ Thirsk
7/18/15 - Truck Festival @ Oxford
7/19/15 - Jarocin Festival @ Jarocin, Poland
8/9/15 - Ireon Rock Festival @ Samos, Greece
8/23/15 - Rewind Festival @ Henley On Thames
8/29/15 - Victorious Festival @ Portsmouth
9/6/15 - Bingley Music Live @ Bradford
9/17/15 - The Venue @ Derby
9/18/15 - Guildhall @ Gloucester
9/19/15 - The Picturedome @ Holmfirth
9/24/15 - The Art School @ Glasgow
9/25/15 - City Hall @ Hull
9/26/15 - The Rescue Rooms @ Nottingham
10/1/15 - Chinnery's @ Southand-on-Sea
10/2/15 - The Brook @ Southampton
10/3/15 - The Assembly Rooms @ Leamington Spa
10/30/15 - Manchester Academy @ Manchester
11/6/15 - Concorde 2 @ Brighton
11/7/15 - Shine On Weekender @ Minehead
Also, check out Peter Hook & the Light playing this New Order classic on their previous tour.