BSTV: Peter Hook Recalls Joy Division’s Birth, Mourns Tony Wilson

Peter Hook told Big Shot that New Order is officially kaput. Though Hook isn’t on the best of terms with his former bandmates, he was in New York City last weekend to attend a screening of Joy Division: The Documentary, an excellent biopic that uses interviews with Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris (as well as an array of Manchester scenesters) to chronicle the rise and fall of Joy Division.

The documentary, which features rare audio and video, is an answer to Anton Corbijn’s rather excellent Control and provides even deeper insight into why singer Ian Curtis (who suffered from a bipolar disorder and epilepsy) committed suicide just before embarking on the band’s first American tour. Unlike many retrospectives that are afraid to ask its subjects tough questions, Joy Division doesn’t hold back and wonders why the rest of the band wasn’t alarmed over Curtis’ morose lyrics. Their contention: They never listened to his lyrics and blokes don’t ask each other how they’re feeling.

Below are highlights of the post-movie Q&A session with Peter Hook and producer Tom Atencio.

Peter Hook recalls how attending the Sex Pistols’ gig at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall inspired the formation of Joy Division.

Peter Hook remembers Tony Wilson

Exclusive: Peter Hook says New Order has split up, starts Freebass with ex Smiths and Stone Roses bassists

New Order bassist Peter Hook has talked to Big Shot about the rumors of the legendary electronic band’s demise. “New Order have broken up,” he told us, speaking from Los Angeles. Hook says it’s in every band’s interest to know when to call it a day, and he is busy taking on new projects.

“As far as I’m concerned New Order have split up and the atmosphere is very frosty, unfortunately,” Hook says. However, he wouldn’t rule out a future reunion. “Good God, if The Eagles could get together again after they went through then I suppose there’s hope for us all.”

Despite his relationship with vocalist Bernard Sumner going sour, Hook and drummer Stephen Morris closely oversaw the band’s new DVD, Live at Glasgow (they hated the way the last DVD looked), which also contains unreleased performances from Glastonbury in 1981 and various festivals. Hook jokes he is more excited about the older material than the recent Glasgow footage.

“As far as I’m concerned New Order have split up and at the atmosphere is very frosty, unfortunately.”

Hook keeps busy by DJing and co-founded a new band, Freebass, with bassists Mani (Stone Roses/Primal Scream) and Andy Rourke (The Smiths). “We originally started it one drunken evening because we were all pissed off with our lead singers because they wouldn’t work,” he explains. “Thankfully it’s grown into something I am becoming quite proud of and it’s getting me quite excited these days. We’ve got eight songs finished at the moment. Once we got over the hilarity of taking the piss of three bass players working together, it’s actually worked so I’m delighted.”

Freebass has enlisted the vocal services of Tim Burgess (The Charlatans) and Howard Marks, among others. Hook says Ian Brown and Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) will both appear on their forthcoming release. So Freebass’ debut album will arrive in 2009, right? Wrong! “Expect something very quickly, actually,” Hook promises. “I’m determined to get rid of it! I’ve been really busy DJing, and I keep putting the project on the back burner. Obviously, I still have to work to live so it’s difficult for me to commit full time to Freebass. But it’s getting there, slowly inching forward. Fortunately, we’ve been helped by our friends along the way.”

Listen to Peter Hook discuss New Order’s breakup and the band’s new Live at Glasgow DVD. Plus, Hooky reveals the recent discovery of a vault in Manchester full of rare live tracks!