Peter Hook, Howard Marks - Unknown Pleasures: Peter Hook

Emma Murphy 13/05/2010

GIITTV's Emma Murphy caught Peter Hook's An evening of Unknown Pleasures tour at the Glee club in Cardiff Bay on the 30th of April. Featuring Peter Hook's tales from Joy Division, New Order & The Haçienda compered by Howard Marks.

Peter Hook has had quite a life, being the bassist in legendary act Joy Division, surviving the death of their singer Ian Curtis, changing the band name to New Order, changing their sound and therefore changing the face of music. Unknown Pleasures brings you the unheard tales of Joy Division and New Order compered by Wales own Howard Marks, questions are asked by the audience with music performed by Hooky and a rap by Howard Marks!!!!!

How come you the best bass player in the world bar none?

My mother always said 'you need a gimmick our Peter' and my gimmick was playing the bass guitar high, which Ian Curtis gave me funnily enough, when we used to practice when we had no money and our equipment sounded shit the only way you could hear ourselves was to play high and when ever Ian used to hear that sound he would be like 'that it, that's our sound' and that was Joy Divison and as simple as that really. I remember going to The Clash a long time ago, looking at Paul Simonon and thinking he looks good, then I went to see Level 42 and though now he doesn't look good and of course I wanted to be like Paul Simonon, as the other guys a twat. The thing is it always felt natural to me to play melody and to riff it and I must admit there's nothing more annoying then when a fucking gag guitarist says 'can't you just follow the route note' and I'm like 'fuck off no I can't. I don't know if you have noticed but being in a group is largely about ego and I think really as a survival mechanism you have to have a intense belief in yourself and that's what's it about and I always enjoyed thrusting my guitar in people's faces. We used to have a game in Joy Division because when we were playing people used to spit at Ian and allot of punters would run and spit and then when they got near the front I'd bang them in the head with my guitar, my record thirteen people in one night at Brunel University, I got thirteen of the bastards.

What did you think of the portrayal of Joy Division in the film Control?

The interesting thing about 'Control' and '24 hour Party' People (a film specifically about Factory Records and Joy Division/ New Order manager Tony Wilson) is that '24 hour Party People' was done as a comedy, Michael Winterbottom (director) wanted to show what he thought was the lighter side of rock n' roll. the weird thing about it is when people watch it they laugh at the wrong parts, like when the story comes up about Blue Monday losing 10p on every copy yet being the biggest 12inch of all time and people in the audience start pissing themselves I'm thinking that's not fucking funny.

Howard Marks- Why did Blue Monday lose 10p on every copy?

What happened Pete Saville (designed sleeves for Factory Records and in particular Joy Division and New Order) and ourselves were talking about the next sleeve for our record which was 'Blue Monday' he came up with the idea of having the same cut outs from a floppy disk on a record cover because he felt the record was very futuristic, used a lot of new technology, was very fresh and so on. So when 'Blue Monday' first came out it wasn't a huge hit, we got asked to play Top of The Pops and we wouldn't pay because they wouldn't let us play live, then in the summer 'Blue Monday' was being played everywhere on Costa del Sol, so when everyone came back to England they were all asking 'have you got that record New Order by Blue Monday' which was obviously the wrong way round but due to everyone asking Tony decided to put it out again and it was a hit. Top of the Pops asked us again to play and because it had got higher in the chart than its precious release they agreed to let us play live, that was such a rare occurrence to play live there and when we arrived we found out why because they didn't know what they where fucking doing and it sounded shit. Saying that though as a punk it felt very right and every time we actually appeared on Top of the Pops are records actually went down in the charts and we thought that was fucking great. It was quite an interesting time we had the record for the only band who had appeared on Top if the Pops then their record went down and being the last band in the bar. 'Blue Monday' was one of those records that I don't personally like as it's so repetitive, it drives you insane when you play it because the machines are doing the work there's not allot I can do and it's easy to disengage.

What would your music have been like if you had been born in Shrewsbury or Skegness instead of Salford?


As a business man was Tony Wilson a genius or a fool?

That's an interesting question as you would have to say that business men genrally succeed with money so he was a fool in that respect but the thing is that with everything that Tony did the legacy of it and the iconic feeling of it lasted. Tony did something that not many people did, I always think it's quite cold and calculated about working for money that never seem to actually work and the interesting thing about music is that your surroundings do have an effect on you, Salford was a poor place and it definitely had an effect on me. I do think Tony was a bad business man but he did change the world, things like The Hacienda (a former nightclub in Manchester owned by Factory Records and New Order) made a loss but it was great, it didn't have a VIP room and you could be stood there in the corner with Ian Brown, Morrissey and err Mick Hucknall...well you can't fucking win them all.

Howard Marks- How much would you have to be paid to play bass for Mick Hucknall?

I couldn't do it!

Howard Marks- why do you think Mick Hucknall is such a twat?

He's bizarre isn't he, in the Hacienda the poor bastard always used to stand there on his own. I remember one night after the Hacienda everyone used to hang around outside on the pavements looking for the next party and one night stood there with all my mates I heard this voice (Peter Hook goes high pitched) 'Mick Hucknall coming through, Mick Hucknall coming through' and it was Mick Hucknall, he came up to by where we stood and this kid just fucking turned round and lamped him and no one picked him up.

Who was the best DJ you ever had at The Hacienda?

I always used to hate the DJs, used to think they were all up their own arses and then when I became one I fitted in perfectly. My favourite DJ was Sasha, first night he sold out The Hacienda and you get that old cliché about the roof coming off, well fucking hell it practically did as some of the crowd where shooting guns through it. Sasha was the highest played DJ the world at the time he could 2000 for playing one night at the Hacienda in 1988.

What are the best and the worst things about the current music scene?

The older you get everything seems and starts to sound the same but I think the music scene is never short of groups especially in Manchester.

Howard Marks- What's happening with FreeBass?

I was at the Q awards with Alex James and we came up with the idea of forming a band of bass players so I started a band. Band consists of me, Gary Mounfield, Gary Briggs, Andy Rourke, Nat Watson and Paul Kehoe.

For more information on the Unknown Pleasures tour or Fac 51: The Hacienda, visit http://www.fac51thehacienda.com and http://www.facebook.com/fac51thehacienda