1.To begin with, if it was R*E*P*E*A*Ts round, what drink
would you have and which song would you choose on the pub jukebox?
Hmm, now thats an interesting one that is, isnt it?
Well, Im not allowed to drink anymore, because Ive been
red-carded (laughing), and so what Id go for, would probably be
a Virgin Mojito (laughing), which would be a pile of mint leaves in
a glass with ice. And what record would I choose on the pub jukebox
(thinking), probably Bobby Goldsboro, Summer The First Time. Its
one of my guilty pleasures, but it was also one of my favourite songs
when I was a kid and as both Joy Division and New Order, we spent hours
trying to rip it off would you believe, you know the bit that goes (singing
repeating pattern), but we never managed to rip it off (laughing)!
2.The Sunday Times called you A natural born anecdotalist,
but how did the idea for your spoken-word tour come about along
with having Howard Marks as the compere and are you excited or
nervous about the thought of talking in front of audiences?
Right, ok, well what happened was, was that a colleague of mine,
Phil McIntyre who does these types of tours he came and
asked me to do it, and I must admit that I was really shocked at first,
because it was something that Id never considered you know, as
a career path if you like. But then he quite rightly said to me, because
Id just done 24 Hour Party People, Control and the Joy Division
Documentary (pausing), I had attended a lot of the premieres and at
the premieres they always have a talk and a Q&A, and these were
great fun for me, because Id never done them before. So, it was
just that wonderful thing of getting flown to Canada, to Greece, all
around the world doing them you know, it was great and I really enjoyed
it! Some of the questions were great and some of them were a bit wild,
but it was always entertaining! Then Phil quite rightly said to me,
Well, youve been doing it for nothing and the only difference
is, is that this time youll get paid for it. So I thought,
well you know, its true! I must admit though, I was still very
nervous about it, I thought what can I do to allay my nerves if you
like, and I thought I know, Ill get Howard whos an old friend
of mine from 1990, because he does them all the time Ill
get him to come with me and then I can hide behind him! But then lo
and behold, when I did get Howard, he was more nervous than me (laughing),
he was terrified! I went, Howard, youve been doing it for
years and he went (doing an uncanny Marks impression), Oh
yes boyo, but I get so frightened! So I thought, bleeding hell!
But anyway, in a weird kind of way, were sort of holding each
other up. Then we sort of tried to get an idea for the gig really and
because Ive got so much memorabilia, and now at our age, a lot
of our fans are really into what happened and they still have such a
fondness for the time and such a great melancholy for it all, that everybody
likes to see it. The Haçienda Exhibition that was held at Urbis
in Manchester, was the most popular exhibition that Urbis have ever
done! It had something like 4x more people per day, than any other exhibition
that theyve ever done and the next most popular one below that,
was Peter Savilles Exhibition the artwork, the album sleeves
and all that lot. So I thought, hmm, why dont we take some of
this stuff that Ive got with us and then youve got a pair
of dusty old relics, talking about a load of other dusty old relics
(laughs heartily)! Which I thought was quite a nice theme, and then
it sort of graduated from that into sort of breaking the divide between
the audience and the stage, maybe letting some people come up and have
a look round your exhibition on the stage if you like. Make it that
it becomes part of it and also for inspiration people can see
the things that we have, like my Brit Award and the Sex Pistols ticket
you know, stuff like that, and then they can ask me and Howard questions
about the exhibition, which might prompt us, or inspire us, to discuss
things we hadnt thought of. Then from there, I thought itd
be nice to play a couple of tunes, just on the bass, so Im doing
a couple of instrumentals of lesser known New Order tracks, just so
I can hide behind the guitar for a bit really (laughing). Id rather
do anything than talk (laughs heartily), but then of course we will
talk! Well, Im hoping (pausing), I dont know, you sort of
struggle with it, because Ive never done it (laughing), but Im
hoping that it will be a varied evening and entertaining for me, just
as much as for Howard and for everybody else really.
3.Have you been pleased with the feedback on your book, The
Haçienda How Not To Run A Club, and your newly-opened
venue, FAC251 - The Factory?
Yeah, I mean the book took a long time, it took 3 years for me
to do the book from start to finish and it was really hard work! It
was literally the equivalent of a non-musician deciding to write a pop
LP, or something like that. Sometimes, I felt like I was staring up
Everest you know, I had such a long way to go. But I was delighted when
I did it and to my mind, the story that weve all been through
all of New Order, all of the people on Factory is so fantastic,
and so rich, and so diverse, and so shocking, that I couldnt go
wrong with it really.
4.Youre often associated with rock n roll mythology,
but how does this make you feel and why do you think people tend to
romanticise certain artists and bands?
Thats an interesting point and I mean what happened was,
is that very early on in New Order, I used to have very long blonde
hair and a beard, and because of the way I used my guitar, someone nicknamed
me The Viking, because I looked like one (laughing)! Thats
what happened and it sort of stuck, and I must admit that I was always
a great fan of the film, The Vikings, which stars Kirk Douglas. So I
then started playing the theme music (singing song), before New Order
went onstage and our fans then decided to call themselves The
Vikings. So our die-hard fans are still to this day called The
Vikings. It was a really nice thing and Ive just had a new
guitar made actually, called Viking 1, Im going to
be displaying it on the night. But the rock n roll world
is such an escapist culture and everybody knows that in an insane way,
as soon as you become a rock musician, then you can literally do whatever
you want in the world you can act how you like, good or bad,
you know? You can play up, you can indulge yourself and everybody just
goes, Oh, hes in a rock band. It literally is a recipe
to get away with murder and this is one of the wonderful things, that
if somebody told me 30 years after becoming a musician in a group, I
would be sitting down talking to people about being a musician in a
group at the ripe old age of 54, I would have said they were mad (laughing)!
The honest thought that youve got a future talking about the past,
is a great compliment really, to what youve achieved. The interesting
thing is, especially for a band like Joy Division in May, Ians
been dead for 30 years God bless him but the importance of Joy
Division as a sort of cultural measure and as a musical measure in our
society, you really have left your mark on history and its a wonderful
thing! It doesnt help you pay the bills of course (laughing),
Ive still got to go out and work, but you know, its a wonderful
thing to think what you created in 1978 after seeing the Sex Pistols,
is still as relevant musically and culturally today, as it was 30 years
ago. Thats a hell of a compliment to our songwriting skills in
5.Growing up, what was your biggest source for discovering new music,
and can you remember the first press coverage, radio airplay or TV exposure
that you ever had?
Yeah, yeah, I do I remember it very well actually! I mean
I was just into rock music pop music first of all and then I
got into rock, or heavy rock, like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, and
literally, the first record that I ever heard that made me think that
there was more to life than pop and rock, was Cockney Rebel, which is
an album called The Psychomodo. Then I got into music, and the only
person that I ever really wanted to play our music, was John Peel, and
when John Peel did play our music, it was one of the happiest days or
evenings of my life! Ive still got the tape where I recorded the
songs that he played of Joy Division, and later in life, John became
a great friend of ours and a great supporter, and a great ally really.
So our first radio airplay was the John Peel show and it was the only
one that I ever wanted our music to be on! We always used to sneer about
being on Top Of The Pops, but we did go on it and when we went on it,
we played live and we had a great time actually, we were always the
last out of the BBC bar (laughs heartily)!
6.Has working with other musicians over the years from Joy
Division to New Order, to Revenge to Monaco, to Freebass to one-off
collaborations influenced / made you reassess the way you think
about your own songwriting?
(laughing) Thats an interesting question that, and the answer
would be yes, but Ive found that by sticking to what you know
and to what you think you know, then your instinct generally pays off
better for me anyway than listening to other people. Ive
always found that as a group, when New Order listened to other people,
we ended up with an unsatisfying experience. Although you make great
songs, like True Faith came from what I would consider to be a difficult
session with a producer (pausing), its quite odd and I always
thought and said to Barney, that we should do this ourselves. Because
to me, the greatest compliment in the world, was when Quincy Jones signed
us to his label in America, Quest, and we said to him, Well, would
you remix it and put it out? And he went, No man, youve
done a fantastic job! Its great leave it at that!
We were like, Wow you know? To be told that youve
done a great production job by Quincy Jones, you should never look back
should you (laughing)?
7.A journalist once said that a lot of the music that youve
been involved with, piles melody upon on melody and rhythm upon
rhythm. Has this always been your intention?
(laughs heartily) Do you know what, weve never had any intentions!
I was actually reading an interview with Bernard yesterday which
I dont do often and Bernard quite rightly said that we
never used to talk about music. We never planned it, we literally
just played it and when we did something good, wed record it or
remember it and put it together we never talked about it. So
no, we never had any intentions, other than we just wanted to write
great music, we never really manufactured it. We were very lucky, because
it came to us easily.
8.Is it correct, that you prefer music to have more of an edge rather
than being softened with studio polish?
Yeah, that is true. This is one of the reasons why Bernard and
I fell out on the last New Order LP, because I felt that he polished
it too much and it lost a lot of the spark and spontaneity to be honest.
But people are different and I accept that, everybody has different
tastes, so you just put it down to experience really.
9.Of all your songs to date, which one has been your favourite to make
from start to finish?
Um, my favourite song to make from start to finish, I think, would
probably be Atmosphere. Its such a wonderful, wonderful song,
but its got into this habit now (pausing), people always say that
we wrote Atmosphere and everyone plays it at funerals, and Robbie Williams
wrote Angels and everybody plays it at weddings. But Ill tell
you what, at some of the funerals Ive been to, I wish wed
written Angels, because once Atmosphere starts, its bloody heartbreaking.
I always found it quite uplifting (pausing), the worst one was Tony
Wilsons funeral, right at the end they played Atmosphere and oh
my God man, it was heartbreaking. But no, its Atmosphere.
10.I read that Closer and Technique are your favourite Joy Division
and New Order LPs respectively. But having also given the world some
classic singles, I wondered if you were ever conscious of writing singles,
or was the focus more on creating albums to be listened to as a whole,
along with being packaged in iconic artwork?
As an older musician, you tend to only work in albums and I find
that iTunes is quite disappointing for that, because it presents albums
as a list of tracks and everybody goes for 1 track, which is the single
and which really is taken out of context. I find that that is one bit
about modern musical consumption that I dont like, that people
and kids specifically, dont get to listen to an LP. You know,
I mean like when I listen to Raw Power by Iggy & The Stooges, when
I listen to The End by The Doors, Chelsea Girl by Nico and The Velvet
Underground by The Velvet Underground, you listen to them as albums
and I find those moments so moving in my life. To think the way digital
music is consumed, people dont get that and I think its
very, very sad. So no, I always think in terms of albums.
11.Did you ever imagine that you would make such a distinctive and instantly
recognisable bass sound / low-slung playing style all your own + which
bass players do you most admire / what are some of your all-time favourite
Well, John Entwistle is my favourite bass player and he wrote
some great bass-lines! In terms of making a bass sound all my own (laughing),
no, I mean my mother always said to me, You do need a gimmick
our Peter. So, I think I found a gimmick she was recommending
there, and again, it wasnt a conscious thing, it just sort of
evolved from the way that you play. I was talking to someone the other
day about this and its amazing really, that Bernard and I met
at school aged 11 and formed a band together and made the music that
we did. Because the chances of two people coming together, who were
going to be that good at making music is pretty rare isnt it?
Its quite a coup that one!
12.As An Evening Of Unknown Pleasures will also feature
an exhibition of your personal memorabilia, what are some of your favourite
Do you know what mate, my favourite memorabilia is my kids stuff,
from when they were babies. I was looking at a lot of it last week you
know, looking at the Joy Division and New Order stuff, and I was also
looking at their stuff and thats my favourite, their little shoes
Its a bit soppy (laughing).
13.On a similar note, if the British Music Experience asked you to donate
a piece of musical memorabilia, what would you give to them?
Well, I have got a bass in there already actually, yeah.
14.Obviously, Factory is one of the great labels of all-time, but
is there another particular record label that you admire?
Thats an interesting one. I suppose Rough Trade mainly,
because Rough Trade had such a wonderful idea when they began, working
it as a co-op and all being paid the same and all that lot. But unfortunately,
it just didnt work it was very sad, but they made some
15.From when you first started out as a musician to where you are
now, of all your contemporaries, who do you think will most likely be
looked back on as important bands in years to come?
Ooh, thats a tricky one. I was listening to Echo & The
Bunnymen today, so Ill go for them, because I think theyre
quite underrated actually.
16.As a Club DJ, which tracks should every aspiring DJ have in their
record box / what are some of your personal Club Classics?
(laughs heartily) That track by Underworld Born Slippy,
it always gets them going that! If its going down shit on a night
and they just dont get me, I always stick that on and think, If
this doesnt pull it out of the fire, nothing can.
17.Of all your achievements to date, which are you most proud of and
do you ever look back at vintage TV clips, interviews and live performances
of yourself on YouTube?
The achievements that Im most proud of mate, are my children.
With YouTube, Id like to say that no, I dont look on it,
but I do (laughing)! I cant resist sometimes sneaking on and having
a look at Bad Lieutenant (Bernard Sumners new band). I think it
sounds like New Order to be honest and I must admit, that both Bernard
and I are in a bit of a predicament, because its very hard to
push new stuff for old stuff, where its so heavily like a mantle
you always have a problem there. But Id say it was ok,
I thought there were some good tracks on it, I enjoyed it, yeah.
18.If you had to place 5 songs from your career in a time-capsule for
future generations to hear, what would they be?
Id start with our first song, which was called BL Bleeding
L, then Id put in the first song we ever wrote that sort of made
people sit up and take notice, which was Transmission. Then Atmosphere,
then Dreams Never End, which was the first song we wrote as New Order,
and then Blue Monday. I think that just about sums us up, or it sums
me up anyway.
19.Whats next for you after An Evening Of Unknown Pleasures?
Im doing retrospective gigs as The Light, which is mainly
music that Ive played in my career. Im also working with
Mani and Andy Rourke on a group called Freebass weve got
our first EP, Two Worlds Collide, on The Haçienda website (www.fac51thehacienda.com),
which is hopefully going up either today or tomorrow at last!
Im delighted, because it means that everybody will be able to
hear what weve been doing and what weve spent all this time
on, so its good!
20.Lastly, chips or cream buns?
Chips, with gravy!
A very special thanks to Peter, and to James @ Factory
Records, for all of their time and help.
An Evening Of Unknown Pleasures
UK Tour Dates
Sun 11 Apr '10 Birmingham Glee Club
Mon 12 Apr '10 Bolton Albert Hall
Tue 13 Apr '10 Worcester Huntingdon Hall
Thu 15 Apr '10 Milton Keynes Stables
Sun 18 Apr '10 Middlesborough Town Hall
Tue 20 Apr '10 Gateshead The Sage
Wed 21 Apr '10 Durham Gala
Thu 22 Apr '10 Burnley Mechanics
Sun 25 Apr '10 Cardiff Glee Club
Mon 26 Apr '10 Oxford Academy
Tue 27 Apr '10 Wakefield Theatre Royal
Wed 28 Apr '10 Gloucester Guild Hall
Thu 29 Apr '10 Derby Assembly Rooms
Fri 30 Apr '10 Norwich UEA
Sat 1 May '10 Salford The Lowry