PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT will return to North America next month, continuing what has become a couple of years on the road performing both Joy Division and New Order's Substance albums in their entirety.
Released roughly 30 years ago (Joy Division, 1988 & New Order, 1987), these companion pieces represent a near "greatest hits" collection for both bands, compiling all of the groups singles up to that time.
When it was first announced back in 2010 that Hooky would be revisiting the Joy Division catalog on his own, he was met with dissent by "keyboard warriors" who fumed over The Lights' proposed memorial performance on the 30th anniversary of Joy Division's iconic front man Ian Curtis' death. So much so, that a few would be vocalists shied away from stepping into the buzz saw of social commentary.
Speaking with Hook, as he and son Jack (who will fill the bassist role in the almost Smashing Pumpkins reunion later this year) motored towards London two nights ago, I found him to be quite reverent concerning his task of bringing this material to a new generation of live music fans.
In the first part of my interview Hook reflects on his 8 years with his current band Peter Hook & The Light. He reveals what he has learned as a vocalist and lyrical interpreter finding himself in his lost band mate's position behind the mic.
Peter confirms, in what has become a hotly debated topic regarding the absence of D'Arcy Wretzky, that his son Jack Bates will again take up bass duties for Smashing Pumpkins on their tour that will re-unite Billy Corgan with James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlain. Jack's role in The Light will be filled by Fred Sablan (Chelsea Wolfe/Marilyn Mason) on the Substance tour. Andy Poole returns on keys, Paul Kehoe on drums and Hook's mid-90's collaborator David Potts on guitar.
Potts formed the band Monaco with Hook (still in New Order at the time), and the band had a moderate hit with "What Do You Want From Me?" in 1997. Hook says that David has expressed interest in working together as Monaco again and that the idea feels "very natural", the "next obvious step" and is "well overdue".
It is also interesting to note that Hook has uncovered unreleased Joy Division rehearsal tapes in his archive that are worthy of release or possible completion.
The audio is a tad rough, as a recorded transatlantic cell phone conversation, but I hope you find it enjoyable to hear from Peter. Part 1 (below) opens with Hook's memories of New Order's first Georgia gig at Atlanta's 688 Club (06.17.83). I'd love to hear from anyone that has photos, audio or memories of that show.
Part 2. (below) Peter Hook recounts his childhood in early 60's Jamaica and the death of John Kennedy.
Peter Hook and The Light will perform at Atlanta's Variety Playhouse on May 27, and Orlando's Plaza Live, June 3rd.