Joy Division’s Peter Hook: An Interview

Unknown-Pleasures-Joy-DivisionIn some circles, Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures is a more important record than Abbey Road and Exile on Main Street combined. It’s filled with a haunted sense of longing and loss that was only magnified after singer Ian Curtis committed suicide a couple of years after it was made. The remaining band members, including bassist Peter Hook, went on to form New Order and the group became the international stars that Joy Division never had the chance to be. Even though they had a number of hits that will always be classics—“Blue Monday,” “Regret,” “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “True Faith,” and on and on—there’s something special and sacred about Unknown Pleasures (and its follow-up Closer) that New Order never recaptured. Hook has had many musical dalliances over the years, including Monaco and Revenge, and now he has two more. The first is Freebass, a bassist supergroup (insert your own joke here) that includes Gary “Mani” Mounfield from the Stones Roses and Primal Scream and Andy Rourke from The Smiths. After many years of talking about it, the group is finally releasing what will be its first and last album, It’s a Beautiful Life. On top of this, Hook and his backing band the Light are hitting the road and performing Unknown Pleasures in its entirety (they’re at the 9:30 Club tonight), along with a handful of Joy Division hits and some of its earliest compositions. It may not be Joy Division, but 25 percent of the band is better than 0 percent. Read my full interview with Hook on the Washington City Paper website now.