Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Peter Hook

Peter Hook & The Light
When you speak with artists about bands who have influenced them over the years, there are two names which always pop up: Joy Division and New Order. Today, we’re pleased to share our interview with Joy Division and New Order’s very own Peter Hook.

Currently touring North America and playing New Order’s Low-Life and Brotherhood under the name Peter Hook and the Light, the band will play Toronto’s The Danforth Music Hall tomorrow night. Before the show, read our new interview with this legendary bassist below as we discuss his  favourite New Order songs, culture shock, new electronic artists, and industry tips for new artists.

AMBY: Hello Peter, thanks for taking the time to speak with us! Where does our interview find you today?

Peter Hook: Well, we’ve just started the US and Canada tour, playing Low Life and Brotherhood as The Light, we flew in from Mexico on Monday having had a fantastic week in South America where we played in Montevideo, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Mexico, before playing to 3000 people in Mexico city on Sunday. Kicked off in Austin on Tuesday which was outdoor and a little rainy, I’m in Philadelphia and we’re playing New York and Boston before the end of the week before going to Canada early next week.

AMBY: On this North American Tour, you’re playing songs off of New Order’s Low-Life and Brotherhood. Which songs do you think you’ll enjoy playing the most? Which still heavily resonate with you?

Peter Hook: Well for me the period of “Power, Corruption And Lies”, “Low Life” and “Brotherhood” marks the period where New Order were really firing musically. Along with the singles, it’s our most prodigious period; we really had gained confidence since “Movement” and were working with people like Arthur Baker who’s still a great friend now. From the singles my favourites are “Thieves Like Us”, “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “Perfect Kiss”, records that in my view also sounds fantastic today but also it a great pleasure to play many of the album tracks, many of which were ignored in New Order. Tracks like “ Face Up” and the last three on “Brotherhood”, All Day Long, Angel Dust and Every Little Counts”. It’s fantastic to get these sort of songs back out live.

AMBY: You’ve been playing shows for years now. With the recent trip to China earlier this year, at which location or point in touring have you felt like you were in a totally different world, or endured culture shock?

Peter Hook: Well I did think I’d seen it all until we came to play in Outer Mongolia earlier in the year. I’d recommend it highly to people who want to get away from it all. It was interesting gig, the biggest festival in Mongolia in the year and they get very few foreign acts across there. The request came in very late and I hadn’t ever been so I thought why not, when you get the chance to play in Mongolia.

One of the things was that the hospitality was great, we were treated as foreign dignitaries almost, met by people from the government, and they were so proud of their culture and cuisine and wanted to show it off to us, it was very heartening.

AMBY: You were a true electro-pop pioneer of the eighties. Who in the industry nowadays do you feel are re-inventing the wheel and creating something special?

Peter Hook: That’s very difficult cos the older you get the more you tend to think that you’ve heard everything before but I do find a lot of the newer electronic acts are still pushing boundaries. Aphex Twin’s new album is as good as all his earlier works, I like what Thom Yorke’s doing, and also I was listening to Hot Chip earlier and I thought that that was very good. Also Metronomy are worth checking out.

AMBY: You often juggle a busy schedule, including DJ sets where you enjoy mixing modern artists and old classics. Which new bands would you recommend our readers take a listen to?

Peter Hook: I’m really into a band called the Cults from Australian, The National, Everything Everything from Manchester and funnily enough, I’m rather liking Jake Bugg.

AMBY: What industry advice would you give fans of yours who want to pursue a career in music?

Peter Hook: Really, really, truly, honestly, don’t put yourself through it.

AMBY: Is there anything you’d like to do that you haven’t done in your career? Is there any kind of project or secret passion you haven’t explored yet and would like to?

Peter Hook: No there isn’t actually, I’ve been very very lucky to have achieved most of the things I wanted to do, although I did have the chance to meet him once and refused, they say never meet your heroes, don’t they, I have always wanted to play with Iggy Pop.

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Thank you Peter Hook, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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