Peter Hook Interview / Part II
In the second part of our interview with Peter Hook, we get up to speed and talk FAC 251, new music, Japan’s Hacienda Festival and Hooky’s top 3 Hacienda tracks!
MIKE BURNS / Looking to the future, do you plan to perform more New Order album gigs with The Light?
PETER HOOK / Yes definitely, we’re just planning it out for the year. We had some shows in Europe playing the Joy Division albums in March, and we’re continuing them though April. From Summer onwards we are looking to tour the New Order set and we are hoping to take it all over the world like we did with Unknown Pleasures and Closer. Reactions have been great so far and I’m really looking forward to it.
MIKE BURNS / You opened your own club in 2010, Factory 251, in the building in Manchester that homed the Factory Records offices. How’s that all going, and what are you hoping to achieve with it?
PETER HOOK / Well the clubs going very well really, it has a young crowd, a very varied music policy and some good nights. The thing was the building was going to be demolished and replaced by a hotel, so my partner Aaron Mellor stepped in and saved it. We have a lot of young bands playing there and some great staff, so really it’s about keeping the culture going for new audiences and people. I’m very happy about that and hope that it gives some of the bands and DJs a bit of a leg up.
MIKE BURNS / Through owning the club and regularly DJing there you must get to see a lot of new acts coming up. Who or what can we expect to be big in terms of new music? Is there still a lot of good stuff coming out of Manchester?
PETER HOOK / Manchester continues to pour out great music and always will do. I don’t always get out to see many new acts sadly, largely because of touring commitments, but I do keep an eye on what’s coming through. There are so many great bands in Manchester, from the current big names like Elbow, Delphic and the revived bands like The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, as well as a crop of new names like Everything Everything, Slow Readers Club, Shines and Modern Blonde. Also the bands that are on our Hacienda Records label, like Humanizer, Detachments and the wonderful Super White Assassin.
MIKE BURNS / You must have been to Japan so many times throughout your career, and you currently have a have a big hand in The Hacienda club events in Tokyo, and of course the brilliant Oiso Hacienda Festival. What connects you so tightly to Japan?
PETER HOOK / Japan has always been very good to us as a band and the Japanese have always been very enthusiastic supporters of The Hacienda and what it stands for. The Hacienda team in Japan have always been great to work with, and they really have a lot of respect and care for the brand and how it is represented. Japan was one of the first countries to translate The Hacienda book, and last year’s Hacienda 30 compilation did very well in Japan on import, which made me very happy.
As New Order, we have always had a fantastic time in Japan and we’ve always been treated wonderfully. By the time we got to Japan on tour we always seemed bigger than we were anywhere else – at our age, to be chased by screaming young girls running down the street was quite a treat in truth.
MIKE BURNS / How was the Hacienda Festival for you last year?
PETER HOOK / It was great, I really enjoyed it. We played both Joy Division albums across the weekend and the audiences were brilliant. The site is a wonderful place to hold a festival, and the team did a great job in putting it all together for everyone to enjoy. I really liked seeing The Charlatans play last year as well, and the whole atmosphere of the festival was lovely. I am sure it will be even better this year. I am not bringing the band this year but I am going to be DJing. I’m still excited to see the Happy Mondays play in the live arena along with 808 State and the DJ line-up, with the likes of John Digweed and James Zabiela, is great! I’m sure it will even surpass last year.
MIKE BURNS / So it’s safe to say you’re looking forward to it?
PETER HOOK / I always look forward to DJing as I do really enjoy it. It is quite a pressure, but I’ve always relished that whether playing live, doing talks or whatever. I’ve got more used to it and more experienced at DJing. I have been doing it over a decade now, I find I can read a crowd better and act more intuitively, and I always look to combine a great mix of material in my sets, whether remixes, new tunes or classics, I often get compliments on the variety of music I play in my sets which is very pleasing.
MIKE BURNS / As you can see from the line-up, it’s a fantastic tribute to the original Hacienda with the likes of Happy Mondays, John Digweed and 808 State all appearing, as well as the more recent crop of huge dance acts like Digitalism and Afrojack. You must be over the moon about such a line-up…
PETER HOOK / Yes, it’s great to see a renewal of The Hacienda with old and new talent. Obviously I’m old mates with The Mondays and 808 State, so it’s great to have them over. I’m also very fond of John Digweed who played some early gigs at The Hacienda back at the start of the nineties. I have always really liked Digitalism and have name checked them a lot of times in interviews. Usually at festivals, you’re in and out for your set, but here I’ll be around for both days so I’ll be able to get to see a few acts so I’m really looking forward to it.
MIKE BURNS / Have you played alongside or seen Happy Mondays since their full reincarnation? I’m guessing we’re in for a real treat…?
PETER HOOK / Yes, they’ve been doing very well since they came back out with the original line up and
have been all over the world again. As I was touring last year when they were out playing
live it took me a while to see them, but I was in Mallorca when they did Mallorca Rocks last September and had a great night. It’s definitely the best The Mondays have been sounding to me for twenty years and they still have great presence on stage, especially with Rowetta who brings a lot to it as well. They have so many great, defining records so I’m sure that it will be sensational.
MIKE BURNS / How do you think the likes of Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton would feel about the Hacienda Festival in Japan? It must make you very proud to see something that you started in Manchester 30 years ago now influencing so many people of all generations in Japan!
PETER HOOK / I am very proud actually. I was thinking the other day that if the others in New Order had
their way we would have stopped the whole thing, and it’s hard to decide whether that’s a
good thing. Letting it just die off in history, or to do the things we have done with it- to keep the history and legacy going and keep it in the forefront of people’s minds, which was the best way. Overall the reactions we’ve had and the success of the clubs and media reaffirms my faith in what we’ve done.
I don’t know what Tony and Rob would think, I wish I would, I would like to think that Rob would be delighted as The Hacienda was his life and he was so distraught when it went down, that anything that would have revived it would have been welcome to him. He died so soon after in 1999, two years after the club closed, I never really got to know what he would have thought about it after he’d had some time to reflect, he was too in the middle of it to find any perspective after the club closed.
MIKE BURNS / What is your personal soundtrack to The Hacienda… 3 songs that define it all for you?
PETER HOOK / There are so, so many but I’ve always loved anthems, so three songs that define The Hacienda for me are…
1- The Source ft. Candi Staton – You Got The Love.
It never fails to put the hairs on the back of my neck on end when I hear it.
2- Joe Smooth – Promised Land.
Another one that puts the hairs on the back of my neck on end, a real classic on which the
production is fantastic.
3- Humanoid – Stakker Humanoid
As for a more techno or rave track, this has always impressed me for its use of texture and a much harder sound.
MIKE BURNS / Finally, any message to your fans in Japan?
PETER HOOK / I’m really looking forward to seeing them all and it will be a really enjoyable trip. I remember jogging barefoot down the beach last year which was amazing, with the waves lapping at my feet, and meeting so many good natured people saying “hello”… it was great! I’m sure this year will be even better!
For readers in Japan, make sure you make it to The Hacienda Oiso Festival 2013 on April 28 to see Peter Hook live.