Riascoltare le hit dei Joy Division e dei New Order suonate da uno dei membri fondatori di entrambe le band britanniche: sarà possibile alla 26esima edizione del Music in Village organizzato da Complotto Adriatico al Parco IV Novembre di Pordenone, dove giovedì arriva Peter Hook&The Light. In apertura, alle 21, i Covent Garden, mentre le selezioni musicali della serata saranno a cura di E. Sist dj selecter, l’ingresso è gratuito.

L’inglese Peter Hook, cantante, compositore, polistrumentista, è stato bassista e co fondatore dei Joy Division, band post-punk di vita breve quanto intensa: il cantante Ian Curtis muore suicida nel 1980, ma i due album incisi, “Unknown Pleasure” e “Closer” sono due pietre miliari della storia della musica; in seguito i membri sopravvissuti dei Joy Division fondano i New Order che al post punk e alla new wave aggiungono elementi dance e di elettronica.

Peter, il suo rapporto con l’Italia?

«Sono stato in Italia tante volte, con i New Order, The Light e anche come dj. Credo sia un paese incredibile, emozionante, notevole per cultura, arte, architettura e non solo. Gli italiani amano la musica, il cibo e le feste e sono sempre ospitali con noi. Venezia è una delle mie città preferite al mondo, bellissima. Però la prima volta che venimmo con i New Order, nel 1981, c’erano striscioni per i Joy Division, come se ci fosse del risentimento da parte del pubblico nei confronti della nuova band. L’Italia è sempre stata più presa dai Joy Division, ed è stata una lotta conquistarla con i New Order, ma è la storia della nostra vita. Con The Light le cose sono andate meglio».

Com’è nata l’idea di Peter Hook & The Light?

«Tutto è cominciato nel maggio 2010, per celebrare il trentesimo anniversario della morte di Ian decisi di suonare per intero “Unknown Pleasures” al Factory Club di Manchester. La serata andò così bene che arrivarono tante richieste di replica. Al tempo stesso si sono anche accese le polemiche in rete, ma alla fine credo abbiamo convinto il pubblico, grazie alla cura dedicata al rifacimento dei brani. Il repertorio dei Joy Division e dei New Order è così pieno di pezzi seminali che i fan possono finalmente risentire dal vivo e lo apprezzano».

Il resto della band?

«Molti componenti erano con me nei Monaco e nei Revenge, Andy Poole, Paul Kehoe, David Potts che ha sostituito Nat Wason, anche mio figlio Jack faceva parte del gruppo ma ora ci ha lasciati per suonare con gli Smashing Pumpkins, ora c’è Yves Altana al basso e Martin Rebelski alle tastiere. Una gran bella squadra».

Lo show?

«Abbiamo un grande repertorio da cui pescare, non possono mancare le hit più celebri che il pubblico si aspetta di sentire, ma a volte ci sono pezzi meno noti che per me sono ancora più forti, ed è bello inserirli. Ormai mi sento come Springsteen: la mia band può suonare una quantità di brani incredibile, potrei fare come lui e lasciare scegliere al pubblico. Abbiamo cuore e passione, cerchiamo di dare alle canzoni il gusto e il vigore che meritano».

Se potessimo andare indietro con una macchina del tempo e assistere a un live dei Joy Division cosa vedremmo?

«Una delle più grandi band mai esistite, che avrebbe potuto conquistare il mondo. Ci spingeva la fame e il dinamismo. C’era grande sinergia tra noi che si traduceva in intesa musicale sul palco. È proprio un gran dolore che a causa di una tragedia, quella storia non sia potuta continuare».

Ian Curtis, inevitabilmente, è ricordato per il suo suicidio e le sofferenze patite prima. Ci racconta, invece, un momento felice condiviso con lui?

«Ce ne sono tanti. Ian è stato mal interpretato, descritto come un solitario meditabondo. Ho cercato di dipingere un ritratto diverso nel mio libro. Certo, era un tipo cerebrale, con un’abilità di scrittura e un’immaginazione fantastiche ma quando eravamo a prove o a registrare, sosteneva il resto della band, ci esortava, spingeva oltre i limiti. Era creativo e in questo contagioso, eravamo giovani e da lui assorbivamo facilmente. Prendiamo “Love Will Tear Us Apart”: Ian scrisse il testo in pochi giorni, e la mettemmo assieme in un pomeriggio. Sembrava semplice portare a termine le cose, farle funzionare, c’era fiducia piena e quando abbiamo cominciato con i New Order, abbiamo patito la perdita di quel tipo di sicurezza».

Ha fatto parte di due band immortali, perché le nuove generazioni non smettono di scoprirle, ascoltarle, amarle. Come la vive?

«È fantastico, e lo ascrivo all’integrità della musica e alla forza di entrambe le formazioni. Mi ha sorpreso davvero il range di età dell’audience ai concerti: quando abbiamo cominciato con i The Light mi aspettavo gente della mia età ma mi sono ritrovato anche schiere di giovanissimi presi da Joy Division e New Order. È davvero una prova di come quei dischi rimarranno sempre, come un testamento».

Un bilancio?

«È stata una lotta faticosa, bilanciata però da tante soddisfazioni. Ma è tipico del rock’n’roll: tormento e estasi. Alti e bassi».

 

Elisa Russo, Il Piccolo 25 Agosto 2019

Peter Hook

 

 

 

 

PETER HOOK INTERVIEW – Elisa Russo

 

How does it feel to be coming back to Italy? What do you know/think about our country and do you know of any italian artist/bands?

I’ve been to Italy many times, with New Order & The Light as well as DJ’ing. I find it an incredibly country, very emotive and culturally impressive in art, architecture and many more sphere’s beyond that. The Italian people have a great love of music, food and celebration and are always incredibly hospitable when we come over. Venice is one of my favourite places on earth. Immensely beautiful.

Thing is when we first came over in 1981 as New Order, there were banners at gigs for Joy Division and people kind of resented the new band. Its always been much more of a Joy Division leaning country Italy and it was a bit of a struggle to win them over, a story of our lives that, but to be honest its always been amazing in Italy with The Light.

Let’s talk about Peter Hook&The Light: how the idea of the band comes out? How easy was it to find musicians who shared your vision?

The thing with it was that it all began in May 2010 when there had been ideas to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ian’s life which fell through. I decided to do “Unknown Pleasures” in full as a one off at The Factory club in Manchester. Thing is it went down so well we started to get offers to take it on the road and abroad. It wasn’t easy to start with, there was some internet criticism but we seem to have won people over and they appreciate the care and attention we pay the material. As we’ve now played every Joy Division and New Order song to 1994, to be able to play all of those tracks live again, for many of the fans they seem to really enjoy that as the back catalogue of both bands are so rich with great, seminal tracks.

I have to say thanks to Bobby Gillespie for giving me the original idea when he said he was going to do Screamadelica and then for us to go on and some nine years later to have got through all of the album to arrive where we are now with The Light at “Technique” and “Republic” has been a fantastic experience. To tour the world and visit all the countries we have over a decade has been hugely rewarding and for me, a wonderful time.

As for the members of the band, I’ve had a great crew of people in The Light. Many were in Monaco and Revenge with me, Andy Poole, Paul Kehoe, David Potts came in for Nat Wason, Jack my son joined but he’s now left me for Smashing Pumpkins but we’ve drafted in Yves Altana on bass to cover me now and Martin Rebelski does keys. They’re a great lot really, we’re very tight and they work very hard. It really is a great team effort.

What can fans expect to see at your Pordenone show at Music in Village on August 29th?

Well we have a great back catalogue to draw from and with it being more of an open crowd rather than a fans crowd I would imagine it will have many of the better known New Order and Joy Division tracks with a few curates eggs thrown in as well. See  some of the album tracks are occasionally stronger than some of the better known hits but we like to mix it up. Its funny. Ive got to a point like Springsteen where I can call out any of some hundred plus numbers and the bands can play it. Maybe we should try that taking nominations from the audience…..Just belting them out when somebody shouts it out.

Thing is with the band we have great passion and heart for the bands and their songs so we look to deliver them with the gusto and vigour they deserve.

If we went back in a time machine and watch Joy Division on stage, what would we see?

I think you’d see one of the greatest bands ever who could have gone on to conquer the world. You also see the hunger and dynamism that drove us back then. There really was a great synergy between all of us and a dynamic that translated itself on stage. It is a great shame that due to the tragic surrounding the band that it was never able to continue.

We often focus on the tragic death of Ian Curtis and his painful life… Would you like to share with us, instead, an happy moment you had with him?

There are so many. Ian is often mischaracterised in my view as some sort of lonely brooding figure but I’ve sought to correct this in my book as far as I can. Yes he was intellectual and his lyrical skills and imagination remain fantastic but with the band, when he was recording and rehearsing, he was forever urging you on, pushing you forward. He was so creative and everything came so easily to all of us, cos we were young. Like Love Will Tear Us Apart, Ian wrote the lyrics in a few days after rehearsal and we put it together in an afternoon, It was that, getting things done, that absolute faith and belief in the band, in many ways that was what we found hardest to cope with when we came to New Order, the loss of that confidence.

Thinking about Joy Division and New Order, today what you regret most? And what made you proud?

Well my biggest regret is going back in 1998. I should never have agreed to it, the same problems were still there and it never got resolved. As for being proud, the look on people’s faces when The Light are playing takes care of that.

Both the bands are eternal and immortal, because new generations never stop to discover, listen, and love them. How do you feel about it?

Its amazing really and I do put it down to the integrity of the music and the strength of what we achieve in both bands, It’s one of the things that has really surprised me with The Light is the age range of the audience. When we first started out I thought that the gigs would be full of old blokes like me but there’s a whole younger generation that are into and affected by Joy Division’s and New Order’s music which is great for the atmosphere at gigs. The audience is quite split down the middle, young and old and as an artist, that’s one of the best things you can have. It really is testament to how good the albums and work remains.

 

What would you say has been the hardest part of your musical journey so far? And the best part?

Well it has always been a struggle in a lot of ways balanced with a great deal of pleasure and enjoyment. That’s probably one of the things about rock and roll, the agony and the ecstacy. I think it’s pretty well documented we have our ups and downs with New Order and Joy Division, and it was tough at many time in the Eighties and Nineties for us, especially with The Hacienda and the financial mismanagement of Factory.

The travelling is what makes it hard work. You have to be able to deal with the travelling. I remember chatting to Marshall Jefferson about this, its the greatest pleasure to be able to go around the world playing great music to great growds. It really is. Its just the getting there which makes it difficult but really once you’re there that melts away and its a wonderful experience.

What’s happening next, is there anything upcoming and in the works already?

Well I’ve just come back from Australia where we toured Joy Divison Orchestrated, after the sold out Royal Albert Hall gig in July. That went really well, we opened at Sydney Opera House which as a fantastic experience. With The Light, we’re off touring Technique and Republic in October and November and in fact my Hacienda book is due for publication in Italy soon so I’m keeping busy as always.

Look forward to seeing you in Pordenone.

Love Hooky ‘19

 

 

Elisa Russo

Elisa Russo

Si occupa di musica e spettacoli su stampa, radio, tv e web. Dal 2004 collabora con il quotidiano Il Piccolo di Trieste. Spesso lavora in coppia con il fratello Ricky. The Russos hanno ideato, scritto e condotto il programma musicale “In Orbita”, in onda su Tv Capodistria (Slovenia) e su Radio Capodistria.
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