Inside New Order’s Triumphant Return to Dance-Rock
“That was when we asked Gillian if she would be open to doing it, and she said, ‘Yeah,'” Morris says. “He was a great friend of ours; he sadly died last year. But it was, you know, the idea of doing something for Michael, for a friend, that got us together.”
Meanwhile, Sumner consulted with his lawyers, who assured him that New Order could carry on without Hook, who subsequently formed his own band, Peter Hook and the Light, which plays Joy Division and New Order material, and authored books about his time in Joy Division and the Haçienda nightclub that New Order co-owned. As of this past April, the bassist reported that he had ongoing legal action with his former bandmates, suing them over the use of the New Order name and trademark. A rep for Hook did not return a request for comment in time for the publication of this article.
What happened since the split, though, has amounted to a nasty, public back-and-forth between the two parties. Last October, Hook penned a negative review of Sumner’s memoir, Chapter and Verse: New Order, Joy Division and Me — which is getting a U.S. release on November 3rd — taking issue with accounts in the book where Sumner said Hook started arguments with him.
“It’s a real shame,” Sumner says. “My heart bleeds for him. He left the band, and then he complained about leaving the band. But I wish him good luck and that he gets on with what he’s chosen to do instead of calling me all sorts of names. He’s so angry. If you choose to take a path in life, don’t blame other people for the path you’ve chosen to take.”
“I really don’t like it when members of bands slag each other off in the press,” Morris says. “If you’ve got a problem, you should sort it out without going public. It’s not very pretty, is it?”
“It must be getting a bit boring for people,” Sumner says. “He did leave a bad taste in my mouth. … I think we made some great records with Peter. I would never diss what he’s done as a musician. But we couldn’t get on together, so he’s gone off to do his thing and it’s his choice.”
Once New Order decided to carry on with their own thing and make what would become Music Complete, they had to decide what direction they would take. Feeling burnt out on making guitar records — as both 2001’s Get Ready and 2005’s Waiting for the Siren’s Call had leaned heavily on the instrument — Sumner decided he wanted to make a dance record. As it happened, Morris had also been getting back into dance music after remixing a track by the electronic group Factory Floor. And when Rolling Stone polled the pair independently of one another about their music tastes, both Sumner and Morris declared themselves fans of Hot Chip. So a dance record seemed to be what the universe was telling them to make.