New Order's Bernard Sumner: 'We're happier without Peter Hook'

Singer says New Order failed to complete their last album because former bassist was too busy being a celebrity DJ

The never-ending row between Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook is rumbling on, with Sumner now claiming New Order never completed their last record because Peter Hook was too busy DJing. While the rest of the band hoped to continue writing songs for their 10th studio album, Hook was busy travelling the world on "the celebrity DJ circuit", according to Sumner.

The singer-guitarist said New Order were still very much a going concern after they released Waiting for the Sirens' Call in 2005. Although he and the band had "lost respect" for Hook after the bassist bought the Hacienda's trademark rights, around 2001, they had pushed through that problem. But the musicians' relationships did not improve as Hook struggled with alcoholism and checked into rehab.

"When he came out of treatment … he was a worse person, in my opinion," Sumner told Spinner. "We did a tour of South America, in which he was a very angry man, and he got really into the celebrity DJ circuit. We did the music for Control, and [director] Anton [Corbijn] wanted ambient, quiet music. I said [to Hook]: 'If you want to play on it, you're quite welcome.' 'Can't do that; I'm DJing.'"

New Order "were supposed to be completing an album", Sumner explained. They had finished seven tracks – songs that have now been released on the Lost Sirens album. "We were going to write another three and we'd have a finished album," he said. Sumner claimed Hook's response, again, was: "Can't do it. I'm DJing."

Before he quit New Order in 2008, Hook was already describing DJing as his "main stock and trade". "Once the novelty of getting pissed for nothing had worn off, I actually found that it was a very enjoyable thing to do," he told "It's completely opposite to being in a group … When you DJ, you're just on your own, which is nice because there's no argument."

In the years since New Order made the Lost Sirens recordings, Hook has often blamed his former bandmates for preventing their release. "I can't understand why it's taking so long," he said in 2011. "Every time I try to do something, I get outvoted." The 56-year-old is currently promoting a new Joy Division memoir and touring his own version of New Order's first two albums.

"I just hope he's happy; let him get on with his life," Sumner said. "We're happier, without a doubt."


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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