Age is not a barrier: an interview with New Order
Everyone almost came to terms with the fact that, over the past 35 years, New Order played only a couple of concerts with hits that everyone heard for 100 laps, which means that they will someday slowly and quietly disappear. However, with their new album “Music Complete”, the group has proven what else may surprise.
Graphic artist Peter Savill did something exceptional for the history of music: in 1983 he created an illustration for a maxi single, which later sold over 10 million copies and was destined to become a milestone in the history of electronic music. However, his design was so expensive that the single was a financial disaster. The record in question is the “Blue Monday” New Order. Recently, Savill again took out his drawing supplies: it was necessary to develop a cover for the 10th studio album of the British. If you do not take into account the 2013 album “Lost Sirens”, which consists of archived records, then this is really a new album of the group over the past 10 years.
The fact that this record was released is a kind of small miracle. After bassist and band founder Peter Hook left the band in a rage in 2007 and single-handedly decided that New Order is now just a story, there were few who believed in the new releases.
“Even we ourselves didn’t think we would ever start recording albums again,” says Gillian Gilbert.
Since 2011, she is again part of the successor group Joy Division, which they jointly founded with Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Peter Hook after the death of Ian Curtis. Until 2011, she took a 10-year timeout to take care of their common daughter with Stephen Morris.
“The fact that we are five of us now, as at the very beginning, is a little strange for me,” she says with a laugh.
Newcomers here are bassist Tom Chapman and keyboardist Phil Cunningham. The group made a fuss at last year’s Lollapalooza festival in Chile: along with Singularity and Plastic, they presented many new electronic tracks.
“We were so far from recording something electronic. The return to the old sound poured new blood into us. The music world around us in any case acquired an electronic sound, so it was not a problem for us to reduce the number of guitars and thereby close the circle “- explains the reasons for returning to the origins of Gilbert.
An important aspect was the participation of Tom Rowlands from The Chemical Brothers, who helped with the recording of “Singularity”. Since then, the direction has been indicated: the old new sound. The album was born in recent years in countless tours. Only now the search for the name was more difficult than expected.
“We had a bunch of hypothetically appropriate titles. But since the 10th album is kind of a milestone for us and its title should reflect that, the title“ Music Complete ”came up the most,” says Gilbert.
Of course, if you sold millions of albums and you were called the very new wave group and pioneers of electronics, the expectations are always huge.
“It was strange since we had no idea what the public response was,” Gilbert explains, a little shyly.
And all after the release of the collection of singles “Restless” were actually divided into 2 camps: new old fans and new old critics. The debut single is a typical New Order: no less, but unfortunately no more. At the same time, “Music Complete” is generally self-sufficient and experimental, destroying the barriers between old and new New Order.
“Close the circle” – Gilbert uses this wording suspiciously often. In the track “Stray Dog”, Iggy Pop recites a monologue for several minutes about how he once inspired Joy Division to create music.
Although this song specifically is a kind of quintessence of what is released on the album, it quite effectively gives a reminder of how a couple of talented musicians from Maxfield with a bit of luck can turn into world stars. A strange mixture of accidents and appearances in the right places at the right time eventually led to a wonderful outcome called New Order. Gillian Gilbert and today with great pleasure talks about his acquaintance with Joy Division and his current husband Steve: at that time she played in a small punk band and after the performance she was looking for a ride home. She was brought by four at that time not so famous young people.
The sound that soon shook the world, at first, she did not like:
“They gave me the record. The songs seemed so awful to me. Even Steve himself was hated, and he was part of the group. I still remember how he talked about Closer. He spoke disapprovingly about drum machines and hated almost everything, what’s connected with them. Now he considers them magnificent. But even then there was a huge gap between studio recordings and live performances. To see Joy Division alive – it was something with something. “