New Order 'Get Ready' for Their First New Album in 8 Years
Thursday, July 5, 2001New Order are the number one band in dance culture, more influential than German experimentalists Kraftwerk and more significant than any DJs or producers who've come before or after. Ever since the demise of their equally seminal first band Joy Division (following the tragic suicide of singer Ian Curtis), the Mancunian foursome have been doing remarkable things. As early adopters of (relatively) cheap new synthesizers in 1980 (alongside the likes of Depeche Mode, Human League and Soft Cell) they casually constructed the templates for what later became electro and pioneered the early 80s disco sounds that would later morph into house. Then in 1983 they released Blue Monday, solely as a 12 inch DJ friendly vinyl, which immediately revolutionised the 12 inch vinyl market. 4 years on, Blue Monday had sold over 3 million copies worldwide (all on 12 inch vinyl) and inspired countless other producers to record on 12 inch vinyl. Mass DJ culture was born.
The band also funded (losing a fortune in the process) Britain's first genuine superclub the Hacienda, which itself became a key building block in dance culture's development. Because although rave histories frequently concentrate on Paul Oakenfold and Danny Rampling's 1987 trip to Ibiza, the Hacienda (opened in 1983) was playing Chicago house music years earlier, laying the foundations for the North's still massive dance scene today. Toss in the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays along the way (Peter Hook both produced the Roses's first single and discovered the Mondays) as well as the fact that they're still releasing innovative (and great) new music and New Order's position as dance top dogs is assured:
"It's quite strange," Peter Hook told Skrufff's Jonty Adderley this week. "Because we're saddled (labelled) with having started dance music and dance clubs; with the Hacienda and fucking Blue Monday. It's all our fault."
Peter Hook and Stephen Norris holed up in a suite at London's Metropolitan hotel last week, to chat about their hugely anticipated new album Get Ready. Featuring contributions from Smashing Pumpkins oddball Billy Corgan and producer by Paul Oakenfold mainman Steve Osbourne, Get Ready is an impressive return to form, being instantly recognisable as New Order yet contemporary, thumping and thoroughly modern. Both appear confident, interacting and chatting with enthusiasm more like a band on their 3rd album, who know they've delivered something good. And both remain remarkably down-to-Earth, cursing and joking with typically coarse Mancunian wit. And yet 8 years ago, the Hacienda had just shut, their long term label Factory was finished and their new album Republic looked almost certainly like their last. In fact, it ended up becoming their first multi-million selling album.
Skrufff: 8 years is certainly a long gap between albums, how easy was Get Ready-
New Order (Stephen Morris): "They're never easy, though it was easy in the respect that we were a lot more relaxed because we didn't have the financial pressures we'd had on the last album."
New Order (Peter Hook): "The thing that scares you as you get older is the time they take. This one took ages but seemed pretty quick whereas with Republic it was so difficult that it felt like it was taking forever. This one took about 18 months and felt good. You always have your moments of tense vulnerability (catching Stephen's eye and roaring with laughter).. but you wouldn't be human if you didn't. It easy in the way that we felt quite inspired."
Skrufff: I understand for once you wrote the songs before going in the studio-
New Order (Stephen Morris): "We wrote four of them beforehand and consciously made an effort not to make the same mistake we made for the last three or four fucking times. We actually gave Bernard (Sumner) more songs than he needed Tags