Fortress Festival Interview - Peter Hook / by Lyle Brooks

Today we are extremely honored to have Peter Hook (Joy Division, New Order, Peter Hook & The Light) talk to us about his experience playing synths, his favorite places to visit on tour, and BONUS ALERT: we got the scoop on what to expect from his upcoming Fortress Festival performance!

We'd also like to welcome Lyle Brooks, who sometimes exists as The Flashbulb (IG:@flashbulbtx) to the FWN family. Tho his vision comes and goes, we are pleased to report his ears are in working order

For tix and more info on Fortress Festival, click here.

UPDATE (05/01/2017): FWN captured live performance photos of Peter Hook & The Light's mystifying Fortress Festival performance! Scroll to the end of the interview to view the gallery. Enjoy! 


Image via Peter Hook & The Light Facebook Page - Courtesy James Masters

Image via Peter Hook & The Light Facebook Page - Courtesy James Masters

1. Speaking from personal experience, your bass work was a major influence on many adolescents who obtained bass guitars. Repeating tracks, I'd hope to glean an invisible force beneath the bass lines. What were the sounds you sought when you set out playing? 

Well at first I didn't really have a plan & did not really set out to do anything - I didn't even know what a bass guitar was! But we worked very hard to master our instruments and I eventually began to develop a way of playing that I felt was a bit more interesting than what I'd heard from other bass players. I really liked to play high up the neck which was quite novel & Ian Curtis in particular encouraged me to keep doing that. It became my calling card so to speak - I found certain guitars and certain pedals that allowed me to further develop that sound and I have stuck with them ever since.

2. What were your first experiences with synths? How would you say the instrument most impacted music making for you? 

It took a while to get to grips with them to be honest - especially when compared to Bernard and Steve who were a lot more technologically minded than I was - I was the guy who just wanted to rock out on the guitars all the time! But eventually I got my head around it all and was able to contribute plenty of ideas on synths and sequencers as well as on the bass. It all had a big impact on our music as you can tell when you listen to early New Order tracks when compared to tracks from 10 or 15 years later.

3. So great to hear these songs again with fresh life behind them, was there much fuss from the die-hard loyalists about The Light's versions?

It was weird because a lot of the criticism which we received was before we even started playing - people were saying that I shouldn't be doing it & that it wasn't right without the others. But then when we started playing and people could see that we did a good job and showed the songs the care and respect that they deserved, it all got a lot easier. And now after 7 years of touring with The Light I would like to think that everyone knows how good a job we do and we have been very successful all around the world.

4. How has the experience been like working with the Classical Hacienda project? 

It's been a very difficult thing to put together just because it's very hard to achieve that perfect marriage between dance music and classical music. It's also very hard from an organisational standpoint simply because there are so many people involved - 70 in the orchestra and what feels like 70 more on the crew. But it has been a great experience to see how all those people work, the musicians are amazing, and it's been a very rewarding one because all of the shows so far have been great.

5. Any new cities you've discovered on this tour? Favorite spots to return? 

I'm always excited to still be visiting new places - it's amazing to go somewhere new after 40 years of touring as a musician. A couple of years ago we made it to Mongolia to play at a festival which was amazing, a great experience. And it was with the Light that I also made it to other places for the first time too - Israel, Russia, Chile, China... It has been great to take the music all around the world again. I am always keen to return everywhere!

6. Can fans expect performances from any particular records or will you survey both New Order and Joy Division? Does a version of "Tokyo Joe" ever make its way into a set list? 

Well at the moment at headline shows on this tour we are playing both Substance albums by Joy Division & New Order in full, it's almost a 3 hour show! But at the festival in Fort Worth we have just been asked to play a bit of everything, from both bands, which to be honest is probably better to do at a festival. We'll be playing all the hits! As for Tokyo Joe no we have never played that one but who knows! It's a killer bassline...

7. Five years on, how has the Music Industry Management & Promotion Programme at Central Lancashire fared? Brilliant Idea, I'm curious if other you've seen other institutions developing similar concentrations? 

I'm very proud of the programme and was delighted to be asked to become involved. The staff at the University and Tony Rigg in particular have done a fantastic job. The students enjoy the course and it gives them hands on experience in the music industry which is great. The numbers of people enrolling in the course keeps increasing every year which is a great credit.

Fortress Festival is right around the corner!!

Fortress Festival is right around the corner!!

UPDATE (5/1/2017): Fort Worth Noise's Prewitt Scott-Jackson snapped some photos of Peter Hook & The Light's Fortress Festival performance! (click thumbnail to enlarge)

Peter Hook & The Light perform at Fortress Festival - Photo Credit: Prewitt Scott-Jackson

Peter Hook & The Light perform at Fortress Festival - Photo Credit: Prewitt Scott-Jackson


about the word writer person:

Lyle Brooks sometimes exists as The Flashbulb (IG:@flashbulbtx). Among a plethora of other cool things & happenings, Lyle has fetched water for John Cale, made copies for Morton Subotnick and once lit Jim Jarmusch's cigarette out in front of a Merzbow show. He has eaten Mexican food with Fungi Girls and Italian food with Yells at Eels and documented them both. Tho his vision comes and goes, we are pleased to report his ears are in working order