After years of conflict, bassist Peter Hook left New Order in 2007. There have also been some legal battles too. But most fans agree his presence is sorely missed. So will Peter Hook rejoin New Order?
Here’s what I think from following the split extensively:
Peter Hook denies any chances of reconciliation with New Order and has stated that he would rather die than get back with the band. Although, he has stated that all parties could have sorted out the feud more maturely.
So if you’re waiting for Hooky to get back in New Order, don’t hold your breath.
New Order chose to work at an age when others retired. They gelled together and produced unique music consistently for 40 years. However, in Peter’s own words, when people are forced to work together as long as they were, their relationships change, their ideas of music change.
He thought that New Order’s journey was over because Bernard started pushing his rules in the group’s work.
While the band was showered with success in commercial terms, the turmoil behind the story remains an unanswered mystery.
So let us dig deeper and find out more:
Happy birthday to Peter Hook, bassist in Joy Division and New Order, who turns 63 today! pic.twitter.com/FLfhKICFVR
— Mainly Manchester (@ManchesterDose) February 13, 2019
When did Hook leave New Order?
After years of disagreements with New Order frontman Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook left the band in 2007, 2 years following his last album with the band, Waiting for the Siren’s Call.
Peter talked about his feud’s beginning with Bernard while they recorded Republic in 1993 in an interview with Yahoo’s Backspin.
He mentioned the struggles during the making of Republic in 1993 and how Bernard took most of the royalty splits. They were also arguing a lot at the time.
For a brief period, working on Get Ready allowed the duo to enjoy each other’s company and came close as a power couple once again. Peter mentions in the Backspin interview that both of them did the lion’s share of the work on the LP.
And for a time, things were good.
Then the group started working on another record, Waiting for the Siren’s Call, which unfortunately took longer than three years to finish.
The band didn’t play live in those three years, infuriating Peter more because there are some fantastic tunes on Sirens Call.
The group went back to being where they were during the Republic’s making, coinciding with Peter’s full-blown alcoholic breakdown.
Peter’s idea of how a band should work differed from here gravely, and he finally called it quits in 2007.
Peter Hook, New Order at Futurama 4 Deeside Leisure centre 1982 pic.twitter.com/EwQxQDfVaG
— Angies Liverpool was 😇🍰 (@angiesliverpool) February 18, 2021
Why did New Order Fire Peter Hook?
New Order did not fire Peter Hook, but rather Hook left the band following years of disagreements. They went on hiatus following his departure in 2007 and had replaced Hook when they regrouped in 2011.
The band members never released any official statement about why Bernard didn’t invite Peter to join back when they regrouped in 2011. Meanwhile, the duo wrote their books, which presented two different interpretations of their love and hate relationship to hate and hate relationship.
While Bernard talked very little about his feud with Hook, Peter gives a more precise version of his story of the argument.
Peter Hook mentioned that the battle erupted over royalty distribution right after he split in 2007.
According to NME, Hook retained 25% of stakes in Vitalturn Company Ltd. But when the group rejoined in 2011, the group reduced Hook’s share to 1%, which he found extremely immoral.
The band could not offer each member their demanded figures as they had Hacienda and Factory records to save. The dispute grew over the percentage, and things just got uglier from there.
➕ Joy Division’s Peter Hook, Ian Curtis & Bernard Sumner 1979 ➕ #legends #music #genius #icons pic M O’Neill ➕ pic.twitter.com/6Ql629rlc7
— propercomplex (@propercomplex) May 21, 2019
Why did Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner have a fallout?
The harmonious relationship between Hook and Sumner began to fall out before the release of Republic in 1993, a record mostly made to save the band, Factory Records, and their nightclub The Hacienda, from bankruptcy. Sumner ended up getting a much larger share of royalties which started the feud.
As per Hook’s account, the differences between him and Sumner began working on the Republic album in 1993.
He mentions that Sumner’s and Hook’s ideas of how they should make music changed over the period. Read my recent article about how the duo made New Order a better band than Joy Division with their bonding. But clearly, this bond started breaking.
Peter always wanted to write music like Sex Pistols or The Clash.
But they didn’t write like that anymore. And when the group returned from the Republic’s tour, Peter informed their manager that he never wanted to get in as bad a position as Sumner.
From this point, the duo began working on Get Ready and worked together closely. But then the band stopped playing live as much, disappointing Hook once again.
The band hired nine producers for their next album, Waiting for the Siren’s Call, and when they began working on it, the album took longer and longer to complete.
According to Hook, the band waited for three years to finish Sirens. The duo started arguing over the number of producers involved in the album, which kept rejecting some of what Hook saw as the best songs they had prepared for the album.
Unfortunately, the duo went to where they were in the beginning. From there, the fallout began and ended up in court until it finally settled in 2017.
But let’s also be honest.
The other 3 original members of New Order are still in the band. So it’s not just Hook vs. Sumner. Clearly, Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris agree with Bernard Sumner and were probably equally tired of Hook’s antagonistic communication over the years.
Ahead of the 40th anniversary of Joy Division’s ‘Closer,’ bassist Peter Hook tells us about learning to love the album and why “I’ve never stopped arguing with the other members” of New Order https://t.co/I9NLDoWbra pic.twitter.com/usX0CFLn7Z
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) July 17, 2020
Does Peter Hook want to come back to the New Order?
Peter Hook refutes the rumors of his intentions of rejoining New Order any time soon. Talking about his book “Substance: Inside New Order” in an interview, he says the chances of reconciliation with Bernard are none to zero.
The duo’s differences in making music had begun to appear. While Peter and others sweated in the studios, Bernard stayed away from working on the vocals.
The aftereffects of this tension carried on in their music. They had become boring; they didn’t sound as engaging as they once did, smoked by their idea of royalty distributions.
Bernard’s resentment for Peter grew more when Peter started working as a DJ for a career outside of New Order.
All these arguments piled on, and the duo reached a point where they couldn’t stand each other. The band’s journey seemed over. Peter called his time in February 2007, and the rest of the members agreed.
But then the group decided to continue without including Hook.
Unlike their agreement when they were in Joy Division to rename the band if any member left, which you can also check out in my recent article, Sumner, Gillian and Morris re-licensed the name New Order to carry on without Hook.
Peter wasn’t satisfied with the legal and financial implications of the license and felt it was immoral, unfair, and one-sided. The matter became legal and continued for years.
However, financial differences being now settled, and Peter having his band (Peter Hook and the Light), Hook refuses to come back to New Order.
Joy Division and New Order changed music, and co-founder and bassist Peter Hook changed bass playing.@YamahaGuitars are proud to celebrate his one-of-a-kind melodic style with the new Peter Hook Signature BB.
Learn more: https://t.co/XNxxcvHmDR pic.twitter.com/Cd9l0JwjpG
— Peter Hook (@peterhook) December 1, 2020
Is Peter Hook back in New Order?
Peter Hook has not rejoined New Order, and despite occasional rumors to the contrary, a reunion with his former bandmates is unlikely.
Ever since the breakup, Peter has been honest about the tensions in the groups when he was in New Order. Hook mentioned to Grunge magazine:
‘Joy Division was very balanced and very equal. And when we got to New Order, the balance had tipped, and it made it a little bit awkward. I never noticed it when we were together, but since I’ve come to play the music now, I’ve noticed it more and more.” source
He also talked to IrishNews and said, “compared to when he was playing with New Order, they would have about 15 to 17 songs which rarely changed. But now, he can play more or less 100 to 120 songs, which is fantastic.”
Stepping out of New Order, Peter is experiencing a new life and enjoying every song he wrote and recorded. He admitted that he would never go back to New Order, but he frequently enjoys playing the songs in his concerts.
Rising from the ashes of Joy Division to changing the name to New Order, the band member’s relationship has gone through much in the last 30 years.
The differences in their musical approaches, arguments over royalty, Bernard’s resentment over Peter attempting to establish a career outside of New Order, the royalty matter being dragged in court, and coming to a final settlement recently.
It’s not hard to see that the chances of Peter Hook rejoining the group are pretty much non-existent. About the same likelihood of Morrissey and Johnny Marr reforming The Smiths.
Photo which requires attribution:
Peter Hook by Man Alive! is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.