Ultimately, you do things for yourself, and the interesting thing is that when I was in New Order, before we split in 2006, I wouldn't have done this. But once we split up and I was on the outside, it did strike me as how we played down Joy Division so much, and I must admit, we made the success of New Order just by doing that, because we concentrated wholly on New Order. Never looked back, and just went forward; it worked for us in the new group. I did feel that we didn't grieve properly, and I think that's something that gets important to you as you get older.
When you're younger you just bury your head in beer, don't ya? But as you get older you realize there is a value and respect and courtesy to grieve, and I think that definitely I would not have told that story had I still been in New Order.
I almost feel that, reading back on things, as someone too young to have been there, it's as if you just didn't have time to properly grieve or digest what was going on in 1980. The band was reborn so quickly that you just took the next step and a new era materialized nearly instantly.
We certainly couldn't digest it, the shock, and it was the first death I ever had to deal with in my life, and luckily, by that point. So the thing is, you are correct, but we just hid our grief and threw ourselves into New Order, literally starting back the Monday after; the inquest, I think, was on the Thursday. So we really did get back into it and start New Order, and that did become our hiding place, if you like. The way we played it down was unbelievable, the fact that you never read any reviews of Closer, never bothered about "Love Will Tear Us Apart" 's chart placing. We literally did bury the whole thing lock, stock, and bound.
Is there lingering guilt over that?
I think the guilt came back, by doing the book. I sort of convinced myself that Ian had gotten ill toward the end of Joy Division. Of course when I did the timeline, I realized that he got ill right at the start, which didn't make me feel good right off the bat. So I think that was something that I changed to make the guilt more palatable, shall we say. But yeah there always is guilt, I think suicide has that effect. I've lost a few friends to suicide over the years, and the guilt always stays with you. You always think "Oh why didn't I phone him more," or "Why didn't I see him more," and things like that. So the guilt always stays with you.
With the falling out with New Order, which has now been going on six, seven years, and doing your thing on your own, are you more proud of your Joy Division legacy than New Order's?