But no, to my mind they will never be New Order. They are as much New Order as we are Joy Division, and the fact that Bernard refuses to admit it, which is that it's just [former band] Bad Lieutenant with Gillian, is the thing that I find very. . . . You know, there's an image that I'm trying to stop them, which is not true. The only thing that I'm fighting is the business side that they granted me without my knowledge or consent.
You were telling me about it last time you were in Boston, how they all met to recalculate all the two bands' royalties, and voted you a very minor percentage of everything. . . .
And they still refuse to acknowledge that I'm worth any more, and I don't know . . . you do have to fight, don't you? You do have to fight.
Well it's your legacy!
It's such an insult, but again, I guess I should be flattered that even a year on, they've entered into these slagging matches, which amaze me.
Are you tired of these questions, what you think of New Order?
We are tied together, forever, and in a funny way all of us have to admit that, and maybe once you admit that, you can sit down and say, "Well, we don't want to do this," "You want to do that," "We don't want you to do that, lets sort it out." Once you are a little grown up about it, then I'm sure everything will become easier, but at the moment, there seems to be no sensible person. I guess you have to say Bernard and I are very much alike, very stubborn, very emotional, passionate, and when you do get two people fighting like that I suppose everyone gets on in their own way.
Shifting to the book and its subjects, it was really fascinating to read about your first records, and what went on to shape the sound and feel ofUnknown Pleasures, and I think it was in theJoy Division documentary where Factory Records owner Tony Wilson said punk was all about "fuck you," whereas post-punk declared, "We're fucked." Was it this perfect storm of what was going on socially, politically, economically in late-'70s Manchester that really led to this sound that has now lasted more than 30 years?
There's nobody more surprised than me the fact that how much Joy Division is an inspiration still, and it's a great compliment to the chemistry between the four of us, I have to say, musically. Whether it comes down to being on an independent label or on a major label, whether you had a great manager or a bad manager, thing is it still comes down to the songs. And it's the songs — the fact that the four of us had the skill to write them is the thing that lasted, and [producer] Martin Hannett really did put the icing on the cake, you have to say.
But it is an odd thing, first of all when we started making music with Ian, our dream was to get out. And here I am, 35 years later, quite happily still here. So I do get indulged, by coming to travel everywhere, but you still find that Manchester, for all its bleakness that you wanted to escape from in 1977, still has a hold over you, that nowhere else in the world does.