New Order: Decades (2018) Movie Script

This is a film about the past,
the present and the future.
It's the story
of a unique collaboration...
between 12 young musicians,
a renowned conceptual artist
and one of the world's
most truly iconic bands.
New Order have always
aggressively pursued the future.
It's quite radically different.
It's never been done before
to my knowledge.
What this project is,
it's not about nostalgia.
We're trying to work
on what can be done now.
We're trying not
to look backwards.
But for this project
New Order
and their collaborators
had to reflect on and
deconstruct the band's history
to create something very new.
We knew
it was gonna be difficult,
but it took us all by surprise.
Rehearsing, finding
the technology to make it work,
finding the players
to do the shows.
It's kind of a concert
but it's kind of not a concert
at the same time
and that's, for me,
what's interesting.
What this project
kind of encapsulates
is an extraordinarily grand
and long story.
The convergence completes
to some extent,
a cycle and takes in
an awful lot along the way.
It's not entirely been fun.
A lot of it has been
quite traumatic.
But most of us are still here.
I think it's 'cause
we've worked it out together
as a group of people.
This story is a celebration
of one of the most original
bands in history
and a rare chance to enter
their private world,
their artistic processes
and share in the creation
of a collaboration
unknowingly decades
in the making.
I don't think anyone
can accuse us
of dwelling in the past.
We're not that kind of band.
The making of this
it was a process
of reinvention...
that brought us back here
some four decades later
to what is a notable place
in our history.
We're at the old Granada TV
building in Central Manchester
and this is where we had our
first television performance.
On the wall, it says here
"20th September, 1978,
Joy Division TV debut,
'Love will tear us apart'."
But that's wrong,
isn't it, Steve?
Strictly speaking
it is incorrect, yes.
- Factually incorrect.
- Only slightly wrong.
There's two facts there.
It's by implication.
The first fact is correct,
20th September, 1978,
Joy Division TV, you can
put a tick there, correct.
Second fact,
Love Will Tear Us Apart.
We'd not even written it
by then, had we?
No. No.
It was Shadowplay.
In the shadowplay
acting out your own death
Knowing no more
As the assassins all grouped
in four lines
Dancing on the floor
It was less than
two years after that TV debut
that Ian Curtis, our singer,
took his own life.
It was extremely tragic,
but also a really strange
period for us.
Our second Joy Division album
and our single
Love Will Tear Us Apart
were climbing up the charts.
But the rest of us were trying
to work out what to do next.
This is where we got the title
for Love Will Tear Us Apart
Yeah, we looked at it
and thought that would be
a good title for a song.
When Joy Division
were on television,
I was away on a geography trip
so I didn't see it at all.
So I was really annoyed.
Tell us about
your geography trip.
Well, it was in Liverpool.
Do you remember it well, Tom?
Six years old, not really, no.
No, living in France, no.
I was four at the time.
I was ten. Steve was nine.
That Joy Division TV
debut was the fateful outcome
of our first meeting
with Tony Wilson,
the Granada TV presenter.
But more importantly,
he was a passionate advocate
of new music and the kind of
youth scene in Manchester.
Seeing as how this is
the program
which previously brought you
the first television appearances
from everything from The Beatles
to The Buzzcocks,
we do like to keep our hand in
and keep you informed
of the most interesting
new sounds in the North West.
We'd done a gig at Rafters,
I think, in Manchester.
It was like a Battle of
the Bands competition
and Ian had had a few drinks.
And he went up to Tony and said,
"Wilson, you..."
"How come you never play our
records or put us on TV?"
Gave him a bit of verbal,
you know, which Tony loved.
And then we did the gig
and apparently it was
a very memorable gig.
And in fact, Tony liked
that concert so much
he formed the record company
Factory Records.
The rest is history.
It really is history, yeah.
Factory Records was
Joy Division's record label
and it was a record label
unlike any other.
It was more of an idea
than a professional record label
in the early days.
Tony Wilson was the impresario.
Everybody who was
involved were kind of drawn in
to this solar system,
at the heart of which was Tony,
and magnetic as a personality.
I was fairly major,
I thought, in the music press.
I could get big features,
so he helped me to get a job
with Granada Television.
The kickback was that I would
write about his groups.
In some ways,
even at that stage,
be a sort of curator
of what was going on.
It's part of being
one of these people
who are orbiting around Tony.
Years later, we got asked to do
the Manchester International
It seems really fitting
to play here
and Granada TV reminds us
of Tony,
and it was a kind of, you know,
homage to Tony, really.
The choice of venue
for the MIF project
might have been an unusual nod
to the past for us,
but the concept
was something really new.
Part concert, part artwork,
the performance involved us,
a visual artist,
an army of technicians
and more than a dozen
young musicians.
The studio where we did it
looked a bit more like this,
didn't it, really? Did it?
Without a doubt,
New Order are at the point
in their career
where they are afforded
the luxury
of going through the motions,
but not with this.
This draws them into
the universe
of the Manchester
International Festival,
which has a criteria,
to bring together
previously unimaginable projects
and combinations of individuals
who had not worked together
International Festival
is a bi-annual event
at which they have various kinds
of artists
from all over the world,
hence the "international".
MIF is first and foremost
a festival of entirely new work
which is pretty much unknown in
the world of big city festivals.
MIF is probably at its best
when it's supporting artists
to do something that they
haven't done before,
that might be a new kind
of collaboration,
it might be working
in a different art form,
it might be just pushing
the boundaries of what they do.
That's the whole point
of the festival:
to do something different
and not do a gig which we could
have easily have done
and it would have been
a lot easier.
The first part of the process
was really just emptying
everyone's minds
of what had previously been done
and how these things should work
and filling that vacuum
with just a lot of ideas.
New Order then came up
with more or less this idea,
that they would like to do
a synthesizer orchestra.
It was quite a complicated thing
to pull off.
Yes, quite complicated.
Synth orchestra, what's that?
How's that gonna work?
Steve enjoys a technical
challenge anyway.
He had a great time doing it.
I had a great time doing it,
It means you can spend even more
hours in your studio at home.
I really, really, really
enjoyed it. Enormously.
Well, you like being in
your studio.
Yeah. I like being in bed
as well.
Bernard had a rough idea
with the grids, the boxes.
The idea at the root
of it very much from Bernard
was the idea of the wall
of synthesizers.
That was the very first thing
that came up with this project.
From a line drawing, it
seemed pretty straightforward,
just build a set and put people
in the cells, you know.
Stick a keyboard in each cell.
But the devil's in the detail
and there was a lot of detail.
The five original
Manchester concerts in 2017
were apparently a great success.
So now, despite the complexity,
we've decided
to do it all again.
It's a bit nerve-racking. We're
not just leaving our home town,
but we're also taking it
into spaces
that are a lot less
accommodating than a TV studio.
The whole thing is so ambitious
and it doesn't fit
into anyone's category,
so it's not like New Order's
agent could phone up
one of the big rock promoters
in any major city in Europe
and say, "Right, I've got
a New Order gig for you."
But New Order
weren't gonna compromise
so that kind of cut down
the number of venues
and organizations
that would take the project
on board,
so it ends up
being Torino and Vienna.
It's got a freshness
to it, you know,
and it's quite radically
from the normal set we do.
So I'm glad we're doing it
again, yeah.
That's the good thing
about the gigs coming up,
that we have done it before
last year, you know.
We've done a lot of the legwork
so we can enjoy it a little bit
more I think this time.
What could go wrong? I mean...
Do you want me
to start the list now?
Actually, I don't wanna know
what could go wrong.
I have to charge up
the batteries on the laptops,
make sure they still work
and, you know,
just get them back
from the various people
who've been doing their homework
on them
and get rid of all the porn
we should be good to go.
It's the things that might
go wrong that make it exciting.
It's not only us
that have got a load of work
to do for the new gigs...
Quite often we bring together
people who've not
worked together before.
In this case of course,
bringing Liam Gillick
and the band together
was in some ways
a classic MIF combination.
The stack of synthesizer players
could just have been,
you know, a backdrop
to a concert performance.
What he did was take that idea
and in a way discover
what it was about.
What you've gotta do
is think about
what New York represents.
It's not the capital city,
but it's the productive place.
It's the place of production
of ideas, of music,
of contradictory cultures
and there is something in common
there with Manchester
and this is where I try
and have ideas.
Bernard had lots of ideas
They already had a lot of ideas
and I wanted to work with those,
I wanted it to be
an actual collaboration.
The focus would still be
that it was a concert,
that it would still be
the music,
that it would be them,
but it would be them in a kind
of slightly skewed way.
I was very keen on the fact
that this would be experienced
as a concert
and not a sort of weird art
event, "with music by..."
It's really in a sense
closest to sculpture.
So even if you're taking a room,
people, an ambience, lighting,
that's still making something,
it's like putting things
It's that feeling
of putting things together,
taking them apart, putting them
together again, that's the key.
This is a song off our
last album, Music Complete.
It's called Plastic.
Got a feeling
In my head
Feels like thunder
I can't stop the flow
This love is poison
But it's like gold
Give me direction
Out of the cold
Show me affection
I'll sell you my soul
It's official
You're fantastic
You're so special
So special
- So iconic
- So iconic
You're the focus
The focus
Of attention
But you don't want it
You don't want it
'Cause you're so honest
If you break me
Will you fix me?
If I'm missing
Will you miss me?
And I'll regret it
'Til the day I die
'Cause I didn't mean it
It was in my head
Feels like thunder
It's getting cold
This love is poison
But it's like gold
It's official
You're fantastic
You're so special
So special
- So iconic
- So iconic
You're the focus
The focus
Of attention
But you don't want it
You don't want it
Because you're honest
You don't want it
It's official
You're fantastic
You're so special
So special
- So iconic
- So iconic
You're the focus
The focus
Of attention
But you don't want it
You don't want it
'Cause you're honest
You don't want it
One of these days
One of these days
Right when you want me,
I will be gone
'Cause you're like plastic
You're artificial
You don't mean nothing,
So superficial
The choice of songs
for this collaboration was,
like everything else
in this project,
very carefully considered.
What we didn't anticipate
was how long
choosing the songs would take.
It did require a certain amount
of mental acrobatics
to try and get you
in the head space
where you could detach yourself
from the normal two-hour set
that we played.
It was weird. But it was good,
'cause you forget about
a load of songs
and it's nice
to bring them back.
I think it took about
three days, didn't it?
About three days of listening
to everything.
I wouldn't say it was enjoyable.
I wouldn't say it was arduous,
it was quite revealing
'cause some of the songs
you'd hear and you go...
You know, "what was I thinking?"
We started
with the first, very first
New Order album
in chronological order
and all of us had sort of
favorites as well
that we wanted to present.
So we sort of made a list up.
There was a lot of lists, yeah.
There was easy, hard
and difficult
and we just went for
the most difficult.
It's not a greatest hits show
and I like that about it.
You can revisit some, you know,
corners of the catalogue
and it's a big catalogue now.
Picked the ones
we felt were good,
but also the ones that
we thought would be suitable
for the synthesizer orchestra.
So they had to have a certain
amount of keyboards in them.
Like True Faith being
like the biggest one.
You just have to say,
"Well, right, OK,
well, that's gonna be dramatic
if we don't do that
and it's gonna be dramatic
if we don't do Blue Monday."
"So that's it, OK,
we're not gonna do those."
It's a funny one, Blue Monday,
because it is essentially
what it is.
It's not really a song
and if you try... it's not!
And if you try and make it...
get too musical with it,
it loses something somehow
and then it just gets
a little bit, I dunno...
Too posh for its own good.
I'm sure that they could have
played it.
They could have played it,
but it would have been very hard
because there's not that much
in it,
apart from they could have got
very elaborate
on the string bits, I suppose.
I think what's good about it
is that they did go for things
which were quite surprising.
What this project is,
it's not about nostalgia,
we're trying to work
at what can be done now.
We're trying not
to look backwards, I think.
I tended to pick some of
the older songs
I wasn't involved with
because you work so much
on the ones you are involved in.
When I was a kid I had that
Unknown Pleasures album
and I listened to it religiously
and, you know,
if you'd have told me
that I'd be playing Disorder
with a couple of members
of Joy Division,
I wouldn't have believed you
back then.
It's, you know... really good
to have that in the set.
OK, let's give it a go.
- OK.
- OK.
I've been waiting
for a guide to come
And take me by the hand
Could these sensations
make me feel
The pleasures
of a normal man?
New sensations barely
interest me for another day
I've got the spirit
Lose the feeling,
take the shock away
I think honestly
it came up purely as,
"That's a really cool song;
why has that one
been forgotten about?"
"Let's get it in the set."
It's been long enough now
hearing Bernard and the guys
talk about it with regards
to Joy Division.
They feel like they can
come back to those songs
and play them
and do them justice.
Are there moments
where lan's suddenly in the room
or with you?
Yeah. Um...
Well, certainly singing
that song
and singing any of his lyrics,
I always get an image
of him then,
and obviously he's forever young
in that image.
He's there and he's remembered
and is...
Cherish the thought of him,
all of us I'm sure,
everyone who was involved
with him.
It was terrible what happened
with him,
but he was such a determined,
explosive character,
I don't think there's anything
that we could have done
to change things apart from
locking him up 24 hours a day
you know, stopping him
from doing that.
You can never really deal
with suicide successfully,
because you're inevitably always
going, "What if, what if?"
I do question really how long
Ian Curtis
would have stayed in music.
I don't think that his health
was up to it, to be honest.
And the three surviving members
of Joy Division
made the decision to carry on
because that's who they were.
Between Stephen, Bernard
and Peter Hook
there was a chemistry.
The chemistry that had
underpinned Joy Division.
They did demo sessions and
finally they came to a result
which was the four members
of New Order.
It was all a bit awkward.
- Because...
- When I joined?
- Yeah.
- Yeah, it was very awkward.
It was very awkward.
The fact that a lot of
Joy Division fans didn't like it
was a great thing to me,
when they kind of
got quite annoyed.
"What the bloody hell
are they doing?"
"They bloody... They look like
- they're enjoying themselves!"
- "Are they going mad?"
- "The fools!"
- "Got a bloody woman in there!"
"They've got a woman in!"
When she started
playing with the band,
I always watched her 'cause
I was curious about this role.
Like where she stood
in relation to the others.
I think just having
a female in the band
adds a level of temperance
to our behavior.
And, um...
Yeah, we all behave
a lot better.
The reinvention
came after the first album,
after Movement.
Movement was kind of "son of
Joy Division" in a way to me,
to my ears. I'm not very keen
on that album.
I think they all
said to us that, on Movement,
it was pretty much them trying
to work out it for themselves
and going forward.
seemed to feel literally...
I think so.
He looked physically
listening to that album again
and I don't think
he has listened to it
since it was recorded,
because I think he was just
finding his feet
as a singer at the time.
And Bernard gradually,
he starts to find the voice,
a voice that hadn't really
existed before,
which is romantic at times,
very dark at times.
I never in my life
dreamed of being a singer.
Never appealed to me.
I didn't wanna be
the center of attention
and I didn't wanna sing.
There was no alternative.
The alternative was just to fail
and fall into
a life of nothingness.
But we needed
to break new ground
and the way to do that
was with new technology.
We couldn't really afford
to buy commercial equipment
in the early days,
which is strange
because we could afford
to buy the Hacienda.
And we couldn't afford
to buy these instruments
so we used to beg, borrow
and steal whatever we could
and whatever we couldn't,
I would build it.
You've gotta remember,
you've gotta rewind the clock,
in those days,
like a DMX drum machine
or a 808 or 909 drum machine
or a new sequencer,
new synthesizer
was really pretty
ground-breaking technology.
It's not like it is now.
We took the technology
as far as you could take it
in the first day of ownership.
At first,
Steve was a bit resistant
to both synthesizers
and drum machines,
but when he realized it wasn't
gonna put him out of a job,
he embraced it
and became extremely proficient
at using both of those things.
There really was no need
to worry
because of everybody
that's ever been in New Order,
there's only me who's boring
enough to read the manual.
I could never, ever have written
music for an orchestra,
but I could program a computer
with a bunch of synthesizers
on the end
and achieve something
really similar.
And I listen to all sorts
of music
because I believe that
in every genre of music,
there's something good.
So I had this idea for this kind
of, I don't know,
is it baroque,
the harpsichord bit?
I programmed that
up in a spare bedroom, you know.
Just that bit.
One of these days
One of these days
I like walking in the park
When it gets late at night
I move 'round in the dark
The dark
And leave
when it gets light
I sit around by day
Tied up in chains so tight
These crazy words of mine
So wrong they could be
What do I get out of this?
I always try, I always miss
One of these days
you'll go back to your home
You won't even notice
that you are alone
One of these days
when you sit by yourself
You'll realize you can't
shaft without someone else
In the end you will submit
It's got to hurt
a little bit
One of these days
One of these days
I like talking in my sleep
When people work so hard
They need
what they can keep
A choice
that leaves them scarred
A room without a view
Unveils the truth so soon
And when the sun goes down
You've lost what you have
What do I get out of this?
I always try, I always miss
One of these days
you'll go back to your home
You won't even notice
that you are alone
One of these days
when you sit by yourself
You'll realize you can't
shaft without someone else
In the end you will submit
It's got to hurt
a little bit
One of these days
One of these days
One of these days
What do I get out of this?
I always try, I always miss
One of these days
You'll go back to your home
You won't even notice
that you are alone
One of these days
when you sit by yourself
You'll realize you can't
shaft without someone else
In the end you will submit
It's got to hurt
a little bit
Manchester isn't just
our home, it's also home
to one of Europe's
leading conservatoires.
The Royal Northern College
of Music was the perfect place
to recruit more than a dozen
keyboard players and vocalists
to form
the synthesizer orchestra.
I made another sound
to add to your original sound.
To just make it
a bit more synthy.
Who's the four that play it?
Put your hands up, students!
Digging into those
tracks, deconstructing them,
reconstructing them,
re-imagining them
with the synth orchestra
has been a really
in-depth piece of work.
The project that
they've embarked upon is brave.
It's brave for Liam and it's
actually brave for New Order.
But of course it's good in that
it's put the group back
into an uncomfortable space.
The early years,
the formative period
was an uncomfortable space.
It's not been done
before, so it was an experiment.
We've never done anything
like it before,
so there's a lot of technical
challenge here,
it's a lot of sounds to make,
a lot of scoring to do.
We knew it was
gonna be difficult,
but it took us all by surprise.
I think New Order
being New Order
always enjoy a challenge
with technology
and what would be involved
in working
with 12 keyboard players.
Steve finds it interesting,
the technological side of it,
which is unusual for a drummer.
And a lot of the stuff
for these gigs
he put together
the technical aspect of it.
I think he took on a bit more
than he could chew.
I think at one point
Steven was having
about three hours sleep a night.
I was worried for him?
No, he's horrible.
Yeah, you always hurt
the one you love.
He's impossible to live with.
My role with New Order
was to kind of collate
all the MIDI information that's
usually played by computers
and then rearrange that
for 12 synthesizer players.
There's a lot of information
running around.
A hell of a lot of cables.
There's also the music
they have to read
and they also have another
screen which I'm on.
Playing this kind of music
you've gotta have a feel
as well.
It's not just about, you know,
being a shit-hot musician.
You've gotta get it.
It was great that they
could play stuff that fast,
'cause it hadn't been written
that way.
They'd all been essentially
programmed on a sequencer.
Nobody actually went...
It was ding, ding,
ding, then you speed it up.
Two, three, four.
I was surprised
that Joe could write down
the way that they should
play them.
If we did it all on a computer,
there would be less layers.
So the idea with what we're
doing is to split this music off
into more layers
and more sub-components.
But you also get the different
little variance in timing
that gives you
a different quality to it.
So some people, for instance,
were actual bass players
so they just naturally
found themselves
in the bass department of the
synth orchestra if you like.
Where some of the more classical
players were more suited
to the more flowing
sort of lyrical lines.
We found, you know,
the right sort of place
for everyone, I think.
It was a bit easier for me
'cause, you know, the students
were taking up a few parts,
which I didn't mind.
What this project
kind of encapsulates
is an extraordinarily grand
and long story.
The convergence completes
to some extent a cycle
and takes in an awful lot
along the way.
So the whole journey has just
been a bit surreal so far,
being able to do this.
When the email came round
telling us to apply to this,
we didn't know if it was
gonna be with New Order.
We were just told
it was a high-profile band.
Yeah, it's been extraordinary.
So we just walked in here
and I saw Stephen Morris,
who's one of
my favorite drummers ever,
just sitting here and that was
ridiculous enough in itself.
I dunno, do you find yourself
doing a bit of an act?
You know, you don't like to
disappoint 'em by being too...
Yeah, well, you are. Yeah.
Out of all the bands I think
who were part of that Manchester
legacy and that history,
I think that a lot of them
reflected Manchester
in the music, you know,
early Smiths did, you know,
Oasis did for a time.
All bands reflect the
environment that they're in.
That came out say
in Kevin Cummins's
famous portrait of them
on the Hulme bridge in the snow.
Again, you've got the city.
You haven't got the group
in a studio.
You've got them in the city,
in their environment, which is
reflected in their music.
When people used to say that,
it was, "Blah, blah, blah,
it's rubbish!"
But there's some truth in that,
that you can't help it.
It just seeps.
In the early days
when we were in Joy Division
and early New Order, it wasn't
quite as swish as this.
It wasn't swish at all.
It was post-industrial decay.
In a way,
that wasn't very inspiring,
but in a way,
it was really inspiring,
because in the middle of winter
in Manchester
surrounded by all these
shut-down closed factories
with smashed windows,
I think it affected the type
of music that you made.
You know,
it may have contributed
to the kind of sound
that you had.
Walk in silence
Don't walk away
That sense of the city
has always been in Joy Division
and then in New Order
and also because New Order
became the biggest group,
Factory became
the biggest label.
Anybody that you talk to
will tell you that it was
pretty chaotic at the time,
but clearly there was
a driving spirit.
Often that spirit is embodied
in the idea of Tony Wilson
but it obviously ran through
a whole bunch of people.
Rob Gretton,
who was Joy Division's manager,
was the heart and soul.
He understood the music,
was very involved with the city.
Rob Gretton and Tony
Wilson died far too young,
but their contribution
to Manchester,
to the city,
was incalculable and that is
an incredible legacy.
Both Rob and Tony really,
really loved Manchester,
and try and put something back
into the place where you live
and it'll be a better place
to live
is quite a simple concept,
That's what they wanted to do,
but they didn't tell us
if that's what we wanted to do.
And those things
were just, you know,
a kind of naive and idealistic
attempt to do things better.
You know, the Hacienda
was incredibly naive,
but it was a...
Its premise was to do things
in the way
that you would have them done
for yourself.
And Tony had this vision of
Manchester being regenerated.
It happened in '89, '90,
you know,
a lot of which came out
to the Hacienda nightclub
which started in '82
and by '88, '89
was one of the biggest
nightclubs in the country.
And you have this idea of
Manchester as a cultural force.
They didn't expect
Manchester to turn into
what it's turned into today.
I mean, it couldn't have got
any worse to be quite honest,
so the only way was up.
But I don't think it had
anything to do with us
being in a band.
It's nice to think that you
could possibly change things.
You're much too young
To be a part of me
It's like New Order
is part of Manchester.
Every corner you turn, there'll
be some kind of reference.
Part of the DNA.
The two go hand in hand, really.
You can't underestimate
the impact of Factory
on the city
and the impact of Factory
on the reputation and feel of
the city beyond its borders,
across the world.
And without a doubt,
it was an inspiration
to the very fabric of the city
and it has continued
to be an inspiration
because it's then
carried on by others.
The city's regeneration,
the city's reputation
for art and culture,
the Manchester International
Festival itself,
I don't think any of that would
have happened without Factory.
And Factory wouldn't have
happened without
Joy Division and New Order.
I wasn't born in Manchester,
but it was the music
of Manchester
that made me move
to this city in 1993.
I'd like to think of myself
as an adopted French Manc.
Living here for 24 years,
I just love everything
about this city,
the people, the culture,
the music.
Seamless transition was it,
coming to Manchester?
- Completely seamless,
- Yeah, sure.
- Like joining New Order in fact.
- Absolutely, yeah.
No, it's a tough job coming into
the band, no doubt about it,
because there's
a lot of history.
The focus seemed to be on me,
you know,
replacing Peter Hook
and stepping in his shoes.
There was a chemistry
that somehow fitted together,
you know, the friction
of that chemistry
obviously became difficult,
but that's often how it is.
I mean,
chemistry is combustible.
I was encouraged to do
what I do as a bass player.
Tom succeeded.
He's great to get on with,
he can play anything.
On Music Complete,
he came into his own.
Not that the other bass
in our history wasn't great,
it was great.
How can I put it?
It was... It felt like it was
a new band and a new start.
The band means a lot to people,
so all you can do is do your
best and interpret the songs
and play them
how you want to play them,
but respect the history
of it, really.
Joe, we've put
a bit of modulation
on the strings over there.
I know it's just like, hell, no,
but I think it's giving it
a bit of movement.
Every time I think of you
I feel shot right through
with a bolt of blue
It's no problem of mine
but it's a problem I find
Living a life
that I can't leave behind
There's no sense
in telling me
The wisdom of a fool
won't set you free
But that's the way
that it goes
And it's what nobody knows
Every day
my confusion grows
Every time
I see you falling
I get down on my knees
and pray
I'm waiting for
that final moment
You say the words
that I can't say
I feel fine and I feel good
I feel like I never should
Whenever I get this way
I just don't know
what to say
Why can't we be ourselves
like we were yesterday?
I'm not sure
what this could mean
I don't think
you're what you seem
I do admit to myself
That if I hurt someone else
Then I'll never see
just what we're meant to be
Every time
I see you falling
I get down on my knees
and pray
I'm waiting for
that final moment
You say the words
that I can't say
Every time
I see you falling
I get down on my knees
and pray
I'm waiting for
that final moment
You say the words
that I can't say
Every time
I see you falling
I get down on my knees
and pray
I'm waiting for
that final moment
You say the words
that I can't say
Every time
I see you falling
I get down on my knees
and pray
I'm waiting for
that final moment
You say the words
that I can't say
Number one here.
Could I have more orchestra?
Only a little bit more,
not, like, loads.
When you actually do
it on stage with the orchestra
and the lights and everything
and the boxes,
that's what makes me feel,
"God, this is amazing."
The stuff that Liam did,
I mean, that was a real surprise
actually seeing the thing,
because looking at the pictures,
"That's all right, but, I mean,
it's never gonna work is it?"
What you have to remember
of course
is that we're building
a kind of a machine here
and that was always
my intention.
So they're not just standing
there and pressing buttons,
they're reading music
and playing.
So the computer's there for them
to read the music
and it's scrolling.
Each player's gotta
have an individual score.
Each player's gotta have
individual sound,
the program changes
throughout the song.
They've got a camera
so they can see the conductor
and they've gotta be able
to communicate with us
and the sound people
by microphones,
so... incredibly complicated.
That's your sheet music.
Every different track,
there's different instruments
you're playing
and you're playing more than one
instrument per track as well.
They're like patch changes.
Within one tune, you can have
two, three or four sounds.
But it's just like, you read
that one, you hit that one,
you sing into that one
and you look at that one.
So 12 seemed to work musically
and seemed to work visually
and you start to find
a kind of balance at that point.
And you've got these cells.
- Don't press it!
- I think that's like
if you want everything to stop.
Like if you got an arm caught
in it and you didn't wanna die.
If you, like, put your arm
through there
'cause you're having
such a good time,
and then it closes
and your arm snaps,
then you'll have to somehow
lean over, hit that
and the whole thing stops.
But why would you put your arm
in there?
- I don't know.
- Just getting so into it.
What Liam did
was really think through
the visual logic of that.
He introduced the idea
of the blinds,
the sense that there was
something about revealing
and not revealing
in this whole visual world.
Conceptually, I was
thinking a lot about the book
Jealousy by Alain Robbe-Grillet
which is really
a book about voyeurism.
In French jalousie
is the same as jalousie
which is the same
as Venetian blind,
like something you can
look through.
So, yeah, I wanted to play
not only with the idea that you
can't always see them properly
or that they'll silhouetted,
I wanted those young players
to have moments in the concert
where they can see the audience,
but the audience
can't really see them.
When you go and stand up
in those things
and when they're all shut,
you've got a little slit,
you can see the whole audience,
'cause they are actually wood
in the end.
But they're fixed to a mechanism
that's connected
to the same computer
that's running the music,
the same computer that's
triggering the lighting,
the same signal that's
triggering the digital effects.
I think for the players,
it was initially quite weird
being in these kind of
isolated cells.
So, they could all see the band
and the audience and myself
but they couldn't necessarily
see each other.
It's pretty strange.
You kind of feel...
It's like you're really
connected to everything,
but you're isolated
in this one pod.
Until we poke our heads through
in between tunes to go,
"This is amazing!"
Everyone is slightly autonomous,
everyone's in slightly
their own world
and that also accentuates,
like, the way people behave.
When you see the students
in the synthesizer orchestra
and they're kind of
indie dancing a little bit
when they're behind there,
and they're having fun.
It's a bit like dancing
in your bedroom,
but 2,000 people are watching.
You'll catch something
out of the corner of your eye
and see one of the players
doing some crazy dancing.
Keyboard dancing.
I feel it's quite liberating,
to be honest.
I probably dance more
in these gigs
than when I'm out and about.
There was a mad Twitter rave
after the first gig last year,
because people were dancing
in the pods
and it was trending more
than New Order.
People might think
you can just
do any concert in any venue,
but I think
with the very specific nature
of the installation side
of things,
it's not as easy as that.
There are complexities
about how it will fit
in the different venues.
There's been some tension
around that
because the spaces
are different.
Right from
the beginning I thought,
"This needs to be modular."
It needs to be able
to be reconfigured
because I just know
that from doing exhibitions.
Here, we're kind of like
trying to fix something
that was for one space
into a different kind of space.
Oh, gosh!
Wow. I need to see it
from the front, really.
All right, Liam.
Hello. How you doing?
- Found it all right?
- Oh, it's cool, yeah.
What do you think?
I see what you mean
about height restrictions now.
The ceiling's not tall enough
for us to have
two rows of boxes.
So we're twice as long.
I'm secretly happy
that we're in a venue
where we cannot
do what we did before,
because it's too low
in the middle.
I wasn't sure
if it was just gonna look
really sort of elongated
in a different structure.
- Actually, it looks good.
- It suits the room.
Being in structures like this,
it's good
because it kinda reflects
what New Order are all about.
One of the things
that's great about this project
is to bring a really strong
visual statement
right back into
the heart of the music.
They haven't worked with a
visual artist in the same way.
In this case, you do have
this kind of creative autonomy
and I tell you why,
because there's a phrase
that isn't used very much,
which is "I want."
"I like" and "I want" aren't
used that much in this case
and I like that.
It's about operating
in parallel to something
and that gives you
a lot of freedom.
That was the Factory way,
you trust somebody
to do something.
On a bigger scale, that's how
Factory had always dealt with,
you know, New Order.
Nobody told New Order
what they should sound like.
They were given
creative autonomy
and they wanted
creative autonomy.
They have also then given
creative autonomy
to the people that have been
working around them.
So actually the collaboration
element then becomes stronger,
because instead of it ever being
a kind of weird compromise,
people actually follow their own
practice and do it their way.
Somebody makes a video or
someone does some artwork.
The same, I mean, very much
applied to me with the covers.
You've always had this fine art
element of interest in the group
and of interaction
with the group's music.
It's not necessarily something
that the group
are always aware of
but it does inform them
and sets them apart
from your run-of-the-mill
'80s electro mob.
My interest
in Joy Division and New Order,
at the beginning, influenced
my decision to go to art school.
They were much more influential
on me
than any artist
I could think of.
There was
a fundamentally different
between myself and Joy Division,
to that which then
kind of evolved
over the next decade
with New Order.
There was a personality
to Joy Division
which I could only complement,
have a kind of a dialogue
with that personality.
The absence of Ian,
let's be straight about it,
the absence of Ian leaves
a space around the group.
The visual work
steps into that space.
So the covers are not
about the music.
Nobody wants to talk
about the music,
nobody wants to say
what any of it is about,
no one is necessarily that sure
what any of it's about.
We didn't want to be
marketed like a product.
The music was good,
the image that
that record projected
should be just as good.
When I was a teenager,
when I bought a piece of music,
I always thought I was buying
two pieces of art.
I was buying the album, music,
and I was buying
the album cover.
So I wanted a great piece
of music and a great cover
and sometimes, occasionally,
I would just buy a record
for the cover.
I was really disappointed that
someone could come up with
such a great cover and then
played the record afterwards
and it was a load of dross.
That isn't to say
that they are totally hands-off
and will accept anything,
you know.
But once they've trusted
somebody with a job,
then that person is allowed
to express themselves
in the same way
that they're allowed
to express themselves.
The covers are
conceived of independently
based on my own kind of
tracking of a zeitgeist
through that period.
There isn't a singular language.
They're a journey
through the canon
of 20th-century art and design,
which was my own journey.
They never said they liked them.
I remember calling Rob once
about Blue Monday
and I said,
"Does anyone like it?"
And he said,
"They don't much mind it."
And in fact, there was not
a collective "We like this"
until the cover of Regret.
And Bernard said, "I think
you're getting the hang of it."
His artwork stands in its own
right in the way I look at it.
It stands on its own merit.
Liam's project is his dialogue
with his idea of New Order
as applies to other people
who they might work with.
It's those other individuals'
idea of New Order
that they come to engage with
and grids are almost autographic
in Liam's work.
And of course, his project
with New Order is a grid
and in this instance, the grid
has to accommodate humans
and actions and performance.
When you look out in Vienna,
you're gonna see architecture.
We go back
to the double-decker thing.
That's in a rather beautiful,
almost baroque theater.
A lot of art and music
you really have
like a big stupid art show
with some music tacked on
that kind of just uses the music
that way round.
I wanted to create a frame,
and here you literally are
in a frame.
I mean, it's exactly a frame.
A thought that never changes
remains a stupid lie
It's never been
quite the same
No hearing or breathing
No movement, no colors
Just silence
Rise and fall of shame
A search that shall remain
We asked you
what you'd seen
You said you didn't care
A sound formed in a vacuum
may seem a waste of time
It's always been
just the same
No hearing or breathing
No movement or lyrics
Just nothing
The sign that leads the way
The path we cannot take
You've caught me
at a bad time
So why don't you piss off?
I know the venue
for this show here in Vienna
is in the most beautiful part
of the city. Museum Quarter.
But when I'm on tour, I always
like to try and get out
and see a few new things
in every city I visit.
I've not been here before
and I've not got
a great head for heights.
Um... We're not going up there,
are we?
We don't have to go up there.
It's obviously a reference
to the film The Third Man
which is a film noir,
I hope we're shooting this
in black and white.
Yeah, that film encapsulates
the atmosphere of Vienna
around the time of the Cold War,
just after World War II.
It's a bit like a Joy Division
song, you know?
It's got that kind
of odd, weird atmosphere.
On paper, our survival
shouldn't have happened really.
We abandoned all the work
that we done in Joy Division
and never played
any Joy Division songs
for ten years
after the death of Ian.
So the odds were stacked
against us anyway
after Ian died
'cause we couldn't be
Joy Division Mark II.
We weren't interested in success
or being famous or any of that.
We just wanted to travel
round the world having fun
and that's what we did.
And as a by-product of having
fun, we became successful.
It's not entirely been fun.
A lot of it has been
quite traumatic,
but most of us are still here.
I think it's 'cause
we've worked it out together
as a group of people.
When there were a lot
of things happening,
continually happening,
I was thinking, "Is this normal
or have we been singled out
as a band
for all these things
to happen to?"
You know, like all the deaths...
You think,
"Has someone cursed us?"
Things seem to go OK
for other bands.
Why is it such a bumpy road
for us?
I have to say, what doesn't
kill you makes you strong.
These last few years
have been fantastic.
Just let's please nothing else
go wrong, please.
We're enjoying it now.
Let it be.
We've had enough shit.
I can't imagine
what happens next.
I'm already kind of thinking,
OK, so they're gonna close
this chapter
and a new chapter's gonna open
and so it's gonna be different
and it's always different.
I think it's in
the band's DNA to go forward,
to always seem
to want to take risks
and be creative
and try something new.
very refreshing for us
because normally when we're
doing our normal touring
it's just the band, you know.
There's been a great deal
of true graft
to get to where we are now,
but quite enjoyed it.
Enjoyed working with the
students and the band and Joe.
I know it's a terrible clich,
but we make a good team
and we do.
Every now and then someone says,
"That must be really great
working with New Order."
And I say,
"It's really something."
And nothing else
I've ever worked on
has been really something and
I mean it's really something.
I don't mean
it's really nothing,
I mean it's really something.
I'm prepared for the fact
that it won't feel good
to go back home.
They're all going away
to do other things
and we'll be stuck here,
playing in the band on our own.
I suppose it's been
a rollercoaster of emotions
like all big projects are
and it's now reaching
a conclusion,
the last gig and...
I think, yeah,
especially the encore,
will be quite sort of emotional
I think, yeah.
Decades, it's possibly the most
beautiful song that New Order
and Joy Division
ever produced, really.
So to end the show
with that one,
you know, it's quite...
it gets you. It always gets me.
I think it was very smart.
I was a bit surprised, but I
think it was very, very smart.
So moving, dangerously moving
in a way.
I remember them when
they were young, very young,
and I was very, very young
and here we are with a bunch
of 20-year-olds, 21-year-olds
playing behind them
and the words of Decades
are what you have to listen to.
Here are the young men,
a weight on their shoulders.
Here are the young men,
the weight on their shoulders
Written by a young man,
right, who's no longer with us,
the words written by a young man
who died young,
being sung in front of a group
of young musicians
who are, you know, taking each
part of it and breaking it down
and bringing it together again.
It all comes together
in that song.
It's added a new,
fresh, exciting dimension
and a little bit of rebirth
as well to New Order
and it's always good
to occasionally have
a little reinvention
as time goes by.
I mean, you can't reinvent
the wheel,
but you can change the tires.
OK, we're gonna end tonight
with a song by Joy Division.
We don't play it a lot of times
and it's a really beautiful song
off the album Closer.
Here are the young men,
the weight on their shoulders
Here are the young men,
well, where have they been?
We knocked on the door
of Hell's darker chamber
Pushed to the limit,
we dragged ourselves in
Watched from the wings
as the scenes were replaying
We saw ourselves now
as we never had seen
Portrayal of the trauma
and degeneration
The sorrows we suffered
and never were free
Where have they been?
Where have they been?
Where have they been?
Where have they been?
Weary inside,
now our heart's lost forever
Can't replace the fear
or the thrill of the chase
Each ritual showed up
the door for our wanderings
Open then shut
then slammed in our face
Where have they been?
Where have they been?
Where have they been?
Where have they been?
Thank you so much!
Goodnight, everybody!
Auf Wiedersehen!