With New Order Kaput, Hook Presses On With Freebass

Peter Hook has no interest in being idle. The former New Order/Joy Division bassist is making progress with his new project Freebass, which gathers Smiths bassist Andy Rouke and Stone Roses counterpar

Peter Hook has no interest in being idle. The former New Order/Joy Division bassist is making progress with his new project Freebass, which gathers Smiths bassist Andy Rouke and Stone Roses counterpart Mani.

"I've sat down with Mani and Rourke and we desperately want to play the festivals next year," Hook tells Billboard.com. "We're going to work our balls off up until Christmas to get this f*cking record finished."

Hook reckons the album is more than a third, but less than half, complete. A Freebase work-in-progress, "I Envy Us," is posted on Hook's MySpace page because, he explains, "I was sick of talking about it without it being there."

As previously reported, some of Manchester's finest frontmen have been involved in the project, including the Charlatan's Tim Burgess and Stone Roses' Ian Brown.

"With the demise of New Order, I was happy to just not play for a while but now I'm missing it. And I want to get into it as soon as possible," Hook explains. "There's quite a few things as a musician that I want to get into. I've even diversified into DJing," he laughs.

Hook has his fingers in a few other music pies. The artist has penned a track for Tony Wilson, the late entrepreneur who signed Joy Division and New Order to his Factory Records label, and will reform Monaco for a late September charity performance in Manchester, England.

But after engaging in a recent war of words with his New Order bandmates, Hook admits there is no hope for a reunion. "We're getting on like a house on fire. We've patched up," Hook comments. "But the bottom line is we won't be working together again."

Meanwhile, Joy Division's catalog is to be given a new lease on life through a comprehensive reissue campaign. Exclusive details can be found in this week's Billboard, on newsstands and online this afternoon (Sept. 7) at Billboard.biz.