Over five years on from the project first being announced, Freebass -- the alternative rock super group comprising Joy Division/New Order bass player Peter Hook, Gary 'Mani' Mounfield from the Stone Roses/Primal Scream and Andy Rourke of The Smiths -- has finally released some music.
The "Two Worlds Collide" EP went on sale today (Mar. 29) as a digital-only release on Hacienda Records. All four tracks are available to purchase as either individual tracks or as an EP bundle from www.fac51theHacienda.com.
Featuring vocal contributions from the Charlatans' lead singer, Tim Burgess, Mighty Wah! mainman Pete Wylie and Hook himself, the EP veers in style from Joy Division-esque post punk to atmospheric psychedelic rock. Reformed drug dealer-turned-celebrity author Howard Marks also appears on the EP, contributing to the spoken-word track "Dark Starr."
Freebass' debut album "It's A Beautiful Life" is due for release in Summer 2010 on Hacienda Records. According to a spokesperson for the band, singing duties on the album will be handled by Gary Briggs, the former singer with Manchester-based band Haven. Briggs will also perform with the band when Freebass makes its live debut at London venue the 100 Club June 1, booked by EC1 Music Agency.
The group is also set to play the recently opened FAC 251: The Factory venue in Manchester--a joint venture between Peter Hook and U.K. club operators Tokyo Industries (Billboard.biz, Jan. 21) -- on June 2. Further live dates are to be announced in coming weeks.
"In the original incarnation, " says Hook, "we had a lot of trouble finding a singer so Mani said, 'we know a lot of singers. Why don't we ask some?' So we did and they were all really great and they were all really gracious but then as soon as that started going we found Gary [Briggs]. He came on board more or less as a full-time member. Mani and I are both adamant that it stands up and that there's a band chemistry."
Adds Mounfield: "Its difficult when you come to play live when you're using a load of guest vocalists. It just makes it doubly hard but we've found our guy and he's great."
Freebass "has been on and off the back burner for a few years," he continues, "so it's about time we got [the album] finished. As long as we're happy with it, who gives a shit [what people think]? As a musician, you've got to please yourself first."
Prior to Freebass' live dates, Hook embarks on a spoken word theatre tour (Apr. 11-May 2) compered by Marks, entitled "An Evening of Unknown Pleasures."