Catching up with bass great Peter Hook 

Classic sounds: Peter Hook is performing vocals on Joy Division’s “Closer” in concert with his new backing band. (Getty Images file photo) - CLASSIC SOUNDS: PETER HOOK IS PERFORMING VOCALS ON JOY DIVISION’S “CLOSER” IN CONCERT WITH HIS NEW BACKING BAND. (GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO)
  • Classic sounds: Peter Hook is performing vocals on Joy Division’s “Closer” in concert with his new backing band. (Getty Images file photo)
  • Classic sounds: Peter Hook is performing vocals on Joy Division’s “Closer” in concert with his new backing band. (Getty Images file photo)

Rediscovering your own artistic legacy can be fun, especially if you just happened to anchor a great act such as Britain’s Joy Division, which morphed into New Order following the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis three decades ago. Founding bassist Peter Hook — whose deep, melodic lines defined both bands’ sound — has been having a blast with his new backing group, The Light. He has re-recorded classic Joy Division tracks, on the debut EP “1102/2011,” which included the previously unreleased chestnut “Pictures in My Mind.” He and The Light also have a new album, “Unknown Pleasures Live in Australia.” Now he’s on tour, performing Joy Division’s sophomore album, “Closer,” in its entirety.

New Order recently announced its reformation — without you. Why? Well, it’s very technical, because we’ve got no intercommunication between the band. So it’s been very, very strange for a long time. Since the band stopped playing together in 2006, it’s gone steadily downhill. So last week, it was jumped on me about New Order reforming, and what they’ve also tried to do is get me out of the company. I’m not bothered about them getting back together. But I do have rights to the name New Order, and what they’ve done is diminish my rights in a boardroom shuffle while I was away DJing in China. And what bothered me was the surreptitious and frankly disgusting, underhanded way they went about it.

But your bass pretty much defines the New Order-Joy Division sound, right? Well, the strange thing is, I was reading the band’s online forum — as you do when you want to revel in your misery — and most of the people posting say they’re not bothered. So the decision for “New Order” — and I’ll use the term in brackets — is whether they emulate my bass or get rid of it, like they did in Bad Lieutenant, when they dropped my bass sound on New Order songs and played the parts on keyboards.

And your son Jack is playing bass in the Light? As soon as I realized that I had to sing because there was nobody else to do it, I needed a bass player, and I tripped over my own son. And he’s 21 — exactly the same age I was when I started recording “Unknown Pleasures.” He’s got a beard like me, and he wears his bass even lower than I did!

Is it hard singing Ian Curtis’ parts? It’s very difficult. It’s given me a whole new appreciation for our old lead singer. So I just hope, beyond all hope, that I do Ian and Joy Division as much justice as I can.

IF YOU GO

Peter Hook and the Light

Performing Joy Division’s ‘Closer’

Where: Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St., San Francisco

When: 9 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $22

Contact: www.ticketweb.com

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Tom Lanham

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